‘Dinner en Blanc‘ – a picnic in a secret location, 1,999 fellow revelers, must wear white. White? Yes white! Blanc! Now don’t get me wrong, I love wearing white for it suits my complexion. Unfortunately it also amplifies my dodgy bits – read hail damaged bum, thighs, nana wings, back boobs. Girls y’all hearing me?
A sweet little Broderie Anglaise number later, fake tan, nude heels, glossy lips, all frocked up and feeling fabulous I threw myself into the fun and frivolity. And what an amazing eve, what an experience…and then I viewed the post party happy snaps…Merde!
Yes, Kardashian bums, plus size models, untouched voluptuous, cellulite clad bodies and laughter lines are now ‘de rigueur’ and while I join my sisters in celebrating the liberation of our imperfections, I’m yet to liberate mine. Should have sat up straighter, shed those winter kilos, bought a dress size up, worn a jacket…I sighed as images continued to flood my Facebook feed. But why the harsh self critique?
I’m a singlette. I’m surrounded by loved up friends. And I long to join that happy coupledom brigade. While saying ‘thanks but no thanks’ to a sweet but elderly interested ‘match’ on a dating site earlier that morning, I’d stopped to admire another. This one my age (59). Interesting, attractive, available. Pulse quickening, I read on. ‘Must be age 40 to 45, slim, athletic, between 165 and 170cm’. While his perfect partner precision was both unsettling and amusing, my self-esteem was unsettled and contemplating wine o’clock.
As I pondered my ‘Lonely old lady with a box full of cats watching reruns of Sex and the City while spooning ice-cream straight from the tub’ scenario, I continued trawling Facebook desperately hoping I’d seen the worst of photos revealing the less attractive bits that would have had ‘Mr Precision’ running for the hills.
And then I happened upon a letter a husband sent to a photographer, gently chiding her for bowing to his wife’s wishes to photoshop away her wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks. Boudoir photographer shares a life-affirming letter from a client’s husband.
Turns out this gorgeous man adores every one of her ‘aberrations of perfection’ for they tell the story of their rich and rewarding life together. I related to her, took note of the qualities he’d demonstrated and smiled.
Returning to the Dinner en Blanc highlights fellow revelers had posted I started reading the commentary my friends had added to the photos. On the one that had caused so much personal angst – ‘You are always a star! Do not ever change’. A humbling, lovely message. I laughed as I silently blessed my dear friend for her timely words. And then it dawned on me – I’m the shallow one!
I had almost allowed my vanity to negate the joy of new friendships formed, shared moments with my existing clan and fond memories of an evening spent with wonderful people who couldn’t give a damn about dodgy bits. People who simply love each other, and me, for who we are, what we are, warts and all. So there Mr Shallow Match!
Thank you Jilly, Michelle, Ben, Reuben, David, Andrew and our lovely Jane D, legends one and all. Love you muchly.