Sunday, May 21, 2017


Examining my naked self in the mirror the other day, it occurred to me that without my arms, I would look like a much younger woman – a little like Venus de Milo. I hear you snickering! Well, I began to laugh, too, surmising that perhaps Venus had examined herself and reached the same conclusion.

I sang to my reflection a version of that song from the 60s (!):
Venus de Milo was noted for her charms
But strictly between us you’re older than Venus
And ew – just look at those arms!

I’m not sure how old she was when her arms went missing, but I’m guessing about sixty. At least my experience would point there.

You see, less than a week after my sixtieth birthday, I noticed my arms. I was wearing a sleeveless top, bending to pick up the hose. And I saw them, drooping like wet crepe paper. Old woman arms. Oh! My! God!

I began to notice other women’s arms. And their necks. And examine myself in the mirror, posing in various ways to hide any hint of turkey neck. I switched to three-quarter length sleeves in summer. Winter was safe, as I’d always worn long-sleeve turtlenecks anyway.

So now – waaay past sixty – I can either overdress all summer or expose my aging self as gracefully as possible. I wear pants that cover my knees and rarely don sleeveless items. It’s not that I want to hide my age. It’s just this: I don’t want see my ropey arms or evidence of gravity’s grip on my knees.

For Venus, saggy knees aren’t an issue, since her lower body and legs are hidden from view; the slight tuck of her head shadows her neck.

But, Venus, I want to know – how did you get rid of those arms?

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