Gravity is an insidious thing. Oh I know it keeps us tethered to the planet and that without it we’d float away and our bones would break in a pillow fight. Still, this gravity thing has a serious down side. And I mean that literally.
I first started suspecting the dirty dealings of gravity last year. See, things about me didn’t seem as perky as they used to. And I’m not talking about my personality. I’m talking about more EXTERNAL things. Okay I’ll say it… my breasts and my butt.
I mean, I was never a Victoria’s Secret model or anything. But my B&Bs were pretty good about standing at attention without the support of things like, say, foundation garments.
And then one day last year, as I passed the mirror naked after a shower, I stopped dead in my tracks. Something about me was different. What was it? Had I changed my hair? Gotten new glasses? Finally gotten around to having my eyebrows professionally done by those ladies who use thread? I knew it wasn’t any of those things because, well, wouldn’t I have known it? Okay, maybe not given my tendency toward forgetfulness since I’ve become a mom. But after looking through receipts and my calendar, I quickly ruled those out as possibilities. I thought long and hard. And then it struck me. Something WAS different, all right. And they were staring me in the face.
Whereas at one time my breasts were so alert I would have sworn they pointed True North, they seemed to now, oh dear god, be pointing ever so slightly South!
I was horrified! My own personal compass rose (or roses if we’re going to be more literal in our metaphors) had suddenly gone haywire! How could this be?! I mean, everyone knows that north can’t suddenly become south. Unless of course there was some catastrophic event, like those earthquakes that make rivers run backwards for days.
But I hadn’t suffered any such catastrophic event, had I? The answer was NO. So I shook the whole thing off as a result of wearing my sports bra too long after my workout. I mean, nothing can change the landscape quite like a boob-immobilizing sports bra. Right?
WRONG! Because the other day, after my shower, the reality of my changing landscape hit me like a ton of bricks when I went to dry myself.
Now if you’re like me, you have a drying ritual. A certain order in the whole drying process that covers all areas, which you have done so many times it’s as instinctive as breathing or saying “no” to your kid when you pass the toy aisle in Target. And when you’re done with the toweling process, you’re dry. Except this time, I wasn’t completely dry! No, in fact, as I went to put on my clothes, I noticed there were little “trenches” shall we call them, that were still wet! Namely, the two little areas beneath my breasts, and the areas on the top back of my legs where the legs meet my butt cheeks.
How could this be?! I had dried myself as I always had. How could I have missed those spots? Well, turns it’s easy to miss them if they’re covered up by gravity-battered FLESH!
I was mortified. Not only had the landscape changed, it was overlapping. Kind of like two tectonic plates that meet and, as a result of the pressure (or in this case that infuriating gravity) one goes UNDER the other.
On close examination, I saw this was the case. Flesh was indeed meeting flesh. I hadn’t seen anything like it since the time Julia went through her plump baby phase where she had so many folds I was sure a DNA test would prove the Michelin Man was her father. I kid you not when I say she looked like she had three extra joints on each arm and leg. There were so many crevices on her little body that I had to take extra care to wash deep inside them, lest any urpy found its way in between and over time turn into oil.
Well, now it was happening to me! I was becoming the Michelin Mom. But how? Why? And then it occured to me that while, true, no catastrophic event had occured to my body - I had been suffering a lot of little tiny temblors over several years that could definitely have changed the landscape a little at a time in a way that was almost imperceptible. And those little earthquakes were called birthdays.
I’ll tell you, it’s a rude awakening when your body parts start migrating. I guess it’s all part of the natural process of time passage meeting the forces of nature. I mean, the Earth doesn’t look like it did millions of years ago. Remember that super continent you learned about in school called Pangaea? Well last I checked on Julia’s Academic Challenge study sheet, there are now SEVEN CONTINENTS! And if something like the continents can succumb to the forces of time and nature, how can we expect our bodies to be immune?
Especially if we’re living life right. Heck, we should be using the heck out of our bodies! Eating. laughing, loving, having babies! And as things get used, they well, change. I understand that.
I accept that. Stop laughing. I DO! Really! I mean, it’s not like I have any choice. None of us do. But you know what can take the edge off a little? A husband who loves you no matter how you look. Who “loves the sorrows of my changing face” to slightly misquote my favorite poet William Butler Yeats. Know what else helps? A couple of margaritas with so much tequila in ‘em that I can’t feel my cheeks (the ones on either side of my mouth).
Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy (or at least try not to be horrified by) watching my own little Pangaea in action on my torso. In fact, maybe I’ll set up a camera and do a stop motion thing! Yeah! And then, in forty years it’ll be the hit of Youtube! … And be one more reason Julia will blame me for her high therapy bills.