I know that we've been gone from Denver for a long time now because my memories are fading.
Prior phone numbers are hazy.
Names of acquaintances, all but gone.
What did I used to eat for dinner?
Old routines, disappeared.
What did the sushi used to taste like?
Obscure details are fading like the use of hymnals in a Church--no more wrestling over who gets to hold the side of the hymnal, no more awkward struggle to decide who needs to turn the page.
Public singing is itself, fading.
One of my students asked me where I went to Church on Easter Sunday. I told him I went to a Christian Church. He asked me if we all sang songs together. I said yes. He giggled. As if this ancient practice were as out of date as MySpace.
My memories are reversing just like my thighs. Growing in the wrong direction.
The latest trend is the "gap" between the legs. If you have a young girl in your family, you have likely heard of this. And been very afraid. If you have a young girl in your family, I know that you are on your knees in prayer more than we moms of boys. I wish you the best.
It looks like this:
I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that I have the exact opposite of that. I call it my "reverse gap." When I told my husband, he laughed in a way that sounds like he agrees, but will adamantly protest that I am wrong.
Mine look like this:
And I refer to them as affectionately as I used to refer to my "girls." Now I say things like, "Look. That chocolate Easter Bunny just traveled straight to my reverse gap." And if I'm in public I just say "reverse." I usually say this just to hear that laugh. That one that says he knows, but is pretending he doesn't. As Shakespeare once penned: "I do believe [him] though I know [he] lies."
I never was good at getting into reverse gear in my stick-shift Chevy Cavalier.
It can be a sticky, grinding gear. It isn't natural.
I am that old.
Another student of mine has a screen saver of a sexy supermodel. When I saw it, I gave my best disgusted, gutteral sound, and asked him why he needed to have a picture of me on his computer since he sees me every day. He went with the joke. He thought it was funny too. Too funny. At one point, he went with it as if it was as far fetched as my boys not wanting to play hockey, or as outlandish as Tim Tebow playing in the NFL next year.
Then he went way too far. He said "Look, it's Mrs. R in 1993!"
The assumptions underlying this seeming compliment were wrong on too many levels.
As if there's no return. As if I couldn't possibly recover my smooth skin (okay, I never, ever had smooth skin), or my reverse gap, or my perky girls, or my pimple-free thighs, and who am I kidding, pimple-free everywhere. That they've been gone for at least 20 years.
According to him, I suppose it was a compliment that he recognized that they ever even existed.
We grieve the loss of our young, perky bodies like we grieve many losses.
Things are gone. Things are fading. We are in reverse.