Ahh Memorial Day, the day that truly marks the beginning of summer. So much to look forward to. The beach, the parties, the pink drinks, the unfortunate spray tans that wander off the skin. And of course the reemergence of the arms, particularly the part of the arm that’s very white and soft and just below the arm pit when your arms are hanging by your sides and above your arm pits when you lift your arms in the air. If you’re under forty you should leave the room. You don’t need to know what horror awaits you. You’re still walking around flinging your limbs to-and-fro without a care in the world. I see you there, reaching for things, saying, “hellooo!” to friends and sometimes accidentally to strangers, hailing cabs, pointing. It’s all fun and games until one day you’re looking in the mirror, happily blow drying your hair, or, in my case, dancing, and you see something so horrific, you are forced to lock the door and call your sister.
“Something terrible just happened,” you will say.
“Oh no, what did you do?” your sister will answer.
“I just lifted my arms in front of the mirror.”
“OH, I should have warned you. You shouldn’t do that.”
“You mean to say you know what I saw?”
“Of course I know.”
“Why didn’t you warn me?”
“I was hoping you still had a little more time or that you wouldn’t notice it.”
How could one not notice a whole pocket of skin that magically shrivels overnight and becomes a dangling pile of stretched out weird crumply lines.
“Who is responsible for this?!” you might hear yourself scream.
“It happens to everyone,” your sister will say right before you drop the phone so you can resume standing in front of the mirror trying a bunch of different waves. None of them will work except the salute.
From that point on, you will spend a lot of time trying to identify what your mangled underarm skin reminds you of. Sometimes it will be the underbelly of a whale, sometimes a pelican, and sometimes an old balloon. You’ll also try to sneak a peek at all of your friends’ under-upper-arm areas. You can do this by asking them questions and demanding they raise their hands before answering. At times you’ll find yourself having so much fun you’ll forget what happened to your arms. Other times you may randomly cry out, and a day will come when you try to iron yourself.
As much as you’ll want to hide that whole part of your body, you’ll also find yourself desperate to confide in people
about it. It’s that alarming.
“Did you see what happened here?” you’ll say over and over, to anyone really.
Nobody will admit they already saw it.
The good news is there are options to deal with the situation as it unfolds…and drops even further:
1) Have your arms removed.
2)Wear long sleeves .
3)Accept yourself for how old you are and learn to love your new body. You earned every wrinkle. Think of them as lots and lots of tiny smiles all over your face and body. And the truth is you should be grateful that you even have arms. Maybe it’s time to stop worrying about every little imperfection and just be happy you’re alive, the sun is shining, and it’s Memorial Day!
I’m kidding. Wear long sleeves.