Enhh......I always try to keep my promises, and I intend to continue with that noble effort. Trouble is, sometimes it ain't easy. For instance.....
I mentioned in a recent blog the awful fact that I had written a vast ranting outburst against the folks who keep yearning to have their youth back or, worse yet, their youthful good looks......oy, such a waste of noble effort. Then disaster struck. I hit "publish" and somehow sent the whole thing into oblivion....aaaarrrrrggghhh...... sob.
After I mopped up the lake of tears I felt that perhaps it was a good thing that the post did not see the light of day because I was in a deep funk that day and being really ultra bitchy. After spouting fire and smoke while spitting out a rant usually all that is left is a small pile of dubious ash and one wonders whether the heat was really warranted. Well, after vacillating back and forth and about that idea for a few days (as I am wont to do) I am sort of on the fence about my whether my harshness was justified, but I am going to try to recreate some of my thoughts on the subject because I think it is really important that the world get a new attitude about that ephemeral thing called youth and beauty and stop suffering pain over the loss of something so ....well, SILLY...... the agony of which often blights the whole damned rest of their lives.
I have confessed in these pages many times that I had a touch of real sadness about not having enjoyed my day in the sun because I never though I was in any way beautiful. It is only in ancient decrepitude that I see clearly that I was somewhat gorgeous. I know I am not alone in this sad fact because many of you have stated the exact same regret in your blogs and I always feel my heart wrench when I read that.....what a bloody shame. To have once actually possessed the thing that you spend the rest of your life craving and to not have recognized that you had it and been able to enjoy it is worse than pathetic. Boo Hoo for us all.
I also remember vividly how naive, gullible, clueless, uncertain, scared, confused, puzzled, wracked with anxiety and tormented I felt as a teenager (and even a young twenty-something) . The torture of that feeling of being an outsider, even when you had weaseled your way inside and ostensibly "belonged". The desperation of feeling so empty inside that you were like an overfilled balloon and every moment of your life was fraught with the danger of someone accidentally or on purpose pricking you with a sharp edge or word causing you to explode and be reduced to a miserable shred of rubber. Confidence and some measure of inner assurance did not begin to come to me until my 30's and it has been an ongoing process ever since to fill my balloon with solid stuff rather than air. I still have many pockets that need filling, but I am working on it every day and I no longer dread the approach of someone with a pin.
Of course there are blissful moments interspersed with all the pain that make being young a treasure to be appreciated if possible. If the pains hurt worse when you are young, the delights are equally extra delicious and ecstatic especially because they are so brand new. Somehow though, in looking back objectively I find a lot more time spent hunched over clutching myself in agony than tripping along a foot off the ground in delight. (Perhaps I was just unlucky but I suspect not. So many people have expressed to me their combined desolation and relief at reaching middle age and accepting the fact that they are never going to have a happy childhood. Once you get that notion out of the way you might have a chance at inner peace..)
But to look at the whole subject with a mercilessly reasonable eye, there is a specific purpose for youthful beauty in both sexes that has nothing to do with the Ego, Vanity or your ultimate self worth rooted in your appearance. It is the job of youth and beauty to attract a mate and get about the excruciating job of propagating the species. Once you have got your mate and have produced your obligatory 2 or 3 or.....4 etc. offspring, those glowing, dewy, enticing looks are more a hindrance than anything else........I would imagine that any Mother worth her salt would better spend her time attending to the needs of the children, hubby, dogs, cats, goldfish etc. than annointing herself with ungents and potions intended to make her look more like she did before ever getting tangled up with aforementioned distractions. And the dreadful pangs of conflict and guilt to be wrestled with regarding this choice must be agony indeed. (Never having had or wanted children I cannot speak from experience about this tenks gott......a wise decision since I would have been a terrible mother of children........animals no, children yes.)
I do not deny that I enjoy looking upon beauty, youthful or otherwise as much as the next person.......that is what the entertainment world is for. Many of those called "eye candy" have little to offer except for their good looks to satisfy our need for what Al Capp used to call the "purty face wif naught behind it". Of course some of them like Mark Harmon, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and Scarlett Johanson also bring a load of talent to provide double-barreled joy to us, but the others who just strut their stuff and get into mindless,endless trouble........I will try to be magnanimous and say that their looks alone somehow justifies their existence, but I cannot believe that any of you beloved people would trade their hard won solid structure and character to be a Paris Hilton or..... who is that wretched young person I keep hearing about....Justin Bieber? (Who or what the hell is a Justin Bieber?)
So, if after this penetrating expose you are all still mourning your lost youth and beauty I am truly sorry. I refuse offer to share your misery but the least I can do is wish you, "Good Luck." And, then again.....maybe not.
Dammit......you were given the chance at a life...........hell's bells........live all of it.
The New Yorker covers: February 10, 1968
5 hours ago