Thursday, May 10, 2012

Creamed and Steamed

borrowed from

 A brightly lit changing room is not an older woman's friend. Neither is the mirror. I'm edging toward dim light in a number of ways!

J and I went on a minor shopping spree the other day. Youngest daughter is getting married at the end of June. J has a lovely skirt she is willing to lend but it needs just the right top - something lightweight and shimmery, not sleeveless, but summery. It has to be the right color (the skirt is two layers of voile in shades of cocoa, cream, and peacock blue), and the right length. Too short and I look like a pot-bellied pig, too long and I look like a dressed up Doric column.

I checked out a gazillion tops, give or take. If one was the right color it was the wrong style. If it fell nicely it was the wrong color. If it fit it was too expensive, if it was the right fabric it was the wrong size. I looked at ruffled blouses with plunging necklines, skimpy blouses with floppy fabric flowers strategically stitched, spaghetti-strapped camisoles under drapey sweaters, pullovers with three quarter sleeves that made me look like a chef applying for a 5 star hotel job, and short bolero type tops that left my second stomach fully exposed.

All that pulling on, buttoning up, and taking off under glaring fluorescent lights in front of a clown booth mirror resulted in a severe case of brooding. On the way home and blouseless (now that sounds just wrong but it wasn't), I moaned to J that I used to look like a string bean. "Now I looked like a cauliflower," I said, patting my mid-section. "A steamed, creamed cauliflower at that." She didn't laugh. Neither did I.

Over the years, along with the wisdom, I've acquired bumps and sags and bags and spots. I've been stretched and bent, pulled and pummeled, dragged and drugged and it shows. J agreed that she, too, had once resembled a potato stick but now was headed for the Idaho baker side of the plate. I averred as how I would really much rather resemble a slender stalk of asparagus but that it seemed a futile goal at this point. "Maybe we should switch to fruits," J suggested. "You could be a poached pear and I could pass for a steamed peach."

Well, okay. I look pretty good in green.