Sometimes I Surprise Myself

I catch a glimpse of myself in a window or mirror as I pass, and I am astonished to realize that the person I see is Me. It’s not so much that I’m horrified or amused by my rapid slide into aging’s odd forms of pseudo-disguise, by my generally slovenly dishevelment after rigorous housecleaning or gardening, or by my bizarre thoughtlessness about what I left the house wearing (though any of those might conceivably play a role from time to time); mostly, it’s just that I don’t really think that much in general about what I look like and so it always catches me very slightly off guard. My spouse tells me he finds me attractive, and that’s all I care much about, as my appearance goes, short of anyone finding me visually repellant, and thus far, no one has admitted that one to montageFortunately, the same spouse who is stuck looking at me more than any other person has also acted as my barber and general appropriate-dress consultant for the last eighteen years or so, so if he doesn’t like what he sees, he’s free to recommend a different outfit or cut my hair in a new way. This last summer’s road trip, while it didn’t make it impossible to cut my hair, made it inconvenient enough that we decided to just experiment with growing it out longer than two or three weeks’ worth as has been the norm for all these years. It was mostly just a laziness-motivated decision on my part, but after a couple of extra weeks I started to like the idea of just seeing how my hair grew out after having been so uniformly short for a couple of montageTurns out, there’s some slight wave to my hair, an unexpected–ahem–turn after the last number of years having had pretty much straight hair, short as it was. I kind of like that what white hairs I have show up better with the slightly longer look too–an accent I like much better than my naturally bland brownette color. Hey, maybe the streaks of white will further highlight my pasty-pale complexion. Ha! Not for nothing that my Thai college roommate and her friends from home called me Princess Snow White!

I decided to celebrate my new/old (wink-wink) look by trying my hand at jewelry assembly last week, and concocted a necklace out of jewelry findings and parts plus a couple of items I already had among my collected miniature sculptural found-object goodies. While I’m obviously a neophyte at the whole practice of concocting jewelry, I was rather pleased with my little semi-Steampunk necklace, perhaps the more so because the first person who saw me wearing it the first time I did so was very complimentary. Given all of the new bits of image-tweaking, and having been asked by a couple of friends to update my Gravatar now that I have a tad more hair to show, it seems apropos to get around to it. In another slightly surprising event, I managed to take a photo in which my eyes remained open, I did not decapitate my self-portrait or get my usual wildly wiggly motion blur, and most amazingly of all, I don’t mind the picture terribly much. So here we go. Never know what I’ll surprise myself with

40 thoughts on “Sometimes I Surprise Myself

  1. I absolutely love this post! Kathryn, you are fabulous and quite the pro at selfies too! You must have had heaps of fun taking your beautiful and happy shots.
    Your hairstyle is equally as gorgeous as you are and your necklace is gorgeous!
    Thank you for sharing such a great post.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • I guess I did have fun taking the photos, though my dyslexia made it hilariously hard to figure out what I was seeing where, given all the mirrors in the dressing room where I took them, let alone remembering whether I was editing a (reversed) reflection or a (reversed, then re-oriented) reflection-of-a-reflection when I did the choosing and cropping/grouping of the shots. 😉 I’m glad you liked the post, sweet Mandy!

    • Are you kidding me? With those fabulous cheekbones and gorgeous sparkling eyes? You’d *rock* short hair. But your longer locks are so beautiful already, Teri, you can’t go wrong either way.

  2. A great post, Kathryn. As I have only known you with the ‘long’ hair (aside from the gravatar) I have nothing to compare it to, but I like it. The style suits you. Heather has been my barber and style consultant since we were married (32 years), because she cares more about what I look like than I do. She makes sure I don’t go out in public and embarrass myself (at least in my looks) 😉

  3. Such a lovely post. I like how you are not obsessed with your looks, like how most of the world is. It makes one more experimental, sportive and .. simply Fun! I like the jewelry and hair, beautiful.

  4. You are full of creative surprises, Kathryn. I, too, am always surprised when I see a picture of me with my eyes open. My family is equally surprised as I have the uncanny ability to keep my eyes open until the very moment when the picture is snapped.

  5. I LOVE the photo shoot! What a great, fun post. It’s funny…I know what I look like but the camera just never seems to capture that person any more. Must be the camera’s fault. I love funky jewelry and that necklace is fantastic.

    • Thanks, Diane, for such generous comments! I tend to dislike taking my own picture pretty much as intensely as I do having my photo taken by others, but given how much, on the other hand, I appreciate others’ being willing to share their portraits with me –especially all of the friends I’ve collected long-distance since the advent of the internet, and so would be unable to imagine them properly when we correspond–I figure I can just get over myself once in a while for an update! Still, I think I see pictures of myself kind of the way I hear my own voice when it’s recorded: as something detached and a little foreign and unfamiliar! Guess that says less about self-image and a lot more about how little we can really imagine how others see (and hear) us.

      I’m glad you like the necklace, too. 😉

      • Oh I know what you mean about the voice thing. I’ve always hated hearing my voice yet when my daughter was figure skating competitively the club would always ask me to announce. Never did understand that one myself.

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