Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is to “write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.” Well, if ever a prompt could evoke mournful moods and teary typing, I believe Blogging University, in its infinite wisdom, has stumbled upon it. I will not recount the passing of my grandmothers, my parents, my dog, or even my career. I have decided, instead, to offer far lighter, tongue-in-cheek reflections on the losses I have suffered with middle age. Today’s post, the first in a series (a secondary criteria of the prompt), will take up the tragedy of tonelessness—as in “what ever happened to my once nice looking legs?”
Part One: My Legs
I never considered myself an attractive woman. Oh, my mother insisted I was beautiful, but mirrors and magazines do not lie: my adolescent development had undershot the ideal. But I did a lot of hiking as a kid, was on the track team in high school, and powerwalked my way into adulthood. As a result, I did end up with a decent pair of legs.
It wasn’t just me who thought so. Enough compliments came my way that I felt confident in believing my legs were, indeed, attractive. I loved wearing mini-skirts and short shorts –neither of which were as mini or short as they are today, but did manage to showcase my unexplainably cellulite-free asset. And, miracle of miracles, I was blessed to keep them well into my forties.
I remember one mid-forties afternoon in particular. I had been on the beach with friends. At the conclusion of our outing, on our way back to the car, I somehow ended up ahead of the others.. I will never forget what happened next: One of my female friends actually remarked (with an ever so slight twinge of jealousy) about my still having great legs. The memory still makes me smile.
Then menopause happened. My boobs sank; my hair thinned; and my legs, my precious beautiful shapely legs, dwindled down to near sticks. Not all at once, mind you. It’s not like I was toned one day and spindly the next. They’re simply not there anymore. Oh, I can still get around, even run if I had to. They’re just not the same. Mirrors and wash cloths do not lie.
I’d appreciate if you didn’t mention it though. The legs I still got are unaware I am anything but pleased with them. I think it best they not know. I treat them with kindness and moisturize them daily. And, as soon as summer finally gets here, I plan on pulling a pair of shorts over my bathing suit and take them down to the beach. They love the sunshine. Maybe we’ll even do a bit of strutting.