Purple Clover: A Woman’s Attempt to Accept Herself Goes Awry

purpleclover_logoI first saw you in the mirror. I wasn’t planning to see my reflection, so when I looked, unfiltered truth stared back at me. And there you were, the portent of Age: my drooping jowls. I hated you.

The second time I saw you, I was more prepared. I looked you square in the … I looked at you. I said, “I accept you. I welcome you. You and I have much in common. You are not my enemy.”

The third time, I said, “I honor your wisdom. I admire your stories and accomplishments. I embrace the struggles you’ve witnessed and your courage in overcoming them. I will never try to hide you with an Alexander McQueen floral print-silk neckerchief.”

The fourth time, slightly breathless, I said, “If falling for the force of gravity is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Then I told you that I loved you.

But you didn’t say you loved me back.

It was mortifying. After everything we’ve been through, I felt we had a deep bond forged by shared experience and suffering. I assumed we’d reached an elevated state together where harsh, external judgments about beauty couldn’t touch us—a world where airbrushing was for people who don’t know Charlotte from Emily. I thought you loved me too. But I was wrong. You’re just as shallow as everyone else.

After that, I have to be honest. I started looking at other wrinkles. My crow’s feet are warm and compassionate and obviously open to a relationship. So what if I don’t have the same feelings towards them? At least they don’t just sit there like some unhinged collagen fiber, expecting me to do all the work. Continue Reading

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