I survived being photographed next to a legendary beauty, and no, I’m not talking about Darren. Christie Brinkley was voted one of Playboy’s 100 Sexiest Women of the 20th Century, ranked third in AskMen.com’s Top 10 Supermodels, and came in at number 16 on Men’s Health’s list of then 100 Hottest Women of All Time. Of. All. Time. Like, up there with Helen of Troy and Marilyn Monroe. Yup, she’s pretty pretty, all right. Even more so, considering she’s 64, and does not look a day over 40, even up close. Who WOULDN’T want to be photographed with her? But I had no choice, and if I ended up looking like her tired little brother, well, it could have been worse.


I am not unfamiliar with beauty. My mother was Miss Baie Comeau, if you don’t mind, and to this day, at the age of 84, she remains a total flirt, prone to saying things like “Men like women with fur around their faces” (Is that even true? Like sexy wolverines?) I have a cousin so beautiful that, at my wedding, two men asked her out, and she was there WITH HER HUSBAND. My friends are a good looking bunch: some get work done, others do not, and, frankly, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. My husband is a handsome man: just check out the 1984 University of Toronto Men on Campus calendar. He’s Mister September. As for our boys, well, let’s just say then Ronan once told a girl he was going to the Model UN, and she thought he was representing Canada. As a model.


The problem with beauty is that it fades, and there are few exceptions. Yes, Christie Brinkley is stunning at 64, and Jane Fonda is gorgeous at 80, but how hard do they have to work at it? How disciplined do they have to be with diet and exercise? How much surgery do they have to undergo? And is it worth it? I once interviewed Cybill Shepherd, another famous looker, and asked her, as diplomatically as I could, what kind of roles were being offered to her as an older actress. For some reason, she found this question so offensive she ended the interview. Okey dokey then.


All to say I appreciate attractive people, and make an effort to be one, but I don’t have the time/money/genetics to make it a full time occupation. As far as ageing is concerned, I have yet to do anything surgical, and Mister September has threatened to leave me if I do. I’ve stopped colouring my hair, and no longer wear super high heels and/or bikinis, especially not together. I don’t particularly want to get old, but it’s better than the alternative, and I suppose I should try to do it gracefully and gratefully.


Next up, I hope to be photographed next to Betty White.


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