Katia was sweaty today and she was testing the smell with her nose tucked tight in her pit. “what are you doing” I asked. She told me that she wanted to know what her sweat smelled like. I told her that when turns about 12 she’ll start having hormones. “what are hormones mommy”.? That’s when you get little boobies, your period, sad moods, happy moods, and you’ll start liking boys more. “I don’t want hormones, mommy” she laughed. “Do you have them?” asked Giselle. “Yes. Oh God yes.” Someday I’ won’t have them anymore.
When I’m old and I loose my hormones, I’ll no longer have to suck in my gut in the gym locker room, standing naturally and discussing politics with other swim aerobic classmates. I’ll be able to discuss the density of my left breast with my friend as we towel off in the shower. I’ll have the support of other women and the jealously and competitiveness will diminish.
I want to grow old like my friend Teresa. When she died at age 94, she was still as young as anyone she was around. She was only about 4’2” and she was a little round. Her hair was waivy and white but always neat and she never smelled like an old closet full of perfume and pantyhose. She always made me feel special and I suspect she had this effect on everyone. Every year we’d go to her house for trick or treat and she kept m&ms because that’s what people expected her to have. She was wise and new that she had high expectations to live up to. Namely, always having salami in the frig and a bowl of m&ms on the coffee table in a pretty bowl.
She told me about her game nights with her friends. How they’d take turns each week and travel to each other’s homes. They all had card tables in the closets I guess. What is it about the last few generations and their card tables. Why don’t we have them? Probably because people don’t visit anymore. Anyway, she explained to me how the card games worked: “Each week someone sets up the tables and makes a cake. Everyone would have tea and play for a while. Then we’d bring out some hard alcohol.”
M&M’s salami and hard alcohol. She lived a life full of people who loved her in a small town. It wasn’t about her diet. It was about her love. She made everyone feel special. I told my husband that when I was 93, I wanted to be just like her. He advised me that I should have started earlier. In other words, its impossible for me. I’m never going to be that genuine and that real. I’m just not. Thank God there are people out there like Teresa who can love me anyway.