My friend took up serious photography last year and discovered a gift for it. Last week she cajoled me into making a spectacle of myself on the beach and produced the best photographs I have ever seen of me. (She gets extra points for achieving it with a supremely self-conscious subject hissing "people are looking at us" the whole time.)
Her talent lies in portraits so, for the first time, I was looking at me. Not whether the clothes are hanging right, the number of chins, halved or the bad bits, hidden. Just me. Even as I was raving about the photography and mailing albums saying "look at me", I was registering one simple truth: it is no longer the face of a girl. It was not a shock, merely a realisaton.
Searching Facebook today for some friends I'd lost touch with, I found others bearing the same surname and a distinct resemblance. I was looking at their teenaged children. The kids we played with and made guilty promises to as we dolled up to go out without them have girlfriend and boyfriend problems and are going clubbing themselves. Which makes me... well, as I said, some of the years are showing. But judging by the photos, they've not done a bad job so far, which is really all I ask.
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