Oh My Upper Arms

It’s all well and good for Nora Ephron to say “I Feel Bad About My Neck” and even write a book about it, but honestly, in my opinion, it isn’t the neck that bothers women of a certain age so much as it is their upper arms. I quite like my neck, and my upper chest, even. My lower chest is still pretty good, too, although it is certainly a good bit lower than it used to be, but we don’t need to go there at this time.

My daughter used to tell me I’d get what she euphemistically called ‘old lady arms’ if I wasn’t careful. Hah! Me? Old lady arms? I didn’t intend to live long enough to be an ‘old lady’, arms or no arms. So did I listen to Kristi? Of course not. What mother ever listens to her daughter? It’s supposed to be the other way around. But that doesn’t usually work very well either. And anyway, I’m still not old, in my opinion. It’s just my upper arms that are. Sort of.

So, I do think my neck is doing very well for itself, considering that it’ll be 81 in a couple of months from now. The rest of me doesn’t happen to think that’s so old (now that I’m there, that is). It’s just my upper arms that are. Sort of.

Oh, mercy me. Why can’t there be something reasonable that could be done about them? For instance, if I promised faithfully to be good and eat only the right foods and take my vitamins, and exercise regularly and do only the right things all the time, well – if I promised all that, and actually followed through – then why couldn’t my fairy godmother come in the night? She could wave her magic wand and say ‘whoosh’ or whatever it is that fairy godmothers say these days, and those unsightly upper arms would just go back to what they were . . . oh, say, sixty years ago?

That would work for me. It would probably work for every other woman of a certain age, too. Hardly any of us don’t have this problem with flab, flapping inelegantly in the breeze, if we even so much as think to wear a sleeve that’s doesn’t come past our elbows.

And speaking of sleeves (which I was just doing) why in the world are there no elbow length tee shirts or blouses? I mean, real, geographically-correct elbow length. You know, down past that point in your arm where it bends? I mean, elbows are not traditionally two or three inches south of one’s shoulders, so why do sleeves stop at that point?

I do know there’s corrective surgery for this problem. I read about it in a magazine a few summers ago. I then had to pick myself up off the floor when I read the price tag: $5000. plus per arm. PER ARM!!!  For goodness’ sake, both arms are almost a year’s Social Security. I certainly don’t think Medicare will pay for such a thing, do you? And furthermore, while you heal and all the veins and things get used to being so much lighter on their feet and all, you can’t even do anything with the rest of your arms. I suppose the medical persons will let you use the south end to at least feed yourself, but otherwise, verboten! No lifting, no carrying.

I wonder if I could trade that excess skin, which is quite a nice shade and texture, unblemished – (slightly wrinkled but no tats or scars, and so forth) for something that I could really use. I’m not sure exactly what that would be, just at the moment, but I’m open to suggestions.   

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Kelly Ferjutz

I’ve had a life-long love affair with words, usually with my nose stuck in a book when I should have been doing other things. But I was writing, too. About automobiles and racing them; sports – mostly women’s, but sometimes men’s as well. Plus classical music, opera, theater, dance and visual arts, and a few general features or opinion pieces. Two of my plays had staged readings at Karamu, and five books have been published by traditional publishers, while several others have been self-published. I’m happily employed at a job that combines the cars and the writing. Paradise!

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