aging, womenIn 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?

leggings, aging, spotsMy 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![subscribe2]

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  1. I enjoyed the blog and all the replies! While I have not gotten to the age spot phase yet, new gray hair comes in on a regular basis. Root touch up kits are my new friends. I don’t own any animal print, but I like it on other people. I don’t own a fur garment of any kind, but I always pet the mink stoles in the antique shops I frequent. I once found a taxidermy baby ostrich complete with egg! I wondered if it was actually legal to be selling it? I nearly bought it as a conversation piece, but I wasn’t sure it was politically correct. lol. I digress….
    My mother continues to remind me that age spots are coming and to wear whatever I like because one day it will not look as good on my body as it used to. Until then, I take stock in Oil of Olay products and hope for the best! Like the blog!

  2. There’s a double edged sword in your musing. I’m a firm believer in “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused.” I try! But, there is one cat with a bad attitude too….. Meow, damn it! Cute as ever, Jacquie!

  3. Yes, I can relate to your dilemma, except my legs are road maps of red and blue spider veins. Sure, I could pay to have them zapped (It takes several sessions for each vein) but they’d just return and there are no guarantees that the zapping will work. Like you, my legs have always been attractive, at least to “leg men.” I hate losing the appeal of that physical asset! So when I have to wear a skirt these days, I wear dark pantyhose. What’s the alternative? Stay at home and do nothing? Or go hose-less with heels? Not an option for my generation. In the end, I think Carol is right. Nobody really notices those spots — at least not as much as you do!
    (Please excuse any errors in my comment. My fingers are slippery because I just slathered spot removal cream on my hands.)

  4. I love your blog posts Jaquie!! They’re great. And I adore this one!
    The discussion about animal prints is hot with me… I love them too! But I have to be extremely careful wearing them! Not too much is it for me…
    I once tried a black and white striped long blouse on and looked like a 24 months-pregnant Zebra…
    Those leopard print pants are great… nothing for me – but definitely GREAT on the right person!! 🙂

  5. Oh, you snide, sarcastic “old folks” — y’all crack me UP!

    Here’s the real deal: I was at a Women Writers Forum event with a dozen women yesterday… I remember one had on a gorgeous faux fur scarf (but only recall this because she’s my friend and I’d given her the small stuffed animal as a gift). I remember another had on a cool velvet coat in a fabulous shade of light green (because this is my favorite color). I vaguely recall another had on a neck scarf, because she drew attention to it with a joke about pasting her self-stick name tag between her scarf and blouse to keep said scarf from traveling around her neck. Couldn’t tell ya what color the scarf or blouse were, and can pretty much guarantee none of ’em remember what I was wearing 🙂

    What I DO remember was who was laughing and who was offering up genuine, sage advice. I remember the warm Krispy Kreme melting on my tongue and the good woman who brought them and the hot coffee and getting a blog post finished during the break, and the bright, shining eyes of the women who walked out a little more inspired to write their dream book…

    Just sayin’… We’ll love ya just the same, spots and all, IF we even notice ’em, or, like Carol says, can even see that far 🙂

    • Awwww…that’s so sweet…and inspiring…and a reminder of what’s really important in life. So I’ll be anxious to know if you can hang on to that feeling when you see the first age spot on YOUR legs 🙂 I always…really I do… appreciate the viewpoint of a….YOUNGSTER! 🙂 Seriously…loved reading this and thanks so much 🙂

  6. Not to worry! As you age, so do your friends, and it’s been my experience that from a height of anywhere between 5’0″ and 6’11”, they can’t see that far (your legs).


    Yo sistah

  7. Don’t give in to the obvious solution of tattoos; I think you go with the leopard skin panty hose. They looked ‘hot’ to me, and they probably are, so in summer you could just tell folks you’re wearing them. My best advice, though, is never take advice on style from a seventy year old Honky.

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