The lip pencil of invisibility. And a grown-up woman’s request for JK Rowling.

Are you fraying round the edges? I’m not too bad, but then I never smoked –  not much, anyway. I did buy two packets of Gitanes when I was at university so I could stick the packets on my wall. I smoked them too – well, waste not, want not. And I did go through a brief cigarillo phase, in my mid-twenties. Long, elegant, they made you feel like Lauren Bacall. Or perhaps that was just me.

But I digress.

When lips start fraying around the edges, lip pencil becomes your friend. No more the smile of Coco the Clown where once you were Coco Chanel. You draw a line, set boundaries, get tough with slippy lippy. Though sometimes, I have to say, you do end up looking like one of those poor souls who actually took the ads for permanent make-up seriously. Tattoo your lips? Ooh no. Your eyes? Eeeek.

And then there’s clear mascara. What? You don’t get it? Eyebrows, my dear.  Bernard Ingham. Groucho Marx. Enough said.

It’s sad, but true, that the older you get the more your preening time is spent in mitigation not enhancement. And for what? Does anyone actually notice? Will it stop the gaze of passers-by from sliding right over you as if you’re not there?

My dad used to repeat a  rhyme:

the other day upon the stair I met a man who wasn’t there,

he wasn’t there again today…

I realise now he got the gender wrong.

Take the bike shop man. I’ve shopped in his shop, bought a wonderful (plum-coloured) bike from his collection. Discussed saddles and helmets. Lights and gears. I’ve even been in a meeting with him.

He doesn’t recognise me. Walks past me in the street. Turns round, with a  frown, several paces later, when he – perhaps – remembers.

Women of a certain age.

Something happens.

No need for an invisibility cloak.

We just vanish.


And it’s not just the visual thing. When you finally do notice a woman who’s over – well whatever I’m over – you start to see just that – a woman, nothing more. A mum, a nan, an auntie. No past, no personality, no added dimensions.

Yes, it happens a bit with men – you do that, ‘ah, what a nice old man’ thing – well, until he pats your bottom or winks with a leer or sneers at your idle chatter. But if you thought a bit more you’d wonder what he did – for a living I mean – wouldn’t you? And if you wondered, you’d think about things like bus driver, tax collector, bank robber. Not dad, uncle, grandpa.

The other day upon the station (not the stair) a woman with silver hair and a fuzzy Kangol hat smiled at me with lips that – yes – had frayed, just a tad. But her lipstick was applied with care and beneath the hat she was buttoned up tight in a smart, beige, suede jacket. I’d have ruined it in no time. Tomato sauce. Or newsprint.

I returned her smile and that was it. On the Liverpool line chatting’s obligatory. We nattered our way into town. In twenty minutes I learned she had been a lecturer, that she’s a lawyer, a mother of four, a mature student.

The shame of it. I’d looked at that hat and that hair – and those smartly slicked, lipsticked lips – and saw just a nice, older, woman. I’d never have guessed she’d been a lecturer, or a lawyer.


I have no answer. I just don’t like it.

And so, here’s my request for JK Rowling.

Dear JK,

Please could you invent a cloak of visibility?

Not for our fraying lips and bushy eyebrows, comfy midriffs or laughter lines, but for us. Whoever we are.

Whatever we have – or haven’t – done.

As well as being women.


Yours sincerely,

A woman. Wearing lip pencil. And clear mascara.

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177 Responses to The lip pencil of invisibility. And a grown-up woman’s request for JK Rowling.

  1. Beth says:

    Memoirs of your husk! Hey honey, you’ve got a nice kernel!


  2. Elizabeth S Ferguson says:

    You are very clever , lots of love your older sister who must be past it completly if you feel like that !!!



  3. wewerenothing says:

    Ha ha ha. Good one.


  4. I honestly sometimes feel like the only middle-aged woman who feels as if she became VISIBLE as she approached 50. I had the ugly experience in my 20s and 30s of truly feeling invisible, as in someone who no one ever saw because they were too busy gaping. Maybe if I had been content ot be a trophy wife or a golddigger, it would have been okay to get smirked at and regarded as am amusing talking dog when I would step into a conversation. Nowdays, I am finally being treated as someone who says thing and thinks things and actually has a brain. Invisible? Not even a little bit — more like finally becoming a human being after three-four decades of being potential arm candy whose ideas and ambitions were alternately amusing and inconvenient.

    The secret is that you only get to wear the cloak of visibility if you aren’t in mourning for the plastic face that the world made you wear for the first four decades of your life. You have to have spent that time refusing to wear the stupid thing and chucking it away every time someone tried to stick it on your face. Seriously. You don’t get to wear the cloak of invisibility if you resent having to wear it. First chance I got, I dove for the thing. You could promise to take twenty years off my life in trade for it, and you’d have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.


    • Interesting. I suspect you and I have had different experiences of life! I am interested in the phenomenon I wrote about and ashamed that I fell into the trap of judging someone by external appearance. This was a wish, tinged with sadness, that we could all, of whatever age, treat each other as interesting people and not make assumptions based on the superficial. Thank you for commenting.


      • martinboroughartdepartment says:

        I love your explanation of your post, that indeed we need to see beyond the first glance of anyone, that we all are filled with interest and stories and memories and history and dreams yet hatched. Your post also made me glad I lived fully in my twenties and thirties when the general public have more of a tendency to notice!


      • Ms Boots says:

        Actually, that’s not how I read your piece. In fact your entire blog was quite gender specific. No?
        Having said that, I understand why you (and many other women of “a certain age” for that matter) might feel this way. I just happen to find it extremely sad that it should be so in the 21st century.
        To me the saddest thing about the phenomenon you’ve describe is the fact that some women would actually care whether the man (or woman, for that matter) who sold us a push-bike, or a kilo or apples, or sat next to us on a train would actually remember us long past the encounter. I put it to you that most men wouldn’t give two hoots… let alone devote hours of thought to it.
        Obviously you’re not “invisible”. You are visible enough for the transaction to have taken place. You’re visible enough to allow you to do the things you want to do despite your age, gender or the fact that your lippy might have migrated past its intended border. In truth, what you’re bemoaning isn’t, in fact, your “invisibility”… but rather the fact that you’re not getting the validation from outside sources you somehow believe you rightly deserve.

        Which raises some questions. Are we truly a gender so needy of validation that we seek it in everyone we meet? Are we really so lacking in self esteem that we rely so much on the attention of random strangers in order to confirm our self-worth? If so, the feminist movement… all three waves of it… has failed us and we, as women, haven’t evolved at all. Sad indeed.


        • I just wrote a long reply to you and have now discovered why things keep vanishing – my brother-in-law’s mouse is different from mine and has a clicker on the side which close the window – aaargh! In brief, I said the responses to this blog are telling me I do not know what I really think about this issue, other than that I was very disappointed in myself for underestimating someone based on her appearance. And as for the bike shop man, to put this in context, the shop is round the corner, walking distance from my house, on a street of shops where in most of the shops I use the shopkeepers and I are on first name terms. I don’t think I’m seeking validation – if I am then I agree it is sad! Thanks for the thoughtful response. I’m clicking reply now before I lose it again.


  5. bdh63 says:

    I only get noticed if my kids are with me — particularly my little four year old girl with her wild red curls. Otherwise, I’m the invisible woman. I solve the lipstick problem by wearing none at all. Gives me lots of time to think, plot and create characters.


  6. jans55redletters says:

    So much for growing old gracefully, we can only live in hope that we don’t disappear that quick!


  7. alphablueeyes says:

    You bring up an interesting point. People don’t see each other for who they are, its just based on appearance. I wish the world was less superficial but unfortunately that’s just how it is, for most people.


  8. segmation says:

    So, have you heard from JK yet?


  9. Jennie Saia says:

    Yes, this – so truthful and beautifully articulated! I have no fear of aging except the inevitable health concerns; in fact I’m looking quite forward to caring even less about what others think about the things that come out of my mouth. However. The other day I passed a man on the street who proposed marriage to me on the spot (it was, of course, just a piece of flattery, but still…) It made me think, for the first time, “Hey, I wonder how much longer that will go on?” Ocurrances like this are already pretty rare for me, and while it’s not something I would have said I *liked,* I think it might be something I miss.

    If you ever find a way to make that cloak, may I borrow the pattern? I’d like to be as visible as possible for as long as possible. And – to be clear – it’s only about 3% for the men on the street, and about 97% because I’d hate for the world at large to assume I have no ability to dazzle them.


  10. roseytoes says:

    How refreshing, I’ve actually stumbled upon someone who not only can write, but who has something to say AND it’s even something I can relate to. I didn’t think there were any coherent women my age to relate to, here on WordPress, but maybe there’s hope. Where’s the ‘follow’ button…ah, got it. Yes, I’ve been invisible for a while now. It’s a word I use often. I recently was invisible in my divorce–my in laws didn’t see me; my husband hadn’t seen me for a decade or so; FOUR judge’s didn’t see, hear or even smell me. My attorney didn’t see me, and neither did his boss, so I sued their two asses, and the firm, for legal malpractice. And won. I think they’ll see me when they have to sign the settlement papers.

    Invisible Women drink red wine so you can see them.


    • Oh yes, red, red wine, great colour! Thank you so much and I wish you all the best. Hope you find more you like…


    • Ann Sowards says:

      Ha Ha, Roseytoes, right on! I am well over 60 and of the opinion that smart older women are like stealth missiles: they never see us coming but we can creat a hell of a hole in their world. I’ve surprised quite a few people who thought they were getting away with something. I’m sure they never look at an older woman quite the same way again.


  11. betunada says:

    i would sus/ex/pect you are bein’ jess a tadd diffycult on/about yerself.
    and i also supectulate you’ve gawtta lawt more than your great sense of humour!


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  13. Nikki says:

    Oh my, what grace and humour – loved it. Such razor-sharp observations that shook something free inside of me; more please! x


  14. I know what you mean, but we all have a history and it’s worth telling.


  15. cwfact says:

    Reblogged this on cwfact and commented:
    Thats Pretty Awesome Snap
    Appreciate It


  16. The Rider says:

    may all women be treated with the respect they deserve…. I see you…


  17. shelagh78 says:

    Enjoyed your post and you have me smiling this TGIF! I am at the age of “what-ever” and you know I have discovered something…………with age……………there is much more than “just looks” and I have found my confidence and personality growing along with my age……. I have found a focus and passion for life “my identity” which has nothing to do with beauty anymore and trust me people are remembering me now:-) However……………..yes, it was so nice when we had that “visibility”!


  18. craftysorcha says:

    Very interesting thought provoking post. I’m in my early/mid-thirties and and just the change from being call “Mademoiselle” to “Madame” is unsettling, never mind the lines and grey hairs! I just read this book: about “invisible” women, it’s very funny and interesting, and related to what you are writing about.


  19. Love this idea! I just had that thought looking in the mirror the other day – that women start to fade away after a certain age. I hate to wear eyeliner but otherwise my eyes kind of blend in to my face. Cloak of visibility – great idea!


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  21. hmunro says:

    This is extraordinary — both because of your keen observations, and because of the quality of your writing. I hope JK Rowling sees your post and grants your request. You deserve to be seen. And heard, as well!


  22. I love the way you say “You draw a line, set boundaries, get tough,” and how that doesn’t just apply to lip liner but to life in general. Well done.


  23. Zen Doe says:

    What a wonderfully written post. If a visibility cloak is invented, please contact me immediately!! 🙂


  24. That was a very interesting and well-written article. I enjoyed reading it and I do symphatise with you. I feel that today we tend to be too superficial and take people and faces for granted without thinking that each person has their own history, which is probably very interesting…

    So, together with your apt request for a visibility cloak, perhaps I should add some sight cleaning potion… not that there was ever anything of the sort in the Harry Potter novels, but it would be a potion that would make us see clearly and not mechanically like we normally do.

    By the way, I am male 🙂

    Keep up the good work!


  25. Yes, for “whatever we have or haven’t done” we have all lived lives of interest.


  26. EllaDee says:

    Freshly Pressed has come up with a gem, this time. I rarely indulge in a browse through their selections, but you tempted me. As far as the topic, all I can say is yep, I know. I can’t say the invisiility bothers me much… occasionally I’ll shake my head in wonder, and despite it being somewhat fashionable to naysay it, I never minded being visible either, or took offence.
    I had a humourous experience a few weeks ago at a 30th school reunion of being in a small group of 47-48 year old women, waiting in the early evening to cross at a traffic light, and the young bloke waiting near us wandered up a little further to wait… I thought maybe we looked a little too much like hen’s nighters… we were definitely visible 😉


    • Thank you for those kind words. And I like your traffic light story. I can almost see it… And yes, occasionally I shake my head in wonder too, it doesn’t bother me much either really, but I didn’t like finding myself making assumptions about others too. Another commenter suggested ‘sight cleaning potion’ might make a better wish than a cloak of visiblity and I think I agree!


  27. nantubre says:

    ummm – confession: I went the way of permanent eyeliner. Yep, because I’m afraid my aging eyes won’t be able to see, much less, draw a straight line on my eyelid before long! When I save enough money, I’m going for the eyebrows too. But not the lip liner. No, I think I’ll draw the line there.
    Thanks for this post. I appreciate your train of thought!


    • Oops, sorry! I saw someone with the lip thing done and the skin had stretched so it looked like dots rather than a line… I’m sure your eyes will look great! I never could do eye liner anyway!


  28. nantubre says:

    Oh, and by the way, I’m with you on the visible cloak. I don’t want to be invisible – I’m better now than I ever was, whether anyone agrees or not. I find aging to be a good thing!


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  30. Stuck says:

    I so agree. The invisible sisterhood, fading before your very eyes.


  31. When I turned 50 I noticed I had suddenly become invisible. I didn’t like it at all and had quite a crisis around it. When I turned 60 I decided to reinvent myself – It’s taken a few years but I’m there – suddenly people are seeing ME again – I don’t know how long it will last, but hopefully until JK comes up with the goods! Great post, I like your style!


    • Thanks! It’s a two edged sword I think, gives you room to be odd as well as being occasionally irritating. JK hasn’t said anything yet and I’m beginning to think maybe I like it this way – I just don’t like the fact that I found myself not seeing past the superficial. Must try harder…


  32. Everybody seems an avid fan of JK Rowling here. 🙂


    • Yes, odd, I felt the need to explain ‘Doctor Who’ in another blog but not the cloak of invisiblity! I admire her.


    • roseytoes says:

      I love this ‘lip pencil of invisibility’ post not only because it’s well written, but because it’s brought other Invisies out of the shadows 🙂

      As for JK Rowling, I’ve never read her myself, but of course know OF her. My understanding of an invisibility cloak can be attributed to having grown up on Star Trek and admiring the technology of those crafty Klingons and their ‘invisibility device’. However, in that case the invisibility cloak was a Klingon invention that could cover a whole battleship. I may need THAT one soon, as my invisibility has been leading to weight gain. Ah, it is a vicious circle…. (See ‘Conceptual Origins’ )


      • Ooh, golly, intergalactic invisibilty. I’ll check the link when I return to my home universe! (Away from home right now). I admire JK very much, not just for her writing and remaining cool in the face of criticism when she becae a huge success but for her charitable donations and a brilliant speech she once gave at an American university graduation ceremony. Don’t have the link to hand and these slippery keys (aka my sweaty hands) are getting to me so I’ll leave it there but thanks for reading!


  33. Sharp, well written, insightful…I definitely see you! Great post.


  34. roseytoes says:

    During lunch today at work I got to exchanging a few pleasantries with a woman who was sitting about 15 feet away. She is probably 63 or so, a Volunteer with the organization I work for. A few minutes later she was eyeing me and said ‘You look familiar. Do you work here?’ I do and was wearing my large, green & white staff ID, wearing my hair the way I do about 90% of the time, had done nothing spectacular w/ my makeup, and wasn’t wearing new clothes. I told her I work at the top of the stairs in Admin, at the front. I don’t know whether she heard, but she continues to eye me and then asks ‘Are you the Receptionist?’ Well, I am the Admin Assistant mostly, but some people call me the Receptionist, and I was quite relieved that she guessed pretty correctly, since I have worked there for 3 1/2 years now and she has been a Volunteer for long enough that I would recognize her even if we crossed paths out of town, out of place. I sure hope she’s getting senile, or has really bad eyesight, because otherwise I’m not just invisible in the rest of the world, but now also in my place of work, which has been my saving grace, the place where, at the door each morning, I become someone.


  35. kiihele says:

    Last night on TV I watched the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival Ho’ike. I was most taken with the women, who won the hula competition 50 years ago, dancing on stage together once again. They had to be in their 70’s and 80’s and there they were remembering all the steps, still graceful, still flirting with the audience and still beautiful. They were visibly vibrant. One was unashamed to be dancing while seated in a wheelchair. They stole the show. I hope when I’m in my 70’s and 80’s (not that far away) that I am still dancing and can capture an audience the way they did.


  36. A great post about invisibility for women “over a certain age!” Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed for this post; it really speaks so much truth. I have pondered this same thing many times, how we become invisible in “middle age,” however that is defined. Funny, I’m approaching 60 now, and I still feel like I am 25 inside, but the world sees me differently, or not at all. It’s a shame isn’t it? I hope JK Rowling answers your request and invents for us this cloak of “visibility.” Wouldn’t that be lovely? 🙂


  37. AA says:

    Absolutely fabulous ! Love this piece … ‘we’ when caught in our busyness often forget that there’s a world out there.


  38. ggPuppetLady says:

    I really enjoyed this- the sense of growing ‘invisible’ really pisses me off! As a young woman, I was used to being looked at (the ‘male gaze’ mostly, it’s true), but the invisibility began when I had my son- suddenly it was as though I was ‘taken’, or off the ‘possible’ list… Now that I’m 46, and in the best shape of my life, with incredible wisdom and sensitivity and humour and experience, I am almost completely invisible to anyone under 50 it seems, because I won’t dye my hair- my silver is ‘out and proud’! And I have made a real effort to focus on other ‘grey nomads’; women who slink past quietly on the street, or who sit tucked away on the bus. Thankyou for this post; it reminds me to walk tall, and smile at those who are a little frayed 🙂


    • Yes, I realised I really must try harder, I was shocked at my reaction to that lovely woman on the train. And I don’t think it’s the silver hair, actually, it happens with dyed brunettes and blondes and redheads, it’s more than that and less than that and I suspect its root cause is biological. Maybe attitudes will ‘evolve’ over time as the human age range lengthens.


    • I did reply to you, didn’t I? Oh dear…..


  39. Speaking as a man over sixty, males also become less visible as time takes its toll. Though I don’t need to ask J. K. Rowling for a cloak of visibility to get noticed by a bike repairman. All I need to do is go out wearing lipstick.

    A beauttiful, very human piece, it reminds me of the times I accompanied my late mother on her trips to her homeland of Norway in her later years. We would meet up with her old friends in their 70s and 80s. Mostly widowed, like my mother, It was a great pleasure to spend time with them.

    None of them had lost their young woman’s lust for fun and humour, and I loved to listen to them chat about the old times they spent together.

    During those precious moments there was more a need for ne to become a little more invisible, so they would open up as if no man was there.. Believe me, it was a real treat when they did. I consider it a real privilege to have lucky enough to have spent some time with them.


    • Lovely! I am imagining you with very bright red lipstick (and maybe a little kohl on the eyelids?). I envy you the Norwegian women talking. I never knew my grandparents and missed out on knowing older women as I grew up, I can see it is an experience to be treasured. Thank you, you made me laugh and you made me think about how we sometimes need to vanish.


  40. I know exactly what you mean but sometimes I think we do it to ourselves a bit too – I know I do. On my uh-oh-noticed-another-wrinkle days I quite like the invisibility – ha!


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  42. Roshni says:

    Could not like, so leaving a comment. Totally enjoyed your post. I might not have felt the invisibility yet but I agree with you on how we look at older women and can’t seem to wonder about their past, achievements or anything… Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!


  43. sallyl23 says:

    There’s a woman I would see around the place I used to live – and where you live, memoirsofahusk.
    She doesn’t attempt to disguise her age (which may be around sixty) in the way she dresses, but she doesn’t dress how sixty is ‘supposed to’, either. Leggings, skirts, trainers, colourful tops. Hair white/grey, with pink bits put in. All her experience shows in her face and form, and she nonetheless looks wiry, vigorous – youthful, in a non-cliched way. She walks places fast.
    I’ve never spoken to her but I would if I ever got the chance, because I want to know what history led her to her present identity and its visible aspect.
    I plan to look something like that when I’m sixty-ish – or my version of it. I don’t know if she’s so starkly visible to everyone as she is to me, but I find it hard to believe no one else notices her. She leads me to wonder whether taking off the invisibility cloak is a matter of evicting internalised expectations, challenging a priori disappointments, and reinventing our place in the world for a new phase of our lives?


    • I just typed a response to you and it seems to have vanished – ironic, eh? I don’t think I’ve seen the person you refer to, but I understand what you mean about the energy and vitality. But do you think she dresses like that and puts pink streaks in her hair to be noticed, or did she always dress like that? I’ll think about your last paragraph, I’ve been interested by the responses to this, some have stretched my views in different directions, but I think the fundamental point is that whatever we do, however vital, unless we are different then there comes a point at which we are not just not noticed but simply not seen, is it biological? I think we may have to talk about this!


  44. ddeepin says:

    Lovely lovely piece!! 🙂
    Interestingly, I once saw an old woman on a station wearing a dark red lipstick, and a prominent lip liner. She wore a beautiful hat, and was neatly dressed. I looked at her and wondered: she would have seen so much in her life, done so much, experienced so much and might have interesting stories to share, and I thought to myself….THIS is the beauty of aging: you would have LIVED so much, and will have so much to share!
    I wish I had gotten to converse with her……unfortunately we were (pushed into) different compartments! 🙂


  45. sallyl23 says:

    There’s a woman I would see around the place I used to live – and where you live, memoirsofahusk.
    She doesn’t attempt to disguise her age (which may be around sixty) in the way she dresses, but she doesn’t dress how sixty is ‘supposed to’, either. Leggings, skirts, trainers, colourful tops. Hair white/grey, with pink bits put in. All her experience shows in her face and form, and she nonetheless looks wiry, vigorous – youthful, in a non-cliched way. She walks places fast.
    I’ve never spoken to her but I would if I ever got the chance, because I want to know what history led her to her present identity and its visible aspect.
    I plan to look something like that when I’m sixty-ish – or my version of it. I don’t know if she’s so starkly visible to everyone as she is to me, but I find it hard to believe no one else notices her.
    She leads me to wonder whether taking off the invisibility cloak is a matter of evicting internalised expectations, challenging a priori disappointments, and reinventing our place in the world for a new phase of our lives?


    • A lot to talk about there, sfildesmoss!I will think about your last paragraph. But should we all be wearing leggings and putting pink stripes in our hair TO be noticed? Do you think she changed the way she dressed to be noticed? Or did she already dress like that? I have not seen here around, but I know what you mean about the energy, I’ve seen it in others. I am not sure what I really think about all this, interesting that people’s comments are really stretching my views in various directions. The one view that hasn’t budged an inch is that I was shocked at my own assumptions about the woman on the train. Shame on me. And I had an interesting experience lately when I dressed int he kind of business clothes I sued to wear… Hmm. A chat, methinks!


  46. Totally ‘got’ the invisibility thing.. it was/is hard even now as I stand on the edge of 60. Sometimes I want to stand and shout “LOOK AT ME!” but that wouldn’t get ‘them’ to see me anyway. Most of the time now I appreciate the invisibility, found that it is really handy when I travel alone. I remember the first time I realized it was in Belize and, of course, wrote a post about it. You can go read it if you want, Any way, thank you for your well written slant on the experience that most women go through as we age. We all handle it differently, I think the successful ones do “draw a line, set boundaries, get tough” more with themselves than with others.


    • I liked your post. Sitting in the Texas heat (so used to the English cold) it felt very real! Yes, it’s just something that happens, still not sure whether I mind or not now, sometimes I do, sometimes i don’t, I just don’t ever like underestimating people msyelf, like that woman on the train. But there’s a lot to be said for creeping up on folks who haven’t seen you and surprising them!


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  48. Touch2Touch says:

    Wow, you certainly sparked lots of lively conversation here. That’s an achievement. A discussion with no conclusion, since all of you have to live your way into it and out of it again (well, I hope you live out of it again).
    My nickel’s worth: when I was in my teens and twenties, at cocktail parties, I felt invisible because I wasn’t one of the “beautiful ones,” you all know what I mean, the ones the guys all snap their heads around to see when she enters. Anything less was invisible. Then I grew to be generically visible, that is, mother, teacher, you know, roles. Hey, it’s not terrible. You have a presence.
    Then about 40-ish, I REALLY became invisible. I suspect that’s the kind of invisibility you, and many readers, are talking about. That’s about sex. Sorry, but it is. Young girls are attracted to men of all ages, but men are attracted (visually) to young women. Biological fact. I’ve known a few women who remained visible and sexy right on through the decades— partly it’s their clothes and makeup, but mostly, it’s their interest in and up-frontness about sex. That wasn’t me, hence — invisibility.
    But invisibility cuts both ways, as I think at least some of you already suspect. It can be insulting if you allow it to. It can also be liberating, however. It can be power. At my age (coming up on 80, and a tiger, take my word for it) invisibility is power, authority, and liberation. You come to a certain point and what happens is CLICK, who gives a flying f**k! And you get to laugh a lot, at other people (who don’t see it, because you’re invisible) and at yourself (because you are BIG TIME visible to yourself). Not bad. Which is why I’m taking the risk of boring you, because I want to give you a promise of wonderful things to come!
    If you don’t already know Jenny Joseph’s anthem which begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit” — If you don’t already know it, just ask Mr. Google. And remember I’m promising it to you. When you need it, it will be there for you . Because Jenny Joseph is right! I can wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go — or anything else I want to, because I’m invisible, and I only allow VERY SPECIAL people to see me, when I choose. Which is as magical and wonderful an enchantment as anything in J.K. Rowling’s sagas.


    • Lovely. I do like the idea of being able to allow only special people to see you. I agree that it can be great fun, being invisible – and there is a terrific up side to being underestimated. I do enjoy saying something with a serious face to someone who has that ‘this won’t take long I hope better be polite though’ look on his/her face and watching the reaction turn from a serious nod, to a confused look, to a ‘did she really just say that?’ And I’m not talking about being rude or stupid – just – well, me! I used to wear one blue stocking and one red stocking, I have a feeling you’d enjoy doing that!


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