A Bad Week for Vanity

After attending a high school reunion later in her life, Erma Bombeck commented on the experience.

“I couldn’t possibly have gone to school with all these old people.”

And I sure can identify with her sentiment. This week I have seen a backlash of my own personal vanity on several occasions.

The first thing that happened was that I found a recent photo of my ex-husband. We divorced 16 years ago and I have not seen him in that length of time. 

I was just shocked. He looked like he could have been my grandfather. I just had to show someone, so I called up a business associate of mine to see what he thought.

Looking up the photo, I asked him if he thought Rob looked older than me. Pleased, when he answered “yes”, my second question was, “Yes, but by how much?”

Jerry answered, “Oh, at least 4 years.”

“4 years?” I screeched. “4 years? You gotta be kidding. He looks like my grandpa!”

I should have known not to ask Jerry.  He is 20 years younger than me and a great guy. I think of him as a business associate and he thinks of me as a mother figure.

What on earth was I thinking asking him?

Okay. So my family comes for Thanksgiving. I show the photo to my mom and she says he looks very happy and “about right for his age.”  She added that I look nice too.

The next day Janine, my sister-in-law, her teenage daughter and I go to Sandstone Gardens for lunch.  (Janine is only 5 years younger than me.) When we went up to pay, the waitress asked us if we were three generations together for the holiday.  I’m sure the look of surprise/horror on my face made her worry about the tip even before we told her we were sister-in-laws and Malory was my niece.

I have to give the waitress credit for quick thinking, though. Her explanation was that I seemed to be catering to Janine’s wishes by ordering salad so she could have it. “Something a mother would do,” she said.

We laughed and told her it was a good save in a tricky situation.

Needless to say, my vision of myself as eternally young has had a trying week.

As disconcerting as it may be, my whole family, including me, found a great deal of humor in it.

Proving, once again, that there is almost nothing so serious that you can’t get a laugh out of it somewhere.


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