As someone once said, “You are not just one person but three: The one you think you are; the one other people think you are; and the person you really are.”
Allow me to add, “With each passing decade, being who you really are is the most fun; and, achieving that self-assurance has a lot to do with reaching get-real-hallmarks along the way.”
I can remember reaching my first get-real-hallmark at the savvy age of 6 when I plea-bargained with Momma about loaning me some red lipstick to match my new princess dress. After winning, my self-confidence soared.
Another get-real-hallmark happened a few decades later when I learned to anticipate trouble before it happened. After my spouse began creating a marital problem, I can remember simply laying down on the couch before arguing.
The truth be told, I prefer the cooling down phase of life after turning 50 because get-real-hallmarks are easier to live with.
Because the question, “How could I have done or said such a stupid thing?” doesn’t come up as often.
Last week, I navigated yet other get-real-hallmark when I renewed my driver’s license. Fully convinced that driver’s license photos are the biggest image destroyers in the country, I waited my turn to be photographed.
During that long wait, I decided that I’d try my hand at flirting.
“Why?” Well, if you saw my last driver’s license photo you’d understand the need to convince the photographer that I didn’t want the real me so graphically emphasized again.
It was a horrible photo that zoomed in on my face to magnify double chins and accumulated age spots. Every time I had to show it for photo ID purposes, my ego would die and the viewer would shudder.
Anyway, when my number was finally called, I did my best sashay up to the photographer’s desk. After handing him my old driver’s license, I allowed time for him to shudder before asking with a flirting twinkle in my eye, “Horrible isn’t it? I hope you are a better photographer than the last person.”
Without so much as an encouraging word, he pointed in the direction of a cold, metal chair. Obeying his directions, I took a seat and heard him say, “I’ll do my very best” as I looked up to see a blinding flash.
Not given the opportunity to strike the pose I had been practicing all morning, I was convinced that my dream of a rainbow photo of beauty had been once again destroyed.
However, two minutes later, I was delighted to discover that the finished photo was like a reflection in a dew drop that minimized the reality of aging.
Holding the driver’s license close to my chest, I headed toward the exit with a happy tear laying down a track in my thick makeup.
When I turned to mouth another, “Thank you,” I received a thumbs up from a truly get-real-photographer who captured the person I really am … in a beautiful way.
Leba has been a contributing columnist, feature writer and photographer to the Banner for 10 years. Leba.email@example.com