There I was, catching a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror in our suite at Canyon Ranch, asking that question out loud.
"Did you ask me something?" TBG called from the bed down the hall.
I suppose I did... but it was more of a question to the gods in the ether, the ones at whom I direct my rage when the ground squirrels nibble up all my portulaca. I know why it happens... I'm not looking for facts.... it's my younger self exclaiming that it's not fair.
She was in her 60's then, but to me she was just old. I thought her wrinkles were the prettiest wrinkles anyone ever had. They were everywhere, as I recall, on her arms and her legs and her bosom.
Looking at this picture, I see that she was less crinkly than I'd remembered. Is there a lesson there? At the time, they looked sunny and healthy. My grandmother loved the beach, and her skin showed it. She and her sisters and brothers took bungalows at the shore every summer, carting children, swimsuits and lounge chairs and not much else. Daddooooo described it as two-suits-and-pajamas summers. They needed nothing more.
As a child, visiting my paternal grandparents always involved sand and surf. In the winter we bundled up and brought our kites, in the summer we'd run back to the half-a-house they shared with the landlord for snacks between swims. My grandmother was at the stove, creating the world's most delicious hamburgers ("Sure, they're delicious.... she uses ground steak," was always G'ma's reply) and always willing to accept a hug... a hug around those wrinkly legs.
Now, they are my legs according to that mirror and I want to know whose idea aging was, anyhow?
I don't want a face lift. I want a leg lift.
Fifty, for me, was the downhill slide of life. Anyway I look at it, it's at least half over. That's neither sad nor surprising nor a cry for pity or help. It's merely a fact. I can handle mortality.... it's the mirror that's giving me trouble.
The concept of good years has always troubled me. G'ma's idea of a good year isn't one I'd like, at least now. But she is happy in her recliner-which-she-refuses-to-recline, watching The Weather Channel and Law'n. Will that be a good year for me when I'm nearing 90? Who knows.
I remember being appalled that I'd be 48 in the year 2000. That was nearly 50. Mr. 9. back when he was Mr.7, remarked with horror that in two years I'd be 60. The urge to shield me from such a fate oozed from his every pore.
I know, age is a state of mind.... I'm doing great for any age let alone being 60 and having been shot three times.... 60 is the new 40..... I know.... I know.....
For right now, though, I still want the answer to my original question:
When did this happen to my legs?