Embracing Womanhood-When Dainty Lee Montgomery woke up one morning and realized the aging process had claimed her body, she didn’t take it very well. But with the love of her husband and the help of family and friends, she slowly begins to accept the aging process one day at a time and discovered a new lease on life.
In my lifetime, as far as I can remember, I have never given a thought to getting older and the changes that come with it. I knew it would happen eventually, but I wasn’t concerned about it. Let me tell you for those of you who don’t know; the aging process is slow like a snail until you take notice of it. Then one day I took notice of it and damn near lost my mind. Let’s just say I didn’t take the aging process well. You can call me what you want to--vain, conceited, a narcissist—that’s fine with me, but if you are anything like me and your outer appearance means a lot to you, I know you understand my dilemma. I’ll be standing by the wayside with a box of tissues and open arms for anyone like myself.
Every morning I went through the same routine. I get in and out the shower, grab the petroleum jelly and my favorite moisturizer and mix them, and rub the combination all over my body. But this morning I pulled my pink shower cap off my head, shook my hair out, and turned around to face the mirror and gasped: “Who the hell are you? Who let you in here?” The image of the woman in the mirror didn’t answer; she stared right back at me, revealing the puzzled expression on my face. I aged and it seemed overnight. I didn’t remember looking like this yesterday morning or the day before; maybe I didn’t take a good look at my body or just wasn’t paying attention.
I gave myself the once over and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I decided to pretend the woman I was staring at wasn’t me and I analyzed her from head to toe. I could tell the woman had been beautiful at one time in her life. While she was still very pretty, her age showed in her face. The crow’s feet around her eyes looked like two Chinese fans framing them. Parentheses embraced her mouth, lips thinning.
I turned to the side and checked the image from that angle.
Her breasts had dropped; one pointed straight ahead and the other, if it were an eye, would be cockeyed. Her stomach was full and round and started the balloon effect right beneath her breast. She looked as if she was four or five months pregnant. Her thighs dimpled with quarter- sized dents invading her butt cheeks.
“You are so vain,” rasped Robert, my husband.
“Rob, you scared the hell out of me,” I said smacking his arm, grabbing my raggedy yellow housecoat off the toilet, and slipping it on trying to hide my newfound body. I was a little peeved because I had no idea of how long he had stood there watching me. This was a private moment between me and the body.