A few nights ago I was struck by an interview in which a young actor made the point that 'inside every 60 year old woman was a young 16-year-old who loves to dance'. It was a reference to Queen Victoria and our perceptions of her in our own time as being this little old lady in black mourning. Well, it brought me up a bit short as I am now 66 and even older than a 'little old 60-year-old!
So lying in bed thinking about this and that -- as you do when you are getting on ... I started thinking of our perceptions of people. About how the great thing about having friends for many years -- and including siblings -- we don't see them so much as they are now -- but in layers. When I see my oldest friend from the age of 10, I see her as I did on the first day I met her, and as she was when we met everyday after school and when she got married and so on. I still see my husband as he was the day I met him -- right alongside the grumpy old man who shouts at the evening news ...
Perceptions change as we get to know -- or as we become -- the 'old dear' or 'old git' next door or the 'hooligan' down the street. They cease to become just 'adjectives' and we can begin to see with new eyes something deeper and more pervading than that which is cursory. No matter how much we spend in time or money on how we look to other people, the truth is that how we are perceived is up to them to see. Some people don't see very well and others see what is not there and others what they want to see.
In no way do I denigrate 'looking good', wearing make-up or nice clothes. I love all that stuff. But now I'm a 66 year old lady and the perceptions are a bit past my prime! It's just important to remember the word 'cosmetic' is on the surface. Most of 'us' is in the 'underneath' part and that's what is something to behold!