Life Matters

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

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When I view myself in my own mind, I am 35 years old, blonde hair, green eyes and a size 10. My skin is smooth and there is not a wrinkle on my face. Although my face is not exactly pretty, that doesn’t bother me because my mom always taught me that beauty comes from within. A high school boyfriend told me I had “nice legs”, and I assume they are the same all these years later. Most of all, I am lithe and nimble, graceful and poised.

Who am I kidding? I have never been lithe and nimble, graceful and poised. When working as a waitress, I held the record for the most broken dishes and dropped trays. It was only because of my happy personality and eagerness to please that the restaurant kept me around.

Tripping over my own two feet has been a constant problem, along with randomly knocking over drinks at home. If it is water, it’s no problem. It’s a little different when it is a full glass of tomato juice spilled on the living room carpet.

I would benefit from the use of a lobster bib because crumbs take advantage of gravity and fall off food headed to my mouth. Fortunately, my chest provides a nice shelf for landing so they don’t litter the floor.

Although grace has never been a strong point of mine, I have depended on my slim, youthful looks to get by, going my merry way every day getting dressed without looking in a full length mirror. Why should I when I am young, thin, blonde and wrinkle free? Life is just a joy and it is reflected in my looks, isn’t it? Maybe not…

The other day when it was raining, I glanced in a store window that acted more like a mirror than a showcase of clothing from the store within. A grotesque creature with raindrops falling around her looked back at me like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. She was dark and eerie, old and crinkly, gray hair askew, with big blobs of extra weight everywhere! Surprising myself, I actually shrieked a little bit in horror. The realization then hit me that the window must have been acting like one of the fun house mirrors causing a misshapen reflection. Yes, that was the reason for this unfamiliar manifestation of myself! Maybe not…

Running into the store to prove myself right, I grabbed a few articles of clothing and headed for the dressing room. One look in the full-length mirror confirmed that the old and wrinkly creature was, in fact, me! It was apparent that size 10 clothes would no longer fit and I realized buying size 16 so they would be “loose and comfortable” was, in reality, the only size that would fit. Any smaller size would have been too diminutive around my oversized belly, (for which no one would have assumed pregnancy.) My nice legs now looked like two, plump bowling pins, upside down, with two platypus tails as feet. My skin, once smooth and supple, was now wrinkled and dappled with “age spots.” My once natural blonde hair sported several inches of gray, which might have been fashionable had the colors been the other way around. The person looking back at me in the mirror was, in fact, old! I didn’t feel old, even though I have five adult children and several grandchildren. Leaving the store discouraged, I vowed to never again look in a full length mirror.

Okay, so I could no longer get by on my looks; beauty comes from within, doesn’t it?

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