Back When I Was Pretty

Old photos do not lie.

They capture what they see is real.

You cannot hide your taste, your mood, your you.

Back when I was pretty,

I mugged for the camera.

Coquettish. Vogueing. Like Madonna.

Lithe, tanned and young.

Those were the days, my friend.

Who thought they’d ever end?

My world was small,

And I was large within it.

Work to workout, gym to home.

Back then,

Being pretty was all-important.

It opened doors and closed deals.

It made me, me.

I wanted to be that girl!

Beauty Is Not Skin Deep

Then something happened.

Life caught up.

I changed, matured, came to.

I put away childish things,

Flirtatious thoughts.

I grew up in a big fat hurry,

My adult life now fraught with worry.

Responsibility came crashing down,

Like bricks and stones.

Laying the foundation of a new life,

From carefree single to once again wife.

And daughter, too!

And mother, sister, friend and aunt.

No thought of turning back

The clock. Tick tock.

Time marches on.

The years spin by.

Illness, death, recovery, bills,

Must deal with all, no booze or pills.

My cares external,

Me, maternal,

Others’ woes take center stage.

So this is what it’s like to feel your age!

Pastel chalk drawing.Jason Art from the 1980s   www.flickr.com/photos/13282622@N06/2660574377/
Pastel chalk drawing.Jason Art from the 1980s www.flickr.com/photos/13282622@N06/2660574377/

Back when I was pretty,

My life was mine to claim.

Alas, through tardy tears,

I see the squandering of years.

The mirror’s harsh reality

Shows truth I can't deny.

I see the error of my ways,

The selfish nights and crazy days,

The fact is this: I was not happy.

Today I find a bit each day.

And looks fade naturally, anyway.

Besides, I am still pretty …

…Pretty damned strong!

More by this Author


Comments 71 comments

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Ain't that the truth! Grow old disgracefully, who is going to argue? try it, be you.

lOVED this poem,Mom


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Let's grow old disgracefully together. I'll bring the pickles.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks. Grow old. Period. Too late for the "die young and leave a lovely corpse" so might as well go out with a bang! Thanks for the comment, Hawkesdream! Always a pleasure to see you! MM


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

That sounds like a plan! The other night Laughing Mom and I were talking about getting together for a movie "date" with butter-slathered popcorn and peanut M&Ms. No reason we can't add pickles and any other food we damned well feel like eating!

My new motto: No one ever got pulled over for driving under the influence of chocolate:-)!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Pickles was the first word that came into my head. Chocolate, on reflection, is a much wiser choice, on many levels.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

I'll bring the ice cream. Even with pickles (AND chocolate -- good substitution) no one will mistake our bellyfat for pregnancy:-)!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Love this, MM.  Sooo true on so many levels.  That's why I say "Youth is wasted on the young".  Maybe if we'd looked the way we look now back in our twenties, and *then* blossomed into slim and wrinkle-free now, we'd have the wisdom of age early on.  Just a thought.

No one ever got pulled over for driving under the influence of chocolate?  Obviously you've never heard of liqueur-filled bon bons...  ;D


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

LOL JamaGenee. Of COURSE I have heard of them. Just that you'd have to eat/drink quite a few to blow a .08. Maybe I should amend to, "No one every got arrested for driving under the influence of ice cream."

I've made peace (mostly) with the fact that our bodies are designed to attract male attention so that we can breed and perpetuate the species. Once that job is done, we no longer have to attract men so our bodies naturally "ripen." Perhaps this is why they look to younger women?


raiderfan profile image

raiderfan 7 years ago from Arizona

very cool.


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Great poem Mighty Mom. God knows, you speak the truth. Sometimes I glance at my reflection in a mirror and have to take a second look; it that my mom I thought?

Well, its inevitable, but I'm not going out like that though...


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

Dynamic, sometimes I catch sight of myself in the mirror and think, "Who's that old bat? Oh, it's me."


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

A beautiful poem, Mom. Ah, the lamentations of lost youth. The young don't understand it. They think it will go on forever. But, alas, it is not to be. Thank you for sharing. It touched me.


Pachuca213 7 years ago

I loved this...and I can relate to this alot...LOVE YA MM and your wise words of poetry!! And you are still pretty!


Laughing Mom profile image

Laughing Mom 7 years ago

Back when you were pretty? MM--look at your avatar! You're beautiful!!!!

But life back then was so much easier, wasn't it?

Movie is about to start. The popcorn is done.


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

LOL loved this MM. I am beginning to see the glory of the bigger plan though - I make sure not to wear my glasses when I look in the mirror and the reflection stays as it is in memory (except for that occasional odd hair - what's up with that?). I considered bio-identical hormones at one point but decided Suzanne Sommers can keep the looks, I'll enjoy the end of the monthly female surprises - don't miss that a bit! Did you say chocolate? YES! And attitude? We've earned it. Give me a purple hat and let me enjoy each day without all those youthful (useless) worries

If I were you though, I'd post the saying, "life starts at 40" - cause you look like a brand new babe to me!


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

I just hate that I wasted my "pretty" days not realizing I was "pretty". And I sure know that feeling of the glance in the mirror (or seeing the occasional photo) and thinking to myself, who is THAT? Great poem, MM!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

My goodness. I seem to have really struck a nerve with the other "ladies of a certain age." I think what bothers me most is that it seems to have happened so quickly, when I wasn't paying attention. But -- I wouldn't trade what I've got now. And that definitely includes the coolest, most beautiful friends on the internet.

And that definitely includes the courageous males in our midst. Special thanks to Raiderfan and James A Watkins for coming by. Makes me feel like I still CAN catch a man's eye:-).

Ok. Time to settle into our comfy chairs. Pass the popcorn, LM!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

MM you have a pretty good hold on your life I'm sure...what do mirrors know? :)


dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

I agree with Laughing Mom, you still must turn many heads.

Lovely poem, I could quite identify with it.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Back when you were pretty that must mean that now you are beautiful!! Wonderful hub with feelings that I can totally relate to!!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

FP, Dianacharles and TM, thank you. I'm a bit surprised that so many other women hubbers can relate to my poem. Guess I'm not as "terminally unique" as I thought I was:-). Thanks for visiting and for your support. MM


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Really enjoyed this MM. Even if I could, I really would not go back to younger days. Then, I had a whole set of totally different problems.

I really like being older and actually having some financial freedom.I also have some white hairs but puh-shah - much better to be able to do what you want and think what you want and not have to suffer fools. :D


nazishnasim 7 years ago

MM

That was straight from the heart. Whenever I look myself in the mirror , I long for the look when I was 18 ... age is showing , just too soon. Being young is all about being pretty ... it is your strength , it is your weapon ... it is your confidence. But perhaps as life changes its face , our other 'strengths' get unraveled (as mentioned by you too) ...

Simply, Beautiful Verses! :)


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

That is a beautiful poem, and so true for most of us! I find being older better, not as many pressures.

dori


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well hello, Shibashake. Long time no see. Thanks for visiting! Agree about different set of problems and not suffering fools anymore. Or at least, not nearly as often:-).

Nazishnasim -- Sounds like we both have learned that looks are not the most important attribute. Now if I could look like 18 and still know what I know today... I'm still not sure I'd go for that!

Fortunerep -- Amen! Thanks for sharing your perspective, especially since it matches mine:-)! MM


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

Well at least you were pretty. I was NEVER pretty.


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Awww Tom - You are very pretty to me! ;)


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 7 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

I think it's wonderful insight and gracious maturity to redefine 'pretty' as happy and strong. Nice journey, thank you.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Tom, You underestimate your beauty. You have INNER beautyf. Shibashake -- you tell him! Russ and Greggy. Thanks for visiting.


pgrundy 7 years ago

Oh I love this! I too have passed out of my pretty era, but I am so much happier now, even though everything is sagging and not quite right. It's true: Youth is wasted on the young. Enjoyed this MM, thanks!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Ah,my dear friend BCC. You are a genuine charmer, you are. I am glad you look at your life that way -- no regrets. And I'm even more glad that we've both gotten to/ended up where we are today! Cheers, mate. MM


Artisan Walker profile image

Artisan Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I would say 'What do you mean "back when you WAS?!"' but I tend to say 'I used to be young and pretty,' so I won't bug you about it. And besides, none of those women ever look as good without their staff of make-up people, perfect lighting, and airbrush. Don't let 'em fool you. Ever seen Oprah with no make-up?! Alas, it's not a pretty thing ...

But, you ARE pretty.

PS: Please don't call me Artie (or Art). There's negative conotations. CW will do. I'll know who you mean.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, you are too kind. I was really only kidding about calling you "Artie." I'll try on "AW" and see if it feels right. Hope you are doing well, my friend. Your voice has been noticeably missing from these hallowed pages. Glad to see you again. MM


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Great poem MM yeah getting older Is unavoidable unfortunately , I am closin In on half a century now . But you look cute to me so grace has certainly been a gift given to you . I myself I hope I am a little wiser but I do get tired of being looked at as some emptyheaded beefcake !


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Tony, for an emptyheaded beefcake you sure do have a lot of genuine charm! I'll try to make a point not to objectify you so much anymore:-). Thx for visiting. MM


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Great going, Mighty!  I love the way you close this one!  Way better to be strong than pretty, if you ask me.  If bad comes to worse, you can fake "pretty", now strong... that's a lot harder to fake! Laugh

PS: You look pretty to me on your avatar! But more to the point, you look HAPPY and self assured and in control!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks mucho Elena. As I am fond of saying, "Takes one to know one!" You're so right. It's hard to fake strong. But if I look happy and self-assured and in control, that's an example of "fake it till you make it." A good reminder to me that at one time not too long ago I was those things and will be again. Cuz I gots the tools and the hubber friends to deal with anything that comes my way! MM


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

That can't be about you MM as you are a smasher (hugs)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

LOL, BP. See my response to Elena above. Takes one to know one. Love ya (or as they say here on HP, "lurve" ya). Thx so much for stopping. Wish I could stay and engage this morning. Later, perhaps! Go rouse a little rabble for me, will ya? Thx much. MM


ChristineSheridan profile image

ChristineSheridan 7 years ago from Cleveland Ohio USA

All we need now is red hats and purple dresses, something my 2year old daughter knows already. I'm not waiting!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

LOL, Christine! And why should you? I just recently changed my avatar from a pic of me in a large red hat. I used to have a favorite purple dress and wore it with red tights (was quite the fashion parrot back in the late 1980s!). I hope your daughter grows up loving strong colors and appreciating/aspiring to be a strong woman like her mommy! MM


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

MM

what is pretty anyway? there are pretty girls everywhere. but what you have, what you are and what you know, now that's precious and rare ! :D


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Cris, you say the nicest things. That's a lovely comment. Thank you, dear friend. MM


Iðunn 7 years ago

aging is difficult for us all, but this one makes it more fun. astute observations.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Wow! This hit home with a bang! love the honesty. Great poem...really enjoyed it. Want to read more of your stuff.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you , Alekhouse! Judging by your avatar, you are a classic and timeless beauty:-)! MM


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

We are definately kindred spirits..... not quite given up yet. Going to salon to have my beard shaved off today ... joking I am having a manicure and pedicure,well I deserve it.... Brilliant hub...


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Brenda, I won't tell anyone about the chin waxing:-). But yes, we do deserve to pamper ourselves!!


advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

Amen.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Enjoyed this piece immensely. Amazing how the years have a way of changing not only appearances but perspective.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Advisor4qb and Peggy, Thanks for visiting and sharing in the spirit of my poem. All in all, I wouldn't trade what I have now. And I bet you wouldn't either! Cheers. MM


S Lynn Mitchell profile image

S Lynn Mitchell 7 years ago from Las Vegas

This is absolutely awesome. I saw that title "Back When I Was Pretty" and I didn't quite know what to expect. I think every woman should feel that she is pretty, awesome, brave, smart, glorious, everyday of her life. I really love you words--great inspiration and motivation!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi S. Lynn Mitchell, Thank you for visiting and commenting. I also saw and appreciated your comment on my hub about Patty the cat. Love your attitude and will do my best to reclaim that inner beauty -- because that is what is most important anyway! Glad to know you and happy hubbing!


lisakprice profile image

lisakprice 7 years ago from Ohio

OMG MM - This hit me right in the chest! I have been feeling really lousy lately about "those were the days" and such. Thanks so much for sharing and relating! L


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Lisa, A hearty welcome to this club. Where we're shifting our body image to synch with who we are today.Living in the present. And being a a heckuva lot more creative than we ever could have been at 25!

Thanks for reading. I hope your chest recovers:-). MM


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

Mighty Mom,

Thanks for this hub.

I remember that song by Janis Ian too....it used to make me sad even back then.

You've described life as it is; reality check.

But still good! Life is good!

Well done.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you, Brenda. I think I was under 17 when that song by Janis Ian was popular:-).


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

You have expressed a widely held sentiment very well. When I was pretty I didn't know it. I took up a lot of my energy looking after myself. Now... well I'd better go clear up the first round of breakfast and set the table for my mother-in-laws breakfast. Then consult the list to see what' next today. (That's if life sticks to the list.) etc.

Great poem.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi 2patricias. I can tell you're right there with me. It's no longer all about "me" is it? And if it were, think of all the family life we would be missing out on.

And yea, I've totally give up on lists. Life comes at you -- ready or not! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. MM


Moment in Time profile image

Moment in Time 5 years ago

Mighty Mom

I can so relate this! You have an amazing talent! I look back on my youth and remember what was so important then compared to now. Thats why they say "Older and Wiser"


Laura du Toit profile image

Laura du Toit 5 years ago from South Africa

Great Poem and so close to home ( for most of us anyway )


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

For some women, a moment happens when they realize they may not be pretty anymore, but they're beautiful - and the inner self shines through like it never did before. Hope that moment's happened for you!


kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

Susan, this was just a jewel!

And something I certainly needed to hear today

so

I thank you girl

embrace our truth and we will find a freedom we did not know. I am whoever I say I am!

cheers

kimberly


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

I think a vote up is all needed here! Everything has been said! And thanks for the inspiration to finally nudge me into the "about me" THE REAL ME hub I am about to do as soon as I finish what I'm working on!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks Katharella! You know who the "REAL ME" is, eh? Good for you!!


Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

Well, other than ME.. :) lol I actually did a hub, with a poem, inspired by this hub! So I extend a thank you as well!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Very nice poem mighty mom, and it's very true too. I think as you get older, your priorities tend to change over time. Hell, I remember back when I was a boy the only concerns I had outside of worrying about not pissing off my father was trying to fit in with the rest of the kids. However, as I've gotten older, my priorities have really changed a lot since then. Although unlike yourself, i was never that attractive to the opposite sex. Well maybe back in elementary school, but i was always too shy around girls that I liked that i would often freeze up. long story. lol.

Anyways, i had a lot of fun reading this, as i'll be sure to rate this up. it's very beautiful. although we do age over time, the one thing that never does is one's heart unless we allow it. And from where I'm standing MM, i think you definitely have a good heart. :)


PeanutButterWine profile image

PeanutButterWine 4 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

ahh the transition from teen to twenties to now thirties

(for me) and I feel every word you have written here. Old, careworn, and full of regrets, beauty really is wasted on the young, and where the hell did all these wrinkles come from?! ;) Great Hub!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Not sure what I can say to make it better. I've got 20 years on you. Thirties are the golden years but every decade has blessings.

Don't worry about the wrinkles. Worry if your life doesn't give you the challenges to obtain new wrinkles:-)!

Thanks for commenting, PBW. MM


Justsilvie 4 years ago

Wonderful Poem. And I love the above quote about wrinkles.

As I head for a workout I realize it is not to look pretty these days! :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well, Justsilvie,

Your avatar is beautiful and I know that the woman behind it is beautiful, too.

Thank you for your comment.

MM

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    Susan Reid (Mighty Mom)2,336 Followers
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    Mighty Momis a keen observer of life. She hubs to share her personal experiences and opinions in helpful, and often amusing ways.


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