AGING AND ALL…
The bedside lamp is still on, my glasses are still on. I must have fallen asleep while reading. I take off my glasses and straighten the roughened pages of my report. I am behind schedule and it was quite silly of me to have thought I could do any work in bed . I look at my husband, who is snoring softly. While I am trying to get off the bed I catch a glimpse of my reflection. I go close to the mirror; I pull at the straps of my night gown. It falls softly to the ground. I stand there naked like the day I was born. My slightly protruding tummy jeers at me and my folds cascade like a waterfall. My breasts are downward looking. They can’t remain firm after three kids. My skin is no longer firm and the lines around my eyes are increasing in geometric progression. I notice that my fingers are becoming slightly disfigured. My husband grunts and I hold my breath. He continues to snore softly and I resume my self examination. This thing, whatever it is that is happening to me, is beyond spas and beauty parlor treatments. I can’t make it go away. A tear drops from the side of my eye and I walk briskly toward the bathroom.
In the bathroom, there is another mirror. I try to smile at the sad woman in the mirror. All I see are brown teeth and graying eyebrows. Apparently I would have to extend the dye to my eyebrows. I splash some cold water on my face, that’s when it all came back to me. Thirty years back, I always wanted to be my own woman, have my own business, be my own boss, etc. it was a dream then, and it still is and will always be. Fifteen more years of kissing ass and I will be done. Its not like I don’t earn enough money, I do. I spend all my time making all the money I have that there is no time to spend it. And when I do, it is to hide my fatigue with all those beauty treatment and age defying shenanigans. This life is killing me and here I am in the middle of my life not knowing what I want and having to make do with what life and chance throw my way. My lips are trembling now and I begin to sob quietly. I don’t want to wake my husband up.
After about fifteen minutes, I stop crying but I feel worse. I peep through the door at my husband. He is either aging well or taking it with such peace of mind. Those young girls are not relenting so I have had to cut my desserts, eat healthy breakfast and join aerobics classes. I think about how I felt about his proposal. It was unbelievable; I just thought he was too good for me-he still is. For instance, I have never remembered our wedding anniversary since ten years after we got married, but he remembers and never fails to buy me a present or take me out. He goes through the trouble to cut his hair to my taste (which is non existent to me), and everything that goes into his wardrobe has to have my approval. He tries so hard to please me (he shouldn’t, his mere breathing pleases me). He doesn’t even complain about my folds. I resolve that night to activate a reminder so that I don’t miss our next wedding anniversary. I drag my weary self back to bed and put off the side lamp. I spent one hour mooning when I should have been putting finishing touches to my report.
In the morning, my husband is dressed at first light. He has a board meeting and won’t be having breakfast, he says. After thirty minutes of struggling with sleep. I get up and dress for work. I work fast and I am able to deliver the report in the nick of time. I leave work early. I change my hairdo, dye my eyebrows and shape them. I go shopping, do my hair and nails. I actually change into one of the elegant dresses I had bought. When I get home, it is half past six and my husband is back. He just got back in, he says. His eyes light up when he sees me. You look splendid, he says. I am flattered and I watch him move towards me. He stops abruptly and puts his hand in his pockets. You are so beautiful, he says. There is something in his fists now. He looks at me, and says, ‘I am so glad you remembered’. My blank look gives me away, his face falls as he opens his fist and there I see a set of keys. ‘They are for the condo on the Caribbean islands’. Then it hit me, today is our wedding anniversary and I forgot. I didn’t activate the reminder after all.