In my youth, my mother used to wax on and on about her desire for a leopard coat. Back in those days, there was no PETA and ‘endangered species’ was a term attributed to the milkman. Home delivery was already waning.
In my mother’s mind, a speckled coat was that one thing of beauty in her life that was missing. As if donning a coat full of spots would enhance her beauty.
Fast forward to the present. I’m looking down at my legs and feeling disgust that the first thing that comes to my mind is that glossy photograph, ripped from Vogue magazine. I’m amazed at the similarity between the pattern on my legs and that picture.
I never liked the coat in that photo. First, because I love cats of any size and my child’s mind couldn’t fathom killing one for the sake of fashion. What’s beautiful about that? And second, I was more about kickball and football than style.
But I hate these spots on my legs even more. Let me tell you, these aren’t mere freckles…a dappling of cute angel kisses (my grandmother told me that freckles were angel kisses). No, no, these look like I’ve dangled my legs in a pool of brown rust and the skin has stained forever. Irregular color, irregular shaped. The word mottled comes to mind.
The dermatologist has ruled out anything nefarious…no cancer, thank heavens. But there isn’t anything that really works, she told me. No creams, no laser removal. “Age spots,” she said. I had to punch the examination table, so I wouldn’t punch her. I don’t need to hear it… I’m living it, thank you very much.
She gave me a brochure about leg make-up but I tossed it on my way out. I’ve graduated to nearly spackling my face. I need to spend another hour applying make-up to my legs? At this rate, I’d have to rise at 5:00AM in order to be ready for a 5:00PM cocktail hour. And laundry…I mean, how much Shout would it take to pre-treat make-up stains on the hemline of a skirt?
The easiest out is to wear trousers. But I don’t want to hide my legs after all these years. My legs have always been the one thing I could count on for a compliment. The one thing that makes men overlook my underdeveloped chest. I’m looking at my legs now and thinking, Et tu, Brute? Is there no end to the betrayal that aging thrusts upon us?
My mother would be proud that I’ve decided to embrace the whole animal print rage. I’m thinking that I can get a bunch of extra-long sweaters and blouses. With the right jewelry and spike heels, it will look like I’m wearing leopard leggings. I swear, I think it’ll work.
Unless you have a better idea? If so, do tell!
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