Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Plight of the Invisible

I am told, from certain reliable sources that shall go unnamed, that I am now one of the invisible. This means that I have reached an age at which I can wander freely through society and no one will see me since I am not young and attractive, just middle-aged and running to seed. That, and I’m female, and old females should just stand in the background tending to the world at large. While I could see this as a perfect opportunity to bemoan my lost youth and wonder what happened, I am instead quite irritated that people can still see me.

I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to be seen, though being seen does require me to wear a stunning array of outfits on a daily basis, which is in itself an inconvenience, but wouldn’t it be more fun if I could be unseen when it really mattered? Instead, people see me when I’d rather they didn’t, and don’t see me when I’m standing in front of them, jumping up and down and making the sign of the cross over them in an attempt, however ill-fated, to save their souls. This is not my normal sort of interpersonal interaction, this is only an example.

Just last week I misplaced my car, which isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but it is disconcerting. And when I’m wandering around looking for it I would really like it if people could not see me. I’m sure I look just a bit mad at these times, and that is not an appropriate look when I want people to trust me with their financial data, which is how I earn a living. While I looked for my car people pointed and laughed, and this was especially disconcerting since the parking lot had been empty when I started my search.

I have also found it impossible to escape scrutiny when I’m having a particularly bad hair day, which is every day since I forgot to go to my last appointment and my hair is now several weeks expired. I don’t have charmingly unkempt hair, I have . . . bad hair. It’s just bad. However, if I should get it cut and if it should behave itself for one day, that will be the one day that I will be invisible. People will walk through me and feel only a slight chill, which would be from the iciness of my soul which is starting to be quite irritated at being so ignored.

It is convenient at times, I must admit. When I’ve made appearances at events at which I felt as if I were sticking out like a sore thumb, a giant inept thumb, I’ve later discovered that no one even knew I was there. I could take this one of two ways: 1) I’m not memorable, or 2) I’m invisible. I tend to stick with number 2 because, really, who could forget me? I say this with no small measure of pride.

While I am eager to exploit my invisibleness for my own nefarious purposes, it does tend to inhibit my ability to grow a fan base. At such an advanced age I can’t claim to be a young undiscovered literary genius. Common sense indicates that by this time my genius would have been discovered, somehow , somewhere, despite my best efforts to hide my brilliance under a rock. Isn’t that how it works? But since I am neither young, nor a literary genius (literary competence just doesn’t garner the respect it used to), and I am invisible, I have to work harder at growing a fan base. Unfortunately, I am allergic to hard work. It makes me sneeze, and it makes my eyes water, and it gives me hives.

Which reminds me of a charming story about bees, but I’ll save that for another day.

Meanwhile, I’ll be the one standing in the corner behind the potted plant. I’m really in front of it, waving my arms frantically, but you can’t tell because I’m invisible.


  1. Another excellent story. You should compile them into a book.

  2. Great read, Monique!!

  3. Very funny.

    I can relate to the HAIR issue....

    You're a terrific writer!