Sunday, July 27, 2014

Naming My Own She

Several years ago, the late Kathryn Tucker Windham wrote the final of her memoirs as homage to the woman who moved in with her and refused to leave. She entitled this gem She: The Old Woman Who Took Over My Life and as you might expect it has sold like firecrackers do at dusk on July 4.

It appears all we women have, or will have in the fullness of time if we are lucky, our own She with whom to spend the rest of our lives. 

My own She has now taken up full residence, and I hereby christen her on this day Myrtle. 

It has well and truly been a matter of not being able to get her off my back for months, and I read somewhere that the only way to get rid of an enemy legally is to make a friend of them. I'm all about remaining this side of legal, so there ya go. 

Myrtle has sprung up, newly born yet aged 56 years, 3 months, and 7 days old. She has persuaded me that I don't have to wear mascara anymore, and that all other make up is now optional. Thus far, I still refuse to listen to her when she suggests we can dispense with leg and armpit shaving. She never had to persuade me not to color my hair, but she was right when she said that wearing my hair really short again would bring me peace.  Myrtle weighs 20 pounds, and I know this for true because before she began coming over for the weekends only, I weighed exactly what I wanted to weigh. Now that she has quite moved in, I am resigned to seeing my weight and hers all added together on the scale. 

Myrtle has gifted me with osteoporosis, arthritis in my feet and hands, an extra flap of skin or two on my body that could provide shelter to leprechauns or sprites but which otherwise serves no purpose, and these ridiculous "age spots" that may eventually wind up making me look like I finally got the perfect tan that always eluded me in my youth.

We are colorful, Myrtle and I. We have fireworks on our leg, just behind our left knee, especially. Some folk call these "spider veins," but I prefer to think of my body as a celebration of its life and not a hostel for arachnids. She has also deposited laugh lines in places I didn't realize my face even moves when I laugh, and just to be funny has arranged for annoying little hairs to spring up in random places on my face. At least they provide me with some entertainment, as keeping them at bay is the post-menopausal woman's version of a daily aggression-fueled game of Whack-a-Mole. 

These days I need bigger shoes (thanks, arches), wider pants (whose hips are these?), and industrial strength unmentionables, and we don't even need to discuss that I might be next in line for quad-focals as I now need to take my trifocal glasses off in order to read. 

I think my favorite thing about Myrtle is that she enjoys the company of my 18 year old self, who didn't give much of a fig about what people thought. There is a lot of freedom in that, although less beer. Myrtle is quite unyielding when it comes to her bladder, and "staying up late" now means getting to the end of the 10:00 news.  (And I get extra points if, during the newscast I refrain from saying, "What is this world coming to?")

Despite our differences, Myrtle and I are getting along pretty well, and as long as I get to keep picking the music we listen to and the way we dance when nobody's looking, I reckon she's welcome to stay. 

1 comment:

  1. How hospitable you are! I must have really irked my She, because I don't think we're even considering dancing happily together. Not only that, She won't tell me her name and has rejected all the one's I've thought of calling her. I'll have to admit, that some of them weren't nice. Perhaps I need to take lessons from you on welcoming her.