Only a Mother Could Love

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Can we agree on something? Some things are just plain ugly. It has been said that the warthog is perhaps the ugliest animal on earth. I somehow doubt that a mother warthog would feel that way, but the rest of us might.

There is a saying that goes like this: “That’s a face that only a mother could love.” It’s meant to be derogatory…and sometimes it is spoken to elicit a laugh. But being ugly is no laughing matter.

What is ugly after all?  If “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, why don’t we feel the same way about ugliness?  Isn’t what is ugly to one person likely to be beautiful to another?

I took the picture of a flamingo that is featured today last Saturday at the Atlanta zoo.  I’d not realized what hooked beaks they have, nor how tiny the pupils of their eyes are.  Many would look at this creature and say it’s ugly. Others would look at it and think it is beautiful in its own peculiar way.  Certainly, if one were to look at the rest of its beautifully colored plumage, very few would say it is ugly. Ugliness may also be simply a matter of what we choose to focus on.  We all have ugly parts to us physically and in every other way, too. And we all have beauty as well.

A face only a mother could love?  Well, isn’t that part of what being a mother is…loving her offspring unconditionally? We would all do well to learn to love like that….

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  Though American drive-in movie theaters had their golden era in the ’50’s, some Floridians watched movies under the stars in their cars before then: Miami got its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The drive-in charged 35 cents per person, more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.

America’s first-ever drive-in opened near Camden, NJ, on June 6, 1933, the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an auto parts company. The inaugural feature was a 1932 film called “Wives Beware,” and admission was 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person. The sound for the movies was provided by three large RCA speakers next to the main screen.

Following  WW2, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the US.  Though they had a reputation as “passion pits” for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn’t have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit’s Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide. Over the years, attempts were made to develop a daytime screen that would enable drive-ins to show movies before it got dark, but nothing proved successful.

At their peak in the late ’50s and early ’60s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. However, during the next two decades the drive-in industry declined and theaters shut down, due to such factors as rising real-estate values (which made selling the land for redevelopment more profitable than continuing to operate it as a drive-in) and the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. By 1990, there were around 1,000 U.S. drive-ins. Today, they number less than 400 (states with the most remaining drive-ins include Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

New Jersey has the distinction of being the home of not just the first drive-in but also the first fly-in theater. In June 1948, Ed Brown’s Drive-In and Fly-In opened in Wall Township and had space for 500 cars and 25 planes.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Falling dreams typically occur at the beginning of the night, in Stage I sleep. These dreams are often accompanied by muscle spasms, called myoclonic jerks, and are common in many mammals.

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3 thoughts on “Only a Mother Could Love”

  1. RE: Ugliness
    I think I’m well qualified to speak on this topic since I was born with a Port-Wine Birthmark that covers most of my upper body from my waist up, including my face. As a child I was always teased and derided and called numerous names. But it doesn’t end there. Throughout my adulthood, children, teenagers and adults react shamefully to my condition with a lack of civility and manners that is abhorrent. I understand their curiosity about me and my “ugliness”. I try to explain to them why I’m different in appearance but many just turn away, while others have shrieked and ran. Others have resorted to name calling, while others have asked me to go away because my presence disturbs them. To complicate matters more , as I age a new deformity has arisen. The formation of cobs. A roundish mass or lump that forms in various places on my face, do to the proliferation of blood vessels under my skin. (that’s what causes the birthmark) The cobs started in 1983 when I turned 31 and have multiplied as years went by to a point where I now have over 20 on my face and head. You wanna’ talk ugly? It’s not easy walking about at places where large numbers of people congregate and surprising someone point blank. I consider myself the King of the Doubletake.(that action that takes place when people see something and they don’t react, then that image reaches the brain and forces a swift turn of the head or upper torso, to look again to make sure that that vision was correct.) I understand our society’s fascination with looks.I too appreciate a physically beautiful woman. What makes up “a beautiful person” whether they be male or female? The perfect shape, face, body or overall package. Society worships those with above average looks and rewards them with better jobs, advancements and the good life. Even those that are average or slightly below average do well, due to confidence, intelligence, humor and a drive to succeed. But what of the UGLY? Those of us that really stand out? To say a flamingo is ugly is to say that all flamingos are ugly, and that one individual flamingo is no longer ugly per se because his entire species looks alike. Somewhere there’s my flamingo counter-part who looks radically different from the other flamingos. How does his species treat him? Do they shun him? Do they mock and deride him? Do they refuse to mate with him and drive him from their midst? All good points to consider. When I see others with my ugliness whether it be the same deformity or other afflictions, I feel a kindred spirit knowing that they too have probably suffered through similar situations and thoughts. I like the “Twilight Zone” episode where Donna Douglas(Ellie Mae from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’) is in a world where her beauty is ugly and no surgery can fix her. So they send her to a colony of others like her and all is well. The problem being is by our world’s standards I’m ugly and I like what our world defines as beautiful women. Beautiful women for the most part don’t like ugly men. So I will die single and alone with my pets who love me unconditionally.

  2. Steve: thank you for that comment. Having known you for so long, I totally respect and acknowledge where you are coming from. I am sure that life has not be at all easy for you, but you seem to have handled it with great grace..showing that you possess that kind of beauty that shines out from within and that doesn’t tarnish with age. That is a far greater beauty and one to be honored and celebrated!

    1. Thanks Galen. I have my good days and my bad days. Fortunately ,the good outnumber the bad. I’m honest and true to myself and I refuse to let my situation get me down or make a shut-in out of me. It helps to open up and share my thoughts with some such as you.
      Thanks again!!!

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