If I was one of those women, would I really be letting my hair go totally gray before my daughter’s wedding? Would I be sitting here right now eating all of the leftover Jordan almonds from her shower?
No. I would not.
I am not vain.
I am a realist.
I understand perfectly well that even though I used to be pretty and svelte and curvy I have now degraded into lumpy but loveable.
The world is far too fixated on physical beauty. In such a shallow environment, I pride myself on the fact that I am spiritually beautiful.
(Please don’t ask what that means: just work with me here, OK?)
Still, there is a certain level of personal pride that one must maintain. I remember a long, long, long, long time ago, when I had my first boyfriend. I drove him home from a drama club rehearsal, and he asked me out on a date. I was thrilled; at 17, he was an older man, and I almost swooned at the compliment of being asked out by an upperclassman. Later, after our first dinner and a movie, he told me that he first noticed me when he looked at my “graceful hands” holding the steering wheel of my 1968 Dodge Dart (with the pushbutton transmission). Holy romance, what a compliment!
I guess I’ve somehow kept those lovely words in mind for the past 40 years, because right now I am in the depths of depression, and its all because of a pair of yellow rubber gloves.
You see, my nails are all split and peeling, and my cuticles are a mess. I like to garden and I really like to shove my hands right straight into the dirt to pull up weeds and to plant the flowers that I just bought. I love the feel of the earth under my nails. I love the smell of grass on my hands when I fall asleep.
But I know that gardening with my bare hands makes the whole “graceful hands” thing seem impossible. So last week I wrote the words “rubber gloves” on my shopping list, and sent my darling husband off to get the groceries.
He came home with every single item that I had requested, so there was no room for even the slightest complaint.
Until I looked at the package of rubber gloves and saw the word “medium” on the box.
I am used to seeing “Large”, “X-large” and even “Jumbo-you-freakin’-whale” on my clothes. I even have wicked big shoes. I didn’t think that “medium” would make the grade. But I didn’t want to complain!
So we ate our dinner and we cleaned up together in companionable silence. Then I pulled on the “medium gloves”. Phew! They seemed to fit! Granted, they were more cozy than my old pair had been, but they let me wash the dishes and pans, scrub the broiler and clean the sink, all without exposing my peeling old nails to the hot water. I was feeling pretty good about life when I finished. Pretty slim and trim, in my bright yellow latex medium gloves.
Then I turned off the water and tried to take off those cozy gloves. Nuh, uh. I couldn’t do it! My pointer finger slipped out just fine, as did the ring finger, the nasty old middle finger and mister tiny pinky.
It was my thumb that was held hostage to the “medium” rubber coating. I pulled, I slid, I coaxed. Nothing doing. My thumb was firmly trapped in the glove. After trying every trick I could summon, I finally pulled the gloves inside out to free my thumbs.
My obviously way-too-fat thumbs. My porkie thumbs.
I have come to terms with my jowls, my thighs, my waistline and my prow-of-an-icebreaker-bosom. Now I have to deal with a wicked fat thumb?
I sort of regret that first compliment from that first boyfriend.
And I really regret not doing the shopping myself last week!