When I was a little girl, my mother’s friends fascinated me. Especially Evelyn. Whenever we visited Evelyn, I loved to peek into her pink-tiled bathroom where the vanity was populated by gleaming glass jars filled with all sorts of potions and lotions. There was no question that those mysterious concoctions worked because Evelyn always looked good and smelled wonderful. But more importantly, she always had something interesting to say. Her positive energy filled every room she entered, and it was impossible to miss how men and women alike were drawn toward her. Yet she never would have been described as beautiful in the literal sense of the word.
Smart, energetic, generous, and quick to laugh, Evelyn exemplified what I now, all these years later, recognize as real beauty—the kind that isn’t limited to the physical and doesn’t diminish with the passage of years. Though she knew aging was inevitable, often laughing at herself for trying the latest miracle cream, she wasn’t about to give up on her joie de vivre or her beauty regime. To her they were inseparable.
Back in my mother’s day, Evelyn was the exception to the rule of aging. As the years passed and waistlines grew thicker and hair grew thinner, some women would tisk tisk about Evelyn, poking fun of her youthful enthusiasm as she set sail into the so-called golden years in her shiny new convertible. But Evelyn paid them no mind. She was too busy traveling, having fun, and hunting for the next miracle in a jar.
Evelyn was my heroine.
I’m delighted to be living in our current, stereotype-busting era where the words beauty and aging coexist in the same sentence. Susan Sarandon, Amy Tan, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, and countless others have paved the way. And let’s not forget Oprah, Charlotte Moss, and Donna Karan. A big part of beauty is attitude with a hefty sprinkling of chutzpah. Add some genuine kindness to the mix and it’s intoxicating. There is nothing more attractive than a woman who exudes confidence, has embraced her passions and stitched life experiences (the good and the bad) into a tapestry of wisdom.
So what’s my personal plan as I face the road of aging? To be the absolute best I can be—fearless and interested and interesting and awake to the wonders of my life in all its stages. When I leave my earthly body, I want to look back and say, “Wow, now that was living!”
I could go on for hours on this topic, but I have errands to run. And, after I’m done, I’ll think of Evelyn as I zip down the highway to Nordstrom. I’ve heard that Estée Lauder has a brand new miracle in a jar.