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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Well, I Can See I’m Gonna End Up Taking Back A Lot of What I’ve Said

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day when the subject of the state of our bodies came up.

Having known each other since shortly after high school, we had a lot of ground to cover, and much of it was freckled.

My friend confides that the picture of her in a bikini in her early 20s and doing the dishes maintains all the lithe detail you’d ever want in photographic proof of hotness and remains a source of pride and inspiration.

Plus it’s evidence that she has, indeed, done the dishes at least once.

Me, I am pleased to report that my ankles continue to be identifiable as separate from my calves and that I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

And that concludes the uplifting news.

The truth is that it appears that the very things we noticed in older women, as younger women, have reared up to bite us on our unthinking and uncharitable asses.

Me? No, I’ve never been thoughtlessly cruel. Unless you count my teen-aged snickering of a rather mountainous woman on a beach in Florida. My sister and I sat on our smug little beach towels and spoke in nasty asides of balloons stuffed with grapes, of large and quaking puddings. I am confident that the woman in question didn’t hear us, asleep and with headphones on as she was; but decades later, as I contemplate the state of my thighs, I can only be glad that we didn’t mock a bald woman.

What were we thinking? Or was it a matter of not thinking? For surely no one ever got toward the head of the age line and said, “I’d like to develop jowls, please. Ooh, and if I could get the weird tiny veins at the back of my knees that would be lovely as well.”

The summer season, in all its flesh-baring and short-lived ways, is a reminder, isn’t it?

Wear that bikini while you can. Autumn is coming.

24 comments:

Argent said...

Yeah, we never think it can happen to us, do we? I was slim once too, and then one day, and I'm pretty sure it was just ONE day, the fat fairy came to visit. I can still fit into my earrings too - and that's about the only thing.
Ah well, dementia will rescue me from having to worry about it soon.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Summer was nice but Autumn is delicious; vibrant colors and ripe fruit and the heavy sweetness that comes from knowing what matters. I love my body at 40 much more than I ever did at 22. It has heft, strength, and wisdom. It has a steady gaze, a fearlessness that can only come from experiencing and then discarding fear.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I remember teasing my older cousin about her pimples as a child- Lucky for me I learned the lesson of it coming back to you in my teen years.

Sarah said...

I'm lucky enough to be able to wear my old clothes from 20 years ago (I think), but I could really use less wrinkles on my face. A facelift is in order.

Sam Liu said...

The last line could be a wonderful maxim for life, I wouldn't be surprised if I had read it in a book of quotes. I admire your humour and your wisdom, Pearl, you always provide a refreshing and enlightening take on things :)

K A B L O O E Y said...

Well, never having been skinny (oh, not true -- I was a premature baby, so I was skinny at birth), this has never been one of my vices, but there are plenty of others to compensate. I keep looking at body parts and wondering when I developed my mothers' hands, feet, saggy knees, etc. Oh well, also with age has been a more cavalier attitude about it all. And my face is thinner.

Douglas said...

I don't care if Autumn is coming (wasn't she that kinky 23 year old at the party?), I am not wearing a bikini!

Bossy Betty said...

Squeezing into it now!!! Thanks, Pearl!

SparkleFarkle said...

When it comes to bikinis, I'm all for high tide. At our house, we DO call zucchini bread, bikini bread, though, which is definitely more up my alley. (No wonder my two-piece doesn't fit!)

Irisheyes said...

I used to have the tiniest little ankles. Now over time, many drunken sprains, and weight gain, they have officially become my beloved "cankles". I refer to them affectionately as Camber and Caster!

Fred Miller said...

All I can say is that I love Autumn. Cougar-hunting season!

Hey, thanks for putting me on your right column. I'm the one who's honored!

Simply Suthern said...

Is there such a thing as thoughtfully cruel?? Maybe thats when you start the sentence with "Bless her soul" before being thoughtlessly cruel.

It does come back to bite us.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Having been a spring idiot (and don't miss it), I'm much happier as my autumn self!
=]

Corte Inglesa said...

Just found your blog via Mr london Street. deffo my cup of tea, and I'll be back.

This really struck a chord with me. Recently saw a pic of myself in a bikini when I was 20. Can't believe I felt self conscious for being too thin! Ah well, hindsight is a beautiful thing.

Krëg said...

My mullet from high school no longer fits.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

One day those earrings are going to make your lobes all stretchy. Also, what is the scientific term for those flappy under-arm wingie things? I have those now. Oh JOY.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

"Large and quaking puddings" is my favourite phrase of the day so far. I laughed out loud because really, who doesn't find "pudding" just hilarious?

Or it could just be me.

a Broad said...

<< but decades later, as I contemplate the state of my thighs, I can only be glad that we didn’t mock a bald woman. >>

I can't stop laughing ...

Gigi said...

A friend and I were talking of this very thing not too long ago....yup, we certainly didn't appreciate what we had back then. So I'm now trying to appreciate what (little) I've got now - so I won't look back in twenty years and wonder what I was complaining about.

Travis Erwin said...

I on the other hand look better in a bikini now than i ever have. But that's only because the body hair covers it completely.

Tempo said...

For us still wrapped in winter woolies and contemplating the warmth of spring just a month away you warning falls on deaf ears. Give me that month and I'll start worrying...

Barbara Blundell said...

Winter's not all that bad. There are lots of clothes designed o hide the growing deficiencies. No body expects very much from you in looks or actions and also there are many new pastimes to discover like anointing aching knees with Snake Oil

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a fun way to start the day. Thank you, for helping us to see ourselves, and still laugh.

dirt clustit said...

Ok, a little help here but I promise this is the last time. What fettish is "doing the dishes" code for again?