Ode to my Butt

We have been through so much together, you and me.

In my much younger days, you were perkier and less lumpy. A fitting end to my giraffe-like legs that were also free of lumps and bumps, veins and baggy parts.

In college, you were made for 501’s and not much else. I could eat and eat, once cramming in 11 pizza burgers in the college cafeteria, and you wouldn’t change a bit.

When babies came along, you and I spent hours sitting on the couch nursing, burping, and holding sleeping little angels. I appreciated your cushiness, while I may have cursed the lumps and bumps that were taking over.

Little ones love to be read to, which again necessitated hours of sitting. I was thankful that you weren’t bony and uncomfortable, even as I realized that you were also no longer firm or perky. Soft, even.

As I approach 50 in a few short years you and I aren’t as close as we once were. When I spend long hours sitting on you, you balk just a bit and send pain shooting out towards my hips. When I attempt to get up from sitting on the floor for more that 5 minutes, you send waves of pain down my right bun, and laugh at me for almost falling down.

The one pair of 501’s that I still own seem oddly baggy in the seat.

Dr. Oz says I need to do squats, eat more protein, and buy “butt pads” with special underwear to hold them in. He had a whole special on the other night geared towards the Over 40 Woman.

Ugh.

So all I ask of you, dear Gluteus Maximus, is that we enter this new phase of our lives together in some sort of harmony.

  • I will agree to stop dressing you up in low-rise jeans if you will promise to stop drooping.
  • I promise to skip the polyester pants if you will make an effort to remain somewhat shapely (at least in Spanx).
  • I promise to appreciate the fact that there are muscles under all those lumps and bumps, and will do my best to find them once in a while, either on a hiking trail, a bike, or a long walk. But not running.
  • I will try harder to watch what I eat if you will forgive the occasional Double-Double at In-N-Out.

Can we do it? Can we find peace with each other? Because the way I look at it, we are stuck with each other, you and me. And until medical science comes up with a proper way to transplant butts, that’s just the way it will be.

Well, that and the fact that Jennifer Aniston probably won’t be willing to give hers up.

 

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That Youthful Glow

When I was 15, my family took a vacation to Hawaii, which was a very big deal. It was one of the few vacations I remember that didn’t involve an epic cross-country road trip to visit relatives spread across the Midwest. Not that we didn’t enjoy those trips too.

But Hawaii.  H A W A I I. This was huge.

While we were on this much anticipated, memory-making trip, I acquired an unfortunate souvenir.

My very first case of pimples. Topped off with a very nasty sunburn, as a consolation prize.

So now when I tell people that I have the skin of a 15 year old, they think I’m kidding. I wish that were the case, but it’s not funny. Not at all.

See, now I have fought the good pimple fight for over 30 years. Even when I think I am winning the war, it’s only temporary. They get stronger, bring in their nasty in-laws, set up shop, and start their voodoo. Why they call it “adult acne” I have no idea, since this is the same acne I have had since way before adulthood. What, did it grow up with me or something?

I have tried so many pills/creams/potions/acne systems/witches brews over the years. Each time something works for a while, I relax and forget about my face.

And the zits get angry.

I think even my zits have zits. There is probably some dermatological term for that, but I’ll just call it zits on zits. When I spackle make up my face in the morning and attempt to cover them up, they wind up looking like small wasp nests on my chin, covered in mud. If they were on my forehead, I could go back to bangs and hide them, but I am NOT willing to grow a beard.

Since I work with elementary school kids, of course these trophies on my chin often become a source of discussion. Not in a polite way, either.

“Mrs. K, what is that thing on your chin? Does it hurt? Why do you have that? Eewwww!” It takes everything I have to keep from saying what I really want to say……. “Get ready kid, because by my calculations you are only about 7 years away from having a crop of your own!”

The last few prescriptions I had worked pretty well together if you did them in the right order. But now there’s a new catch. You could get these new prescriptions at a reduced price, using a special card, for three months.

And then they go up to $50 a month. Each.

Ouch.

I think the acne drug manufacturers must hire former drug dealers as their marketing and sales dudes. Think about it; the premise is almost the same. Lure you in with cheap promises of happiness and clear skin. String you along for a few months, as you keep coming back for more of that good-looking, zit-free skin.

And then…..BAM! Fifty bucks, please. Oh, times three.

You want it, you know you do. But there is that little voice inside your head speaking ever so softly “think of all the other things $150 could buy.” So maybe you do it once, but then you quit cold turkey. Swear you can do without them, those clear skin pushers.

It’s tough for a while; you try and go back to the basics of skin care and beat them at their own game. You feel victorious and proud; maybe buy yourself a few new jars of spackle makeup items to help. Things seem to be really going your way….maybe you are finally going to outgrow your teenage acne, after all these years!

And then they come back. With all their nastiness, bad karma, and voodoo. The Adult Zits.

Maybe they’ll give me some more free samples. You know, just to try them out for a while.

To an Old Friend

Dear Body,

I am writing to let you know that you are letting me down.  You are not holding up your end of this bargain we entered into almost 46 years ago.  I am not one to shame and to blame, but here are the facts as I see them.

The skin that miraculously stretched (and then stretched some more) to accommodate baby #1 and baby #2 has decided that it will stretch no more.  Now it has decided to sag, especially around my knees.  Not that knees are very beautiful in the first place, but they are especially eye-catching when they have saggy skin on top of them.  And not in a good way.

Fine print on the television screen no longer appears as letters or numbers, but rather a squiggly, white blob.  I can squint and maybe make out a few words, but squinting contributes to other problems (see below).  A bigger television set would mean completely replacing the entertainment center….$$$$$.  I guess I could just wear my glasses, but they make me look old.  OK, look older.

My face has started to resemble a road map.  Actually, I guess it’s more of a topographical map, complete with all of the waterways and valleys.  The area around my eyes has many little rivers and tributaries, which I am sure are made worse by the squinting to make out the fine print on the television set (see above).  The valleys that extend from my nose down towards my chin are referred to by dermatologists as “parentheses”, in an attempt to make them seem more benign.  Some mornings, when I look in the mirror I expect to see a word between them, like my face has turned into an English paper.

The latest curve you have thrown at me is unruly eyebrows.  My hair is naturally wavy, which can be a good thing on top of your head.  Not on your eyebrows.  If I trim them back, I risk bald spots that will need to be filled in with pencil or sharpie pen.  If I leave them alone, they resemble what my hubby calls “Senator eyebrows”.  Look at those old guys next time you watch CNN.  You’ll see what I mean.

I have chronic bursitis/tendonitis in my hips which prevents me from running a marathon.  OK, I didn’t really want to run one anyway, but it’s easier to blame you.

Was it something I did to cause you to rebel? 

I apologize for the brief addiction to Diet Pepsi in the early 80’s, for the late nights and greasy cafeteria food in college, and for the years when I didn’t exercise at all.  I’m sorry for the hours spent by the backyard pool, sizzling myself in baby oil.  Maybe I didn’t appreciate you enough when you weren’t causing me any problems.

Is it too late for us?  Can we move forward together in partnership?  Or will I be fighting you every step of the way going forward?

I would love to be partners again and make this work out.  Speaking of working out, maybe you and I can hit the treadmill this afternoon.  Or get an iced mocha at Starbucks……