|I'm going to sleep in a cocoon of this after drinking it with vodka all night. Ageless!|
“Look at how much we’ve aged.” Brett said to me the other day as we were going through an old box of photographs.
“I’m sorry. What did you say?”
“Aged.” Brett repeated, blinking at me, completely unaware of his major faux pas. “Like- we both look really old compared to when we started dating? We’ve aged? Physically?”
“Stop. Just…stop.” I said, holding up my hand while I closed my eyes.
“Why are you being weird? Look at this picture. Look- you’re so young!” He tossed me a snapshot of me at 22, sitting on the couch in our first apartment. All tan limbs and wet hair from a shower, smiling an unlined and hopeful smile. I snatched the photo and held it up to my angry face.
“Are you trying to tell me…that I look older than I do in this picture? Are you trying to tell me that I have aged? Do you want a minute to think about this before you answer? ARE YOU SAYING THAT I AM AGING?”
Brett sat back and seemed to finally feel the gravity of the situation. He thoughtfully pulled a hand through his hair while he regarded me warily. Finally, a look of recognition and understanding swept over him, and his features relaxed as he smiled at me sympathetically.
“Well, yeah.” He cooed. “But, don’t worry. We all are.”
I hate to be the 29-year-old woman that talks about aging, but I’m going to be the 29 year old who talks about aging, so get over it. Don’t screech at me about, “SHUT UP I’M SO MUCH OLDER THAN YOU I HATE YOU FOREVER YOU ARE NEVER ENTITLED TO YOUR OWN VAIN FEELINGS!” because: you get it, right? You’ve been there before. We all should be allowed to have these vain and selfish freak-outs about aging. (Unless you are 17, and then you aren’t allowed to complain about anything.) So, I am the 29-year-old woman complaining, and I’m going to start with a story about my boobs.
We all have parts of our bodies that we are secretly stoked about. We’d never admit it, of course, because that’s bad, but we all have areas we love and then areas we spanx into submission.
I love my boobs. (sorry Mom and Dad. I mean? Thank you I guess? No. Gross. Ok- moving on.)
The other day though, as I was getting into the shower, I caught my reflection in the mirror and froze. Had my boobs…had my boobs moved?
I frantically stood front and center and lifted my hands above my head. My mind silently mocked me as my chest rose. “This is you at 19” It said. And as my arms came down it snickered. “Aaaand 29.” I flapped my arms up and down maniacally, trying to measure the slight distance that had naturally happened over a decade. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t terribly noticeable, but when you live in and hang out in your own body all of the time YOU NOTICE THINGS.
And then I noticed other things.
Like the extra line on my forehead. The extra crease around my mouth. The odd freckle or dark under eye bag that had previously escaped my scrutinizing glare.
And then I did the only rational and healthy thing.
Brett was home at the time and worriedly knocked on the bathroom door. “Are you ok? Um- do you…need something?”
In between choked sobs I told him I was fine. “But…my boobs!” I gasped tearfully. “My boobs…moved. They moved.”
He waited a beat before nervously clearing his throat and asking:
This was enough to break my vain-weirdo-spell and dissolve into giggles. I was having a conversation through a closed door about my boobs’ migration- as if they had decided the north was too much and they were looking into some beachfront property in Boca Raton. It was all too much. I was too much. This was hardly something to waste tears over, let alone good shower time. I literally pulled myself up off the floor and stepped under the hot stream of water where I forced myself to really look at my body.
Strong legs that recently carried me up a mountain IN THE SNOW. WTF. SNOW IS COLD.
Arms that were slightly toned from a lifetime of talking with my hands.
Boobs…wherever they wanted to be.
And, a stomach threaded with a scar that snaked towards my belly button -a physical reminder of a bad surgery in high school that made me lose 40 pounds and suddenly got boys to notice me.
Not all bad.
In all seriousness, it was the most frank interaction I have ever had with my body. It was like we were having a conversation that started out tearful and psycho-girlfriend-angry, but ended in acceptance and forgiveness and maybe a sandwich. This body is the only relationship I will have my entire life. I might as well be kind in it.
Bottom line? I am aging. On my way out the door this morning, as I was doing my make-up I noticed a pure white strand of hair lying coyly on top of my dark tresses. I could have freaked. I could have plucked it. Instead, I did a little smile back at my reflection in the mirror…and pulled on my highest heels. If this is my life-long relationship, my marriage to my body, I’m going to be the sexiest spouse ever.
29-year-old boobs and all.