Today we celebrated my grandmother, Miriam’s, 92nd birthday.  She’s pretty remarkable.  While she is somewhat hard of hearing, she lives by herself, shops for herself, and even takes care of her friends.  And she never, ever misses her weekly beauty salon appointment.  No matter when I see her, her hair is coiffed and strawberry blonde.

And, boy, you should see her in pictures from decades ago.  Even in some of the recent pics, she looks elegant.

Every so often, when I visit, I’ll look like something the cat dragged in and she notices.  In a grandmotherly way, she’ll point out the benefits of a little lipstick and blusher.  “Even just a little color makes a difference,” she would say.

But don’t think for a second that her only currency is her looks.  She’s an extremely bright woman who reads a ton, kills the NY Times crossword puzzles, and spent her later years continuing her education in multiple ways.  And for over decade, she cared for my grandfather in their home as he suffered from Alzheimer’s.

My grandmother is clearly a strong woman.  Her attention to her looks over the years isn’t just a typical reaction of women from her era, but a way of expressing that strength, and showing the world that she has pride in who she is.

A little bit of blusher and lipstick don’t just brighten up my face.  It tells the world I care about me, and that I’m a confident woman.

Thank you grandma for this wisdom.  Happy Birthday, and may you have many more years of hair salon appointments.

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