The Portrait

July 2014

I think once you’ve reached a certain age, you have an obligation to preserve your image for posterity and commission a large portrait of yourself. The portrait must be displayed prominently in your home — in the entryway or on the living room wall — although those with more avant-garde tastes may opt to have theirs painted on the exterior of their house or on their garage door. As long as it’s big and imposing and kind of creeps out your family, pets and visitors, it’s mission accomplished. Those newfangled photos printed on canvas won’t cut it – it must be a proper painting.

For mine I’m going to keep it simple. I’ll be seated in a deep sapphire-blue wingback chair next to a window with a verdant view of treetops and countryside. My schnoodle will lounge on a tufted ottoman next to me. I’ll smile, but in a mysterious way, where you can’t tell if it’s happy or mischievous or demure or simmering with passion, anger or desire.

Makeup will be natural but elegant: black mascara & eyeliner, a touch of smoky eye shadow & saucy reddish-plum lipstick. Jewelry will be bold but understated silver or gold – no stuffy pearls. I’ll wear my hair down & sport a little black dress with a V-neck – one that shows some cleavage. (If you’ve reached Roman numeral “L” and they haven’t yet dropped to the floor, let the neckline plunge, baby – show ’em that the girls are still up & about.) And of course, in my perfectly-manicured hands, I’ll clutch the handle of an exquisitely-woven, well-worn, rich brown leather whip, which loops jauntily around my shoulders.

©NLWalsh, All rights reserved.

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