There are times in everyone's existence when Life slaps them in the back of the head and yells, "What were you thinking?" l got my wake-up call when I stood before a full-length mirror, clad in a peach-colored one piece swimsuit at my friend Calli's house. "You look pretty good," she assured.
It was obvious either she'd put friendship above honesty, or she'd gone temporarily blind. Calli wasn't seeing the same reflection I was. Cellulite decorated my upper thighs like lumps of rancid cottage cheese, and my butt hung like a couple of flat bean-bags.
I struggled to pull the Lycra over my thighs, wincing as it snapped my skin. The peach-colored suit made me look and feel like the grandmother of an Oscar Meyer weiner. "You've got to be kidding."
Calli cleared her throat and walked around, studying me at every angle. "Well...you could wear shorts, and perhaps a short-sleeved shirt..."
"And maybe ankle-length pants, and a bag over my head with the words 'PG-14 rating; alarming image' written across the front?" I grumbled.
My friend and I agreed that with time (and help from Calli's fashion sense) cute beach outfits could be arranged. Calli sighed and shook her head. "But those legs," she began.
I frowned and crossed my arms. "What about them?"
She pointed at my tanned arms. "Your upper body looks like it belongs to another person. I almost need sunglasses to look at those white legs."
With her help, I applied self-tanner to my legs. Three hours later I looked like an Oompa-Loompa.
"There's always tanning beds," Calli suggested. I dismissed that idea, partly because of the ultrav-voilet rays, but largely because of the fear of being forgotten. I'd once seen a forgotten chicken breast on a George Foreman. and the look wasn't pretty, especially not for me.
During the rest of the week, I researched ways on the internet to darken the skin on my legs. Finally the morning before the trip, I saw the solution: coffee grounds mixed with olive oil. And my husband and I had just finished our morning java. My heart sang as I almost danced my way to the bathroom. Humming, I smeared on the mixture, imagining the tropical tan I'd have, making me the envy of the beach.
I was just smearing on the last bit when the door flung open. There stood my twelve year-old son, mouth agape as he took in the sight of his mother, clad in her nightshirt and covered in coffee grounds. Silence blanketed the room as we regarded each other. I broke the spell by clearing my throat. "Umm...Mama got really excited over coffee this morning."
Joseph blinked then shook his head. "Wash your legs please. You smell like a Starbucks."
At that point, I was considering handing out free sunglasses at the beach, courtesy of my blinding-white legs.