Yesterday we returned from a four day cruise. I do not like short cruises. Short cruises are filled with twenty and thirty somethings with buff bodies prancing around the pool deck in barely there bikinis and showing up for dinner in spandex bandaids. All reminders of what I once was.
I'm sixty now. Did I mention that? I lounged by the pool in a burka. Covered from head to toe and sweating like a pig from hot flashes run amuck, impatiently waiting for the buffet line to open. I was tucked away under an overhang, clinging to shade with the rest of the senior set. Old men with pot bellies and thick tufts of hair proturding from their ears; old women with big glasses and bright red lips whose best assests have succombed to gravity and now rest comfortably in their laps.
There I sat, watching the parade of bikinis and wondering what the hell happened to me? And when? When did my middle expand to include a spare tire? When did cellulite overtake my extremities and my upper arms begin flapping in the breeze? All of the things I vowed at twenty would not happen to me had somehow snuck in the back door when I wasn't looking and happened.
The long list of spa offerings was tempting. Of particular interest was the "New Look, New You" package. I came to my senses in the nick of time, just before handing over my credit card for the $300 quick fix. I realized that the only new look, new me package that could fix me now would involve a knife, anesthesia and suction tubes.
At one point I made the mistake of asking The Kid which one of the bikini clad bodies I most resembled. After all I have been walking a lot in recent months and eating more healthy for weeks. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. The Kid watched and observed for quite some time before carefully responding. "You know," he said, "I really can't say. I would actually need to see you in day light without your burka." "In your dreams," I retorted, retreating deeper into the folds of my security blanket.
What time wasn't spent sitting by the pool wondering what happened to my youth was spent pushing my future around in a wheel chair. Yes, my 91 year old mother was along. It was then that I knew. Gravity is going to continue to wreak havoc on my once toned and fit physique. The only hope I have of ever doning a bikini again is by cutting a hole in my depends, wearing one for the top and one for the bottom.
The moral of the story?
Don't celebrate your 60th birthday on a short cruise with your 91 year old mother. Your past and your future just might team up and push you overboard. And that darn burka sinks like a rock.