Looking into the mirror today, I hardly recognize the person looking back at me. So I think perhaps a little snip here, a little tuck there, and I might like the look of that stranger in the mirror. After all, some of my friends have had a bit of work done. Why not me? Then I realize, that’s not who I am or ever was. If I don’t look in the mirror (and there are many days that I don’t), I still see myself as that tall, thin, gangly teenaged tomboy. And truthfully, except for the occasional ache or pain, I still feel that way.
There have been times in my life when someone has said that I was pretty, but I never believed it. If a friend said it, I thought they were just being kind. If a boy, or later, a man said it, I assumed they wanted to bed me. I never did the girlie-girl thing like my much prettier older sister. Throughout my life, the most make up I’d consent to is a bit of eye shadow and mascara.
A few years ago, Dante and I made our 4th trip to Ireland and for the 2nd time we stayed in Cashel and had a private tour of Coolmore Stud Farm, where the most famous race horses go to make more famous race horses. Dante is a passionate follower of thoroughbred racing and knows all the great names. I like the horses too but that trip I wanted to explore the West Coast of Ireland, so after seeing the horses we drove down to the Dingle Peninsula, where we stayed in a lovely B&B right on the sea. We walked the beach, although it was cold and windy and then with me driving and Dante navigating, we set out to explore the peninsula.
Then off to the Wild Atlantic Way, stopping at the Cliffs of Moher and ending up in Galway, where I finally got to put my feet in Galway Bay, memorialized in my favorite Irish song.
On the way south-west from Cashel, we stopped in Naas for lunch at Kavanagh’s, a typical Irish pub. On the wall above our table, I noticed a photo of the wedding scene from the movie The Quiet Man, with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. There were other photos from the movie and I asked the waitress if the film was made near Naas. She told me it was filmed in Cong, a small island town closer to Galway, but that the pictures were there at Kavanagh’s because the horse that was used in the film belonged to her uncle. Everyone in Ireland knows of that film and there’s a museum in Cong that we didn’t get to see that trip. I remember seeing that film in 1952, and although my more feminist friends would be horrified at some of the scenes, I liked it then and I still like it now.
But the reason I mention it today, is that the expression on the face of Maureen O’Hara in the wedding photo ( like me, Maureen is looking to her right. She has her mouth open in surprise?. Maybe she was just reacting to the Best Man kissing her) struck a chord with me and I took a photo of the photo.
When we got home, I dug out a picture of me taken during my wedding. In it, I am looking to my right, or perhaps a little behind me, and my expression seems to say that someone either did or said something that was a bit puzzling. I have no idea now what that might have been, but I thought there was a resemblance between me and Maureen O’Hara. Over half-way through my eighth decade, Looking at my picture, I think “Not so bad, Maybe even pretty”!