I look at my body in the full length mirror and sigh. The youth I had known that had gained me attention, admiration and access to some of the hardest to get into places has gone, sucked out of me like juice from an apple, and in its place, just like an apple, was left wrinkling aging skin and a dehydrated body.
My shape has changed, my waist thickened, my breasts sag almost touching my stomach. Men no longer looked at me in the same way, well not younger men, and the older men that do repulse me with their aging skin and sagging bottoms. I had become invisible among people and fighting this reality seemed pointless. There was no turning back the clock. Nope. I have told herself many times that there was nothing to do but wait for my body to turn from a once tasty juice filled grape into a dried up, but still sort of tasty, raisin.
‘I hate you,’ I said to my reflection in the mirror, ‘I hate what you are becoming.’
My face looked stern and in that moment it reminded me of my mother. I laughed as I remembered the day my mother had walked out of the shopping centre toilets with her skirt tucked into her knickers and her arse on display.
I was 12 at the time and I had tried to tell my mother that her arse was on hanging out (literally!) but she was on the phone and kept waving her hand shushing me to be quiet. I decided to do as I was told and said nothing more about it.
My mother’s arse stayed on display for over an hour until she caught sight of her own reflection as she walked past a mirror in Debenhams. She gasped, pulled her skirt down and ran out of her favourite store. I couldn’t help giggling and eventually, when she felt she was far enough away, she stopped running, turned round and gave me that same stern look that I had just given myself.
As a teenager I took great pleasure telling that story at Christmas dinners, weddings and any other family occasion where an opportunity arose and I (along with everyone else listening) would always burst into fits on laughter at my mother’s expense. I like to call it my little piece of payback. At the end of the story, without fail, I would be greeted by that same stern stare from my mother.
As I look in the mirror for a brief moment I am 12 again, wearing my favourite white dress with pink flowered plimsoles and laughing at my mother’s arse. Funny, the things you remember as you get older.
Thinking about it cheered me up a little and I compliment myself on what I am wearing. Style is something time can never take away from me. I smile at myself in the mirror, blow a kiss and leave for work.
Flash Fiction: Juicy Memories
I wrote this flash fiction story in July 2013.
It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that our body is changing but something as simple as laughter can be used to pull us out of our ‘funk’ and into a better mood. In this story the woman finds something to smile about (a story from her past) plus realises that there is something she can always keep control of and that is her own personal dress style. In life, sometimes we just need to feel in control, aging is a process out of our control. I hope you enjoyed this flash fiction: juicy memories – please feel free to share.