Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Woman in the Glass

This ad for a designer faucet stopped me in my tracks.  I have felt this way most of my life. Well, at least since I first dipped into Little Women, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and the novels of Jane Austen.  The modern woman peering at an 18th century version of herself captured my imagination because I have often wondered what it would have been like to have lived in an earlier age.  My romantic notion of being a great heroine from one of my favorite books was later tempered when I matured and realized that most of the centuries I would have selected for myself were before central heating and indoor plumbing.

However, I am still entranced by trailing gowns, chaste courtships and love in other times.  A friend who knows some Hollywood types told me that Sense and Sensibility, the film production of Jane Austen's novel, is considered one of the most perfectly made movies and I agree.  The colors in the film, the images, the language and the loss and regain of love makes for a charming romantic escape to Georgian England.  Who wouldn't want to be Elinor Dashwood, the heroine who finally claims the heart of honorable and handsome Edward Ferrars?

I've discovered that my fancies have continued well into middle-age.  But now they manifest themselves in my desire to associate with courteous and genteel people who still keep their voices modulated when in public.  They manifest in the happy feeling I get when a little boy shyly holds a door open for me.  They manifest when I frequent shops where people are polite and make me feel welcomed.  And in the way I still care about dressing well.

As for love, gallantry in a relationship cannot be overstated.  The night my date helped me into my coat, my heart sang a song I hadn't heard in years.  If there were a puddle, I do believe he would have laid down his cloak for me.  Yes, I know the world is broken and far more complicated than the one the lass in the mirror faced.  And I know the past was not always what it seems to today's romantics.  Still, I reject overt cleavage, crassness, and vulgarity.  Instead, I seek out kind acts and perform as many as I can.  At times I feel like a dinosaur but I don't care.  The woman in my mirror keeps egging me on.

"The Woman in the Glass "

When you get what you want as your struggle for self
And the world makes you queen for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that woman has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or husband
Whose judgement upon you must pass;
The person whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

She's the person to please, never mind all the rest,
For she's with you clear up to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the woman in the glass if your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life,
And get pats on your back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears if you've cheated the woman in the glass.
~Dale Wimbrow


  1. Thank you for this reminder for me to remain grateful - my husband helped me into my coat this morning, like he does every morning, and I realized that I'd begun to take these small acts for granted. He's the consummate gentleman and it inspired me to jot him a note to say thank you.

  2. Awww...Amy...I'm so glad! He's a keeper from what you've told me. And he's helping you reach your dream of moving home!

    1. We just hired a real estate agent and are having so much fun!

  3. "But now they manifest themselves in my desire to associate with courteous and genteel people who still keep their voices modulated when in public."


  4. Amen and amen! I haven't met a gent like that in years and they do refresh the soul. The woman in the glass is our ultimate critic and gate-keeper. She who must be pleased!! Nicely put, Donna, so beautiful! Love this and believe it with all my heart. Thank you for these precious reminders.

  5. I love this phrase: "my desire to associate with courteous and genteel people who still keep their voices modulated when in public". I see that Miss Jacqueline likes it also! We should all be "dinosaurs".

  6. Good manners and courtesy are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts again. Christie