Saturday, 6 April 2013

Words for Life 7 - On the Shelf

NB: This is a story, not autobiographical!





























The wallpaper stripes say:

Mood swings: chocolate, cats, wine, Black cohosh, divorce
Weight gain: diet, exercise, bigger clothes
Hot Flushes: fan, soya, exercise, light clothes, HRT, diet, evening primrose oil
Insomnia: Remove clocks, no caffeine
Depression: clonidine, gabapentin, toy boy, acupuncture, venlafaxine
Low self-esteem: testosterone
Irritability: diet, cannabis, citalopram
Loss of libido: HRT, champagne, abstinence, testosterone
Tearfulness: friends, food, sleep



The words on the body are:

Keep young and beautiful
It’s your duty to be beautiful
Keep young and beautiful
If you want to be loved.



Ah sod off.  So what if I’m on the shelf, I’m very happy here. Last year the man I’d lived with for over 20 years told me he wanted a divorce because he didn’t love me any more. The truth was that he’d found someone younger to flatter his ego. He didn’t like the way I’d started to sag and pucker, and grow moles and hair . He said I was grey and miserable.   I was desperate and cried so hard but I couldn’t stop him. I was so lonely, dependent, insecure, ageing and invisible.

But slowly, slowly, I began to feel better. Each day I got stronger and realised that if you are unwanted, then you are also free.   I guess I took stock and evaluated my life. I was frightened at first to go out on my own and make friends. When I was younger I used to trade on my appearance and get attention because of the way I looked, but suddenly everyone just stopped looking.  A friend told me I needed a make over, with a new hair do, and visits to the gym, maybe get my nose straightened at last, but they were wrong.  Over 17 million cosmetic procedures were done in the world in 2011 but It’s silly to pretend that I can be young forever like those stupid celebrities.  17% of the UK population are women over the age of 50 but they seem faceless and  without a defined role. Why? Getting old is interesting. I think I care less about things than I used to but I have more power and serenity.   I may not be an attractive young woman any more, but I don’t need men to make me feel good about myself.  I’ve adjusted, and I think I’m ok.  Do you know, life is good and I like the shelf.



14 comments:

  1. Wonderful. I always read your blog but seldom comment because of the Captcha security (my old eyes) but this warranted me trying a Brava!!!!!! Really love your work.

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    1. Thank you Beth for struggling with the captcha! I'm in the middle of stitching at the moment and hope to start painting early next week.

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    2. Oh and thank you for your wonderfully supportive comment. I confess I'm relieved that someone thinks its ok - very heartening x

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  2. Wow! I have been watching your progress with great interest - can't wait to see what's next!

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  3. Hmmmm, not sure if my comment made it or not. I just wanted to tell you how interesting this is. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. All your comments are welcome Janet! Thank you. Motherland is next :)

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  5. This is quite wonderful and I do like that you included that awful sentiment in the opening poem that will be included on the body. The mention of "toy boy" as a remedy reminded me of this bit from a poem written in the 1400's, one that hit pretty close to home when I ran across it. Thought you would appreciate it - it seems to fit this theme a bit, if one considers the current "cougar" rage.

    Love is a toy, some say a boy
    That shoots a fiery dart:
    What ere he be it seems to me
    That boy has hurt my hart.

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  6. Thank you Sheila. Annie Lennox did a version of the song a while ago, so I don't think it's just me that finds it distasteful. The 1400's - my goodness this blog is getting cultured! Thank you for that - very pertinent. I had to look up the cougar thingy and was amazed. I've heard them called them POW's (predatory older women) in Australia, but hadn't come across that term before.

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  7. Excellent commentary Annabel. Staying healthy takes over.....time to enjoy that freedom

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    1. Yep, that's the important thing CHP. The cures came from the lovely people on fb and around and about. Some of them were a bit weird, but the placebo effect is enormous I think!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you ltw, your support and encouragement is wonderful as usual! Thank you for commenting; it's really appreciated.

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  9. its a big beautiful comfy shelf,your in good company,its also a perch, you can fly free and return to your perch[ not a cage]anytime and you get the bed to yourself--hurrah...your a wonderful artist with many many admirers- stuff him, he was probably jealous., I very much identified with the words on your quilt it goes straight to the heart as usual carry ,love your work

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  10. Thank you sweetypie! I'm glad you liked my shelf and it's story.

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Portrait in parts

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