Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 1, 2004
A Soft-Bodied Babe
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – March 1, 2004 – In spite of the delights of the February Thaw – a drawback to that brief interlude of “pretend spring” came to my attention, very abruptly – just this morning. I live in an old house, and because I have no exhaust fan in the bathroom, I leave the pocket door open when I shower.
In spite of this, the wall to wall mirror over the sink is always completely fogged over by the time I finish my morning ablution. I routinely towel dry, slip into my bathrobe and clear the mist on the mirror with my hair dryer. With last week’s much appreciated February Thaw, and moderate temperatures, I opened the bathroom window during my shower. The scientific explanation for my fog-free mirror, no doubt has to do with condensation particles, room temperature or some sort of air flow ratio.
This morning I stepped blithely into the shower, luxuriated in the burst of hot water streaming over my body, then shampooed and conditioned my hair. After a final few moments of water massage, I flung open the shower curtain, ready to start my day. Instead of grabbing my fluffy white and drying off, I stood transfixed by the reflection in the looking glass. No fogged over mirror to protect my tender sensibilities. My naked truth was staring back at me and it wasn’t pretty. How did this person get into my house?
Which bring me to the topic of today’s literary contribution, or perhaps I should say diatribe. When and how did this happen? Who has absconded with my body? Are the body snatchers having a conference in Toronto this week? Wouldn’t I have felt it if someone had invaded or subjugated my very being? Apparently not. It’s simply not possible that the woman in the mirror is me.
This female has a roly-poly body. I stepped closer to the imposter, hopeful of a reprieve. No such luck. I now have a middle-aged torso. From my upper chest to mid-thigh, a transformation has occurred – an unprecedented travesty. I already knew that my ‘once perkies’ had taken a significant slide to the south -wintering in Miami – but all of a sudden they are cheek to jowl with my little pot belly. My once taut thighs are all a jiggle and my formerly well rounded bottom is headed towards my knees.
No wonder ‘middle-aged crazy’ is an apt phrase. It’s a crying shame that I took my once slender, firm, sleek and nicely muscled body completely for granted. The days of jumping into my skinny jeans and a little short tee-shirt and tying my hair up in a pony tail are long gone. This is a mockery of things I once held dear.
I wrapped a towel around my mid-section and was immediately relieved. My neck has retained its swan-like slenderness, my arms are presentable and my legs from the knee down are firm and shapely. Dear Diary – buy big white towels, at least three feet by six feet for wrapping up said formerly mentioned roly-poly body. In the unlikely event that I ever have sex again, I shall do so wrapped in a towel.
Access to the good bits may not be as simple as in the days when I was naked and carefree – but the challenge of manoeuvring the towel away from my body will test the fortitude of any suitors – game enough to venture into my bedroom. Dear Diary – also buy a ready supply of tea candles, suitable for creating subtle, seductive lighting in my boudoir, in case of the aforementioned sexual escapade.
It seems unlikely that I will ever be a hard-bodied babe again. Thoughts of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 dance into my mind, but fortunately don’t linger. I have a vision of my former, physical self but I seem to lack the inspiration and determination to pursue this “firmness” goal with the necessary vigour. I do want to be strong and healthy, and I’m working on my exercise goal – trying to achieve sensible results. I wonder if I will ever come to truly accept, even enjoy my soft-bodied status the same way I do a soft-boiled egg. I’m searching for the humour here. I know it’s lurking somewhere just below the surface of my stricken self-esteem.
Upon further reflection, I’m more content with who I am now than I’ve ever been. I have life experience and a degree of wisdom that was sorely missing in my hard-bodied babe days. But oh just for a day – my size 8 faded jeans, soft shoulder length hair, tanned legs, enough attitude to be mysterious, a sexy sparkle in my eye and to quote Bob Seger “points all their own sitting way up high”. Would I go back? Not on your life. I’m grateful for the woman I am, and the life lessons that have shaped my character, but oh my – those were the days!