Suzy's Blog/January, 2007        Click for Suzy's Blog Summary

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 I don't see him, that man in my life, spending much time in front of his mirror. He does examine his face closely for whiskers first thing in the morning, but that's the only time he seems interested in his reflection.

Signs of his physically aging he notes with limited awareness (except for any decline in his abilities on the tennis court.) His sideburns turned gray sometime in his forties. It wasn't how they looked that troubled him, it was the physical announcement of his mortality. It took his Mother awhile to see them. When she did, she assumed he dyed them in an effort to appear more venerable for business purposes. Ah denial. Signs that our sons are aging can only mean we're getting older too.

When a bald spot appeared, threatened to expand and did, his concern moved quickly to acceptance. It was also taking place on the back of his head. Out of sight, out of mind.

Wrinkles arrived too. He hardly noticed them. On him they are a sign of wisdom, experience and character. That man has lived, mellowed and become more desirable.

I've never caught him in close communication with his mirror, pulling on his facial flesh, contemplating a tuck here or there. He never talks about dying his hair, or mentions a transplant for what's missing.

 Sometimes I wish I were a man, but not often.

      Suzy - that was a wonderful piece and oh, so true!

I rarely wish I were a man.

With our new addition Herb has his own private bathroom, PLUS the one we share. But the only touch of vanity I've observed, by nose, is the wonderful scent of Ralph Lauren aftershave which I gave him for Christmas!

Paula Tuerk

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I didn't feel bad about my neck until I read Nora Ephron's new book, I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Judging from the number of turtleneck shirts in my wardrobe, I must have some sense of the sorry state of my neck, but her opening pages drove me straight to the mirror. Yep, I now feel bad about my neck, but, I feel worse about the preoccupation of women with how they look. Surely we have other things to think about, or do we?

After reading her chapter on maintenance, I seriously doubt we have time to think about anything else.  She divides this task into two categories - those things done regularly for hair, nails and body beautiful and those things done periodically like face lifts, Botox injections, liposuction and the removal of all those dreadful things that seem  to grow on the body as we age. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It's not feet binding, but....

Not too long ago I was at a luncheon with a group of bright, attractive, aging women. The conversation revolved around face lifts - who had one, how it looked and whether it was the first or second. Obviously the examples were not joining us for lunch. The group divided into two camps those who would and those who wouldn't. But both groups fantasized about what a little tuck here or a little tuck there would do to improve their aging faces. There is no immunity.

If we didn't have mirrors, I asked, would we be more interested in who we are rather than how we look? I wish I could relate the answers. There weren't any.

      ... I'm getting a kick out of the book.  But I so agree:  if we put as much time into looking at our insides as we do at out outsides, we'd probably all be much finer people. However, Suzy, you seem to find time for both!!  


Love your blog and its wisdom.  I will never figure out why any woman would want to look younger than she is.  I think it's a kick that we can be gray, wrinkled and enjoying life as much if not more than those pseudo-wanna-bes!!

What did they miss that they think they can regain by attempting to go back in time?


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My computer and I have an interesting relationship. More often than not, we are at odds with one another. Fortunately I have in- house technical support, an engineer husband who navigates cyber space with ease. This has saved a lot of time and money, but it has put a degree of stress on our marital relationship. He used to think I was smart, but now, as he is trying to explain some maneuver that is long and complicated and I'm not getting it, he says "I can't believe you went to a selective college and got a degree." He has a point.

On the other hand, those facts lead me to believe there is hope. I'm not stupid, it's just that some relationships take time and patience. In time we are going to achieve some kind of mutuality, my computer and I and the rewards will be enormous.

Like Emailing. Those grandchildren recently got their own Email addresses. Their missives arrive in brilliant colors and a variety of type styles and sizes, their exuberance leaping off the page. Cyber space closes the distance between us. I'm thinking oh Mac mine, bring on your complexities, you're a miracle.

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When my sister Marty came to visit a few weeks before Christmas, I brought up a box from the basement containing pictures of our ancestors. When we dismantled our parents house upon their deaths, Marty handed me this box and said, "you have a basement, you take it." You know the box, you've got one yourself. It's that box of family photos that gets handed down from generation to generation and put in someone's basement or attic. The further down the line, the less we know who these people are and how they are related to us.

We spread the pictures out on the dining room table and began to identify and remember all those faces. We start with the oldest, Great Grandfather Bauder. We know something about him, mainly that he made a small fortune, dissipated before it got to our generation. A pity. The fortune was acquired in the wine business in upper state New York and also from his marriage to the bosses daughter. He looks distinguished and powerful, reminiscent of America's great robber barons. Another picture shows his house to be an ivy covered mansion. What kind of person was he? We don't know.

Uncle Howard, our father's brother, catches our eye with a "come hither" look that makes our hearts beat a little faster. Ladies beware. Family gossip maintains he was a small time bootlegger during prohibition and packed a pistol wherever he went. This has never been proved, but as his photographs move to other basements, it's likely the tale will become true.

We watch our parents grow old as we separate their pictures from the rest. It's hard to imagine them young when our last memories were of their decline and death. Marty picks up a picture of our Mother in her teens. she is holding her viola, about to embark on the musical career she has spent her life preparing for, a career that got waylaid by Motherhood and domestic responsibilities. "What happened to that beautiful young woman?" Marty asks as she picks up a picture of Mother in her sixties. Life happened.

What will become of this box of pictures? Will the next generation throw it out as excess baggage, or will we be added to the collection, carted off to someone's basement to be examined on another dining room table by a future generation? And what stories will they tell of us? Not much to be done about the stories, but just in case this box goes on, I'm only leaving behind select pictures - the flattering ones!


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"Did you make your New year's resolutions?" I asked my grandchildren. Eleven year old grandson Remy vows he will start his school reports earlier. Like his father before him, I doubt this will get any further than just a passing thought. Granddaughter Malia, 8, isn't sure what resolutions are, so she hasn't made any. I explain that a New Year's resolution is a promise to yourself to do things better in the new year, a promise that is generally broken in the second week of January. I want to add that Samuel Johnson, that great mind,  supposedly said "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," but don't.

What's incredible about new year's resolutions is the acknowledgement of our frailties, the hope that we can do things better and the belief that the new year promises a new beginning. Alexander Pope said "Hope springs eternal". At times this seems misguided, at times "acceptance" seems a more reasonable choice, but overall, hope is probably a good thing. So Happy New Year, peace and joy and good luck at losing those five pounds.



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