Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘smiles’

A Different Me

I’ve been trying to visit new blogs when I get a chance; to get new perspective and a little brain stimulation. I tend to visit blogs that many of my readers visit because I think we may have something in common. The cleaning out processes I’ve been on has not failed to touch so many in blog land.

When I read Luanne’s post quite late in the game, it had me looking at what I was doing in a whole new light.

So, I started hunting through my photographs to see if I could find any that had me wearing something I truly loved. A dress I had made for me in a soft pink while living in Taiwan was a favorite for a while.

A different me. NCO club celebrating a friends adoption of a baby.

I was never one to be stylish. In school, I bought skirts in brown, black, and navy with several shirts to go with each. Basic and inexpensive. I always have had to buy my own clothing unless my mother made it for me. Mom was quite the seamstress and I was always proud to wear anything she made. Sometimes it was too fancy for school but I wore it anyway.

Light blue taffeta with scallops. Where are my glasses. Sister feeling uncomfortable in her homemade dress and petticoat.

Another Easter Sunday with new outfits all around. Mom even made the suit but the littlest brother wouldn’t stand for photo.

In one of incarnations during this lifetime, I studied color and image consulting. It took a year of intense training as it was extremely individualized. It was my favorite occupation except for one small hiccup. I was supposed to dress at least one or two steps up from my clients. That just wasn’t who I was. I loved finding the perfect colors to go with a person’s personality and energy level and help them find their style.

Mine would always be pragmatic and basic with a little fun in the mix. I had a number of outfits that I felt really suited my personalities. Most of us have many facets to our personality that can be expressed through our clothing.

I tended toward monochromatic outfits for a more slimming look

When the day came that I no longer did consulting or worked outside the home, I put all my special and well cared for clothes in a suitcase and carried them down to the Safe House auxiliary store for women who needed nice things to find jobs. I still miss the feeling I had when I wore them. The dressing up and feeling like I was seen.

As an older woman it’s easy to become invisible. That works for us sometime but I have my moments when the little cap I must wear most of the time is what draws a tiny bit of notice so I can give my best smile and engage in a happy exchange with a stranger.


Sipping tea in my trusty cap.

Today, the exchange was over the greeting card section at the market where a woman laughed out loud at one and I was approachable enough in my cap to share the laugh with her. I suggested she have a fun day as she walked on. My caps, cane and crooked smile must do the job of pretty skirts and shirts now. They tell people if you are friendly or not. The smile is still getting better after eight years of paralysis and I can now make my eyes smile a bit better too. A smile is always your best outfit.

How about you? Do you have a photo of you in a favorite outfit? That applies to men as well.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself








In Search of Expression

It’s the nuances of expression that we rely on to read the people who pass through our lives each day. Each face tells its own story. You can read a lot about a person just by looking at their face. Some have a soft smile that says all is well. Some faces look weary and you can tell life has given them a lot to handle. Some faces say “don’t mess with me”. I love to read faces almost as much as reading books.

I have found that the lack of the ability to share a smile with someone or a kiss on the cheek is something that has been quite taken for granted. It made me a bit sad when I realized I couldn’t give my son or daughter a kiss on their cheek when saying good night. The hug would have to do. The pucker doesn’t pucker. Good thing I’m permanently single.

I’m not a particularly vain person and have always been happy with my face. It’s of average symmetry with a little extra fluff around the jowls and some deepening wrinkles but for the most part, not a bad face, except for the fact that it no longer works.

My face has had some electrical therapy on the paralyzed side so it no longer droops. But it doesn’t move either. It doesn’t blink automatically so I have to remember to blink it to keep the eye moist. That also means I can’t wink. How I love to wink, especially now that I can’t. It’s like sharing an inside joke with your face.

But what I miss most with this half paralyzed face is my smile. I work very hard at it but the face just won’t co-operate. That’s how I tell my story when we meet. Yes, life has left me a little rough around the edges but I’m really glad to see you even if I don’t know you. That’s what my smile would say if I had one.
I rode the bus home this week after having a rough breakfast meeting with my ex-husband. After a 2 hour verbal tug of war with him, and a lot of walking to the bank, notary and fax center as well as shopping for the few groceries I could carry, I was tired and ready to get home. The bus was completely full. Just as a few seats emptied, a couple got on with their grandson. He was around 3 or 4 and had to sit on grandma’s lap first then moved over to grandpa. I so wanted to smile my trusty “you are so adorable” smile at him but it just wouldn’t materialize. Out of a bus full of strangers, one small boy that couldn’t figure out why my face was crooked was what I cared about. He’s the one I wanted to explain it to but of course that wasn’t possible. Now grandma, she had a nice smile and I carried it with me all those blocks from the bus stop home. Her smile said that little boy made all of the hard stuff worthwhile.

So how do we express ourselves without the face? A lot of the people I see don’t speak the same language. Nor would I verbally say what I feel to strangers or oftentimes even to family or friends. But the face can express lots of emotions that all languages can understand. Maybe my lack of expression was why it took 2 hours to end the tug of war. Expressions are how we decide if we want to get to know someone better. That’s what my face would say. “I want to get to know you better.”

From my heart to yours,