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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Well, I Can See That I'm Going to Have to Take 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.

41 comments:

Douglas said...

As my chest sagged gracefully into my belly sometime ago, I discovered what they meant by "middle age". Now that I have advanced to my Golden Years, I no longer care much where my chest is... so long as it remains free of stents. That cute little thing isn't going to go home with me anyway (not that Faye would appreciate it if she did) because I do not have enough money to overcome my physical non-attributes.

aBroad said...

We have so much in common !
I still have my ankles, my earrings still fit and I always lose count when adding up my freckles.
After seeing a woman in the park here on the first day of relative warmth (pre-summer) , in a tiny string bikini .. tanned, weathered, seasoned, wrinkled, sagging leather skin and all ... I vowed never to 1- get any sun again 2- never wear a bathing suit 3- avoid exposing my eyeballs to such sights again.
Besos, from a cold Spring morning in BA

ellen abbott said...

I remember thinking as a young woman that I would never marry a bald man and damn if my husband didn't go bald.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

We are hard on our packaging as the years go by. I like to think that the worse the packaging looks the more interesting the life lived was. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it. Anyone know where I put the duct tape?

R. Jacob said...

pearl

Please read my post today and you will see how I disagree.

Susan in the Boonies said...

It's my neck! If I don't hold my head a certain way (and what that way is I haven't figured out and only rarely luck into anymore) you can see the Mariana Trench.

Sioux said...

I once winced (and snickered) at a sketch Van Gogh did. It was a middle-aged woman, nude, hunched over. The floppiness, the folds...I KNEW I would never get to that state.

Now, however, I see myself (and so much more) in that sketch.

I too can wear the same earrings, I don't have cankles yet, and my eyebrows are THINNER than they were when I was in my 20's. Yahoo!

Vicus Scurra said...

If it is all the same to you, I will disregard you imprecation vis-a-vis bikinis and the wearing thereof.

Pat Tillett said...

I had a very rude awakening awhile back. I was walking naked fronm the bathroom to the bedroom and happened to catch a glance of myself from behind in a mirror. How did my butt get down there?
Great story Pearl!

Belle said...

My days of wearing bikinis ended with the birth of my first child. My boobs took a long dive south and my stomach was wrinkled. My daughter Christine has perky breasts and a smooth tummy after 3 kids. Not fair!

Gigi said...

Hmmm, this may explain my on-going obsession with shoes. Despite the fact that I will never again be able to wear the size I wore in high school, at least I can still wear the same size shoe as I did back then!

Macy said...

Well, you know, I never really believed, deep down and in my heart of hearts that I would get old.
Same ways now, I really can't see me ever being really old and past pensionable age - how could that possibly happen?

Audubon Ron said...

Please send me naked pictures so I can either confirm or deny the allegations made in this blog.

Daisy said...

:-) Ahhhh Gravity! Fortunately, age also brings a certain "the hell with it" attitude that allows me to enjoy the fact that my mind still works, my imagination has gotten free-er, and so many things seem hilariously funny!

powdergirl said...

Hah, that kinda arrogance is the rightful domain of youth.

What the hell, its plenty short-lived, right?

My earrings still fit(you funny girl : ), so does that pair of jeans I keep as template for my behindy parts. What is killing me is the little smiles I now have over top of my knees. Who ever thought aging knees would be an issue...

Dammit, I demand a return elasticity!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

So, so true, Pearl! I'm working on a post about accepting oneself as is as one ages and how we never appreciated our bodies when we were young. I was looking through pictures of me in my twenties and thinking how good I really did look and yet, I remember feeling fat and unattractive during that time. (I spent a lot of my twenties as an actress and also a staffer at 'TEEN Magazine where we were supposed to look young and hip Seventies-style.) I've always thought that we become what we mock -- and I used to carry on to my mother about her weight and now, in older age, I'm shaped just like her! Yes, it's really a good thing that you guys didn't mock bald women! And so important to appreciate your body -- even in a bathing suit -- at any age!

Eva Gallant said...

It is sad indeed. Bikini days are far behind us, thanks to our behinds!

Linda O'Connell said...

Girl, I caught a glimpse of my hind end in a full length miror and yelled, "Who the hell's in this house!?"

jenny_o said...

Love the post and the comments.

I had the misfortune to start out with cankles at birth and it's all been downhill since then; therefore, I refuse to comment.

:)

SherilinR said...

i spent a lot of time at the pool this summer, looking at the teenage/college girls & feeling dowdy. then i remembered that i once looked just like them, all tight, tan & flirtatious. they'll likely look like me one day too. that made me happier.

The Elephant's Child said...

So relate to this post. And you have finally explained my earring fetish. Thanks.

Shelly said...

Every teenager should be required to read this post. I thought I was getting a great compliment from my size 2 teenage daughter when she said, I want to have a wiast just like you, Mom..."

As I congratulated myself, she continued, "when I'm you're age." I'll still take it as a compliment, though.

WrathofDawn said...

I'm going to borrow Douglas' line about not caring where my chest is, as long as it remains free of stents.

I can fit into my high school earrings and shoes. And my jeans would fit... if I sewed two pairs together...

hocam said...

I'm afraid autumn has arrived. I was warned everything would go south. They forgot to mention east and west!

IndigoWrath said...

Autumn? 'tis the winter of our discontent.

Leenie said...

Gravity and chocolate are cruel mistresses.

Jerry said...

I knew I lost the battle when my attempts at sucking my stomach in as a young lass strolled by were completely unsuccessful.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Gravity is a harsh mistress indeed.

darlin said...

Funny thing is I'm posting about age tonight as well, and NOT in a bikini! lol Thank goodness we're not that old YET! I find it's an inbetwixed stage of life, no more bikinis and being grateful for small things like wrist bones still showing and yup, I can also relate to the ankle thing.

Enjoy your week.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Ah no. I can feel my ass widening even as I type this.

Cloudia said...

at this point I wish to be regarded as clean!


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral

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Crystal Pistol said...

Oh! Pearl. That last line gave me a chill, so BRILLIANT was it!

Youth is truly wasted on the young, ain't it?

Tempo said...

Sad aint it? I remember thinking I'd never get 'like that'...Like what?...well, like I am now!
Gee, thanks for reminding me there Pearl!

Pat said...

A big lesson to learn is - if you must wear sleeveless over 45 don't raise your arm above your shoulder and DON'T ever wave with your arm - just fingers. Rather like the Queen.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Ah...bikinis. I remember them. Kind of like I remember the 80s - barely. ;)

River said...

I don't have those weird tiny veins at the back of my knees, but I most certainly do have them everywhere else, even on my chest!

The Jules said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Jules said...

I'm at that age when I'm pleased to be greying but not bald, whereas my brother is balding but not grey.

Yay for the lesser of two evils!


(Last comment deleted due to being too awesome for mortal eyes, and totally not because I missed the 'r' out of greying.)

ipenka said...

My older cousin keeps telling me to stay in shape for as long as I can. That it became twice as hard for him when he hit 35.

The problem is, I already have such a hard time trying to stay in shape now!

Jhon Baker said...

My wife once lamented to me that she wished she would have taken appropriate advantage of her stunning good looks and amazing legs when she was in her early twenties and late teens - stating that her legs were the best set this side of hollywood - It is true she was a looker then but I must tell you - she is stunning now.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Screw all that, you guys. I decided, on my 30th birthday, to start going backwards to 21, then up to 30 again, repeat ad nauseum, FOREVER. And if you decide it, it's true! Just stay away from mirrors and actual 21 year olds and you can almost convince yourself!