by Amy Mullis
It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed the past fifteen years; it’s just disconcerting to find out that these days my body resembles the neighbor’s back yard: spare parts are piled under the hedges, weeds of various sizes sprout enthusiastically at random intervals, and the screen door flaps like a flock of geese in a high wind.
Fifteen years ago, I was a single Mom with a body young and lithe enough to tie my shoes without having the deductible on my health insurance come into play. Honestly, the money I spent on super-strength Tiger Balm was a total waste of money, until last spring when I discovered that to avoid bending over, I would have to wear slide-in bedroom shoes like the Women of Wal-Mart whenever I go out. That, or I was going to have to pay random passersby to lace up my sneakers.
A decade and half ago, I also discovered that if I was going to get two kids through fourth grade math, I was going to have to marry someone who could figure --without a calculator -- just how fast the train that left Los Angeles was traveling, and when it would overtake the train of thought that derailed when I discovered that, as class mom, I was in charge of cupcakes. These days I just use Google Earth and divide by Facebook, but in those days Social Media amounted to little more than a “Girls Wanted” ad in the personals section of something we called a “newspaper,” math was accomplished on the ten fingers I had available, and neither was any help with the cupcakes.
So almost fifteen years ago, on July 12, I considered all the options and decided it was the perfect time to marry the Captain. There was a time when I thought sticking my hand in a frightened dog’s mouth was a good idea too, but hopefully this plan won’t come back to bite me. Or require stitches. So far it’s smooth sailing. But we keep the vet on speed dial.
I’m different than I was fifteen years ago. I'm slower. Slower to get angry. And I'm heavier. I’m carrying some wonderful memories along with me. But they don't have a parking space near the Pearly Gates reserved for those that are pokey and fat. So, God willing, I’m gathering myself up to forge ahead, full throttle, without thinking whether this 15 year bump in the road will send me soaring into the blue or skidding into a ditch.
Sure, the last fifteen years showed me that the springs may be rusting. They also showed me that the most important thing to remember is that in another fifteen years, the me I am right now is gonna be looking pretty good.
And no one will ever suspect that I ate all the cupcakes.