Last Thursday my Darling and I drove south to Cape Canaveral for a short vacation and to attend a party with some people I only know on line.
Before that strikes you as totally odd, compare it to meeting people at a Sci-Fi Convention or book convention that you've only known through your list-serv. Same thing. We started by sharing an affection for a radio show out of Orlando and ended up liking each other for who we are.
The Darling and I touristed around a bit before the day of the party and generally enjoyed one another's company. On the night before the event I executed what I thought (at the time) to be a good plan - shower, exfoliate, moisturize and have Darling apply fake tan to my white person. After all, brown fat looks better than white fat, right?
I was browny-orange the next morning. Browny-orange, overweight and only know two people who will be at the party and met them just the day before. Of course, I knew them on line so I'd be OK, right?
This is when I knew that I had finally grown into the me I am supposed to be. I was "Ok" with it. With streaky orangey-browny fat, jello shooters that splashed out of their cups and into the trays that held them, making a salad in a hotel room, showing up at a party of sixty-plus people, I was OK. I've finally reached that place where I can see my flaws and foibles clearly and not allow them to cover me with embarrassment.
I had to take off the shirt I'd bought as a swimsuit cover because my fake tan was sweating off into it, leaving browny-orange horizontal streaks on its pretty lime sherbet surface. I bounced my plump patoot through the party , talking and laughing, riding on a boat and jumping into the Atlantic, cooling down in an inflatable kiddy pool, kissing my husband often and hugging old friends who were new faces.
All the while I didn't worry about the 'outer me' others saw. I laughed at my orange streaks, rinsed out my shirt, gave my skin a scrub before immersion into the kiddy pool to avoid polluting the waters, and talked to people who were all beautiful to me. I could see what made them who they were without giving much credence to what their appearances "said."
Their voices were the reflection of the people they were in the little world we cohabit because of our hobby.
Although I won't be able to think of Christine and Molly without thinking of halos of red or blond cherub-curls framing dancing eyes, or Mo without her tilted teal eyes, if I had to paint them the resultant pictures would be swirls of color that spoke of their souls. Billy would be the shape of swirling, high clouds and the blue he loves to fly through.
Being totally comfortable in my own skin - flaws and all - just ONE advantage to aging.