Old age is not an excuse for everything!
Somehow I am sure that really really ugly old people were ugly in their youth, and really beautiful young people will not turn into sour old uglies like that one, despite the French saying: “l’âge aigrit”.
Recently, as my bus pulled up at Saint Germain-Odéon, an old lady entered whose physical decrepitude was a cruel witness that she was probably on the wrong side of 90 - yet she was beautiful. I could not quite put my finger on it, why would she be so beautiful? She was certainly not the physical manifestation of the Golden Mean and that spunky window of the child bearing period was obviously decades behind her, nor was she gracefully soignée like the typical Neuilly matron, but there was an intangible quality to her breathlessness which came not only from old lungs.
She ignored the seats reserved for the elderly and sat down opposite me. She took out a book which she had obviously just bought, opened it and started reading it, eagerly. I looked closer at the colourful cover of the book, its title: “Chinese for Beginners”.
Chinese for Beginners! At about 90! And there was the reason for her enduring beauty; this lady was certainly on the right side of 90!