I go to the gym now on a regular basis; I still look like an apple. My trainer says it takes patience and commitment (two qualities for which I can take little ownership) – after all, it took a lot of years to lose my waist and replace it with such amplitude. It is true that gravity is no longer my buddy – I’ve shrunk, I truly don’t know what the hell happened to my waist (but it would seem that it’s a developed a frighteningly close relationship with my hips). And I haven’t experienced this much frustration trying to see my toes since I was pregnant. I don’t know about you, but I can’t commit to Spanx for longer than a cocktail party – too many people come over and ask me if I’m ok because my face turns an indescribable hue of purple.
I’m also not sure how I feel about having my body type compared to a piece of fruit. ‘Pear shaped’ seems troubling too. I was peeling one yesterday to use in a recipe, and all I kept wondering was who I knew who even remotely resembled an Anjou pear. Instead of saying “you look well”, am I to say “you look really ripe”? What if you’re short and an apple? Does that make you a Ladysmith? Maybe a Macoun – they’re smallish. Certainly can’t be a Granny Smith – the proportions are all off.
Nora Ephron wrote about her neck. I beg to differ. In the interest of full disclosure, I wear a lot of turtlenecks – it seems a kinder, gentler approach to these pathways that now trace their course around my neck. My hair is long now – it’s way cheaper than Botox and hides a lot more (like my ears which insist on growing despite my repeated exhortations that they stop). But it’s the hands!! Nora, what about the hands?? Have you seen Madonna’s hands? They reveal all that her efforts deny…the knuckles protrude, what was lithe and graceful is now bony and beginning to gnarl. This is the greater injustice, I’m telling you. Let’s not even talk about the little ‘freckles’ that are beginning to create a picture a la Seurrat. I wonder what they’re going to look like when they start connecting.
Old peoples’ hands. I know, I know – embrace their beauty. The tears those hands have wiped, the baby baths they’ve given, the hugs and healing they have provided, the gazillion gestures they have made to emphasize a point. But they’re right there – reminding me daily that regardless of what I do, my hands blatantly reflect my age, without a skosh of willingness to play the denial game with me. Porcelana – puleeze.
I know I could have some procedure that would minimize the appearance of these blue rivers that course below this thinning skin. I could zap away the freckles. Who knows, maybe they now have knuckle lipo. I can’t do it. I mean, there would be way too much work that would have to be done on this body – the hands don’t even make it as a line item on the ‘frivolous expenditure budget’. I totally get why spouses tell you that you look great just the way you are. A new roof is more important. Baby needs a new pair of shoes.
And yet, I’m starting to realize that I better like this body now. It sure as hell isn’t going to get any better (even if I do locate my waist at some point). I spent so much of my adolescent and young adult years hating my appearance, it really seems time to give it a break. For the most part, it does what I ask of it, and I can still rock a pair of Converse sneakers and rolled up jeans. True, I don’t go to the supermarket in Laboutins and leggings (I’d frighten the produce guy and desperately seek the motorized scooters if I hope to make any progress). A formal night out requires serious planning – there’s no such thing as just throwing something on anymore and getting away with easy chic. And it’s hard to use eyeliner without my glasses (you try it, it’s tricky).
All of that said, I still have some constituents out there – ok, mostly homeless men, but they’re very complimentary even on the rare occasions when I don’t give them money. My husband insists I’m beautiful in his eyes (granted he may be watching a football game as he says this). But I’ll take it. Maybe I’ll just keep my hands behind my back – what do you think?