Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tales from the Caribbean Islands
I was standing in front of a mirror this week, in a bikini, thinking to myself, man, if only I were 10 pounds thinner, I would look awesome in this bikini.
And then I laughed. Because last year, at about this time, I was 10 pounds thinner and no, I didn’t think I looked awesome in a bikini. Actually I thought pretty much the same thing -- if only I were 10 pounds thinner. I started to wonder -- how much of my life have I spent wishing I was thinner?
I’m in Aruba with my folks -- I know my life is so hard -- it is a trip they take almost every year with a group of people with whom my mother works. In this group of 30 or so people, my parents are on the younger side of the median age. I didn't mind being the youngest person on the trip, however, because I love old people.
I remember once, in bed with Wharton, we were talking about an assignment I had to interview this 80-something-year-old man that just finished a novel. I remarked that I was really looking forward to meeting him because I love old people. Wharton rolled his eyes and said, “yeah, right.”
But, I actually meant it. I really do like old people. Old people, and perhaps that is not the nicest way to label them but I’m sticking with it, have a really grounded sense of reality. They have lived through so much. They know what is important and what doesn’t matter.
Not to mention they have the greatest stories.
So, after a couple of minutes staring at all my least favorite parts, I pulled on my cover-up, turned off the lights, grabbed by bag and headed for the pool. On my way, I stopped at the float/fresh towels hut. See, it was hot as balls already, though, because I was in paradise there was a warm, gentle breeze, so I decided instead of frying myself on a lounge chair, I would bake while floating in the pool.
I set up a base camp and breathed a huge sigh of relief that the pool was blessedly free of children. In fact, it was completely empty. I looked around at all the other sun bathers as I slowly took off my white linen sweater and picked up my float.
I laid on top of the water, with my eyes clothes, repeating my mantra, “tan fat is cuter than pale fat” when two old biddies that were sitting on nearby chaises started talking. “Oh, doesn’t that look refreshing,” said Biddy One.
“Oh, that’s Natasha’s daughter,” replied Biddy Two.
Biddy One then sat up and looked closer. “Oh, you know, you’re right. She looks just like her mother.”
“You should go get a float and join her,” offered Biddy Two.
Biddy One replied, “Oh yeah right. Maybe if I had a body like hers I wouldn’t mind showing it off like that. But I think I’ll stay right here.”
I had to smile. Not just because of what she said, but because I knew she was right. Well, sort of. I knew that when I'm her age, I will look back to this vacation and wish I still had this body that was so disgusting to me earlier that morning. I relaxed into my float and stopped comparing myself to all the other woman that were hanging around.
A couple of hours later I even felt good enough to walk to the bar without my cover-up. Of course that could have been the three pina coladas I had.