A friend told me about a conversation she had with a mutual friend about… dare I say it? WRINKLES! She knew that the years of cooking her skin to a lovely shade of bronze “way-back-when” were the culprit for her generous supply of wrinkles. She justified it by saying laughingly, “Oh well, at least I was cute when it counted!” It has become the quip of choice with my friends when we discuss the aging dilemma. (Or is it a dilemma after all? I’m beginning to think not. Keep reading.)
I was doing a book signing in Blowing Rock when I noticed an elderly woman walking toward me. I was struck by her beautiful, white hair. As she approached me, she asked in a slow, Southern drawl, “Honey, do you know if there is a walk-in-salon where I can get my hair taken care of right away?” I said, “But I was just noticing how beautiful your hair is.”
She pointed her cane at me and said in an even slower Southern drawl, “Honey, if you saw it after it’s fixed, you’d say it was G…O…R…G… E…O…U…S.!! She was definitely “cute” and it still counted. I understand now that “cute” is multi-faceted. Wrinkles are God’s refunds to us—receipts for living. They are “life’s lines” that tell our stories. I realized that being cute has nothing to do with youth. It’s all about how cute you are on the inside and whether or not you handle yourself with grace, humility and self-acceptance for the natural progression of this boat we’re all in called “aging.” It’s all about attitude and having a well-tuned sense of humor. That kind of “cute” counts eternally.
I know of another role model who just happens to be my grandmother who aged quite “cutely”– and it counted. Her natural sense of humor became her best asset, as her natural outside beauty began to fade. Her inner beauty became even more polished and lovely. There was such a sense of complacency about her that counted, as well.
My grandmother was a student at Hollins College in the 1920’s. Judging by the pictures taken of her during this period, she was quite “cute”– and it counted. After her death, we found love letters from five different men all of whom loved her. It was obvious that they all felt she was “cute when it counted.” It was not only for her outside beauty, but for her kind inner beauty, as well.
I could understand that because I always felt that she was cute well into old age. I remember on Saturday nights, she would jump up from the couch and rush out of the den saying,” Oh, I’ve got to go get undressed for Lawrence Welk!” Of course, she meant she wanted to put her pajamas on to be comfortable watching her favorite show. I thought she was pretty cute with her gray hair, wrinkles and great sense of humor…and it counted.
I took her out to eat one night. She told me as we were getting out of the car that she had had too much tea and needed to go to the bathroom as soon as we arrived at the restaurant. I was telling her a funny story as we were walking arm in arm that caused her to laugh uncontrollably. As we entered the restaurant, I pointed to the bathroom. She laughingly said, “I’ve already been!” Enough said. Nana was still “cute when it counted.”In essence, in our journey called “life,” there is no expiration date for when “cute counts.” Personalized copies of my books may be ordered from the home page of this site by clicking on “Order Personalized Copies” or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.