The Ugly Duckling (G-uno)

I handed “Bette Davis” a hand mirror so she could check out her hair. She pushed my hand away saying that she never looked in the mirror because she was too ugly to look at. Her facial expressions leave nothing to the imagination. She was not fishing for some sort of compliment, she was clearly disgusted by the thought of seeing her own reflection in the mirror. Then came the far away look of a person who has temporarily been transported to a another time in their life.

Bette was the only child of a German couple. Her mother was a stern woman who made it a point to reassure young Bette that even though she wasn’t much to look at, she was smart enough to make her mark in the world in a different way. She must of noticed the look of shock on my face, because she quickly defended her mother’s remark by saying “My mother was a very practical woman who didn’t believe that lying to a child would make their life any easier. She wanted me to be realistic.”

Bette  must have realized that no explanation of her mother’s comment would have brought me to a place of understanding, so in an almost scolding tone of voice said “Stop giving me the doe eyes. I saw myself in the mirror, and I realized I was an ugly duckling.” I knew that no compliment of my part could have erased a lifetime of embracing her mother’s harsh words, so I told her we would have to agree to disagree on this opinion.

Then the far away look returned, and Bette said that’s probably why her father had left them. “My mother, and I were both ugly ducklings. My mother raised me alone from the age of seven. My mother told me that she had not achieved any importance, that she had no title so the marriage could have never survived under those circumstances. If you were not born with good looks then you had better obtain a title of importance.”

Bette told me that her mother had always been disappointed by the fact that she had never been anything more than a divorced mother of six children. She went further to say that her husband had left her for a beautiful woman. She looked up at me, and said “I’m going to die without ever having been truly loved.” I quickly reminded her that she was very much loved by her children. I was desperate to erase that horrible thought. Bette just looked me straight in the eye, and said yes some of my children love me, but no one has ever loved me as their wife. It’s not the same thing, and you know that…”

18 thoughts on “The Ugly Duckling (G-uno)

          1. G-uno, I’m doing quite well actually. Lost some weight (slow but stead), started going to a salon again monthly to ‘treat myself’ and taking some time to figure out what I wanted to do with my diary/journal has been a good thing. I’m pulling the old (AnnieB) blog and my most recent one back together and taking it self-hosted so I can have control over what I choose to post. I will keep it private thought but I’ll send you a link if you want when I am finished.

            I am still checking out the Tai Chi schools here and would love to get started. I need it desperately.

            How are YOU?

          2. Please do send me the link. 🙂 I’m so happy that you’ve done so much in such a short amount of time. It would actually make some great posting material. 😉 I’m a hot mess over here. I’m working mad hours which I’m completely grateful for, and knee deep in wedding planning with our daughter. Finding the proper balance in life is key, and unfortunately not my superpower lol. Life just holds my interests in sooo many directions I am easily & willingly distracted. I need to follow your lead, and work on that. G-uno

          3. I was really feeling bad physically and I’m pretty sure it was bleeding over into the emotional highs and lows I was feeling.

            The wedding planning is enough of an energy drainer. You’ll have time when it’s over.

          4. Let’s do it, darling! Let’s kick this year in the ass and make it our bitch. Sorry – had to go all gansta

          5. Me too. It’s costing me too much to let myself slide and takes a much greater effort at this age to get back in the groove.

    1. High praise indeed from one of my most favorite writers! Thank you so much. The “Universe” always seems to lead me to the most beautiful souls! How are you my friend? G-uno

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