Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It Is -- Shudder -- Time To Tug One On.

I have met the enemy, and the enemy is me – or really, my body, stuffed into and sadly overflowing a seasonal Lycra tourniquet.

Yes, bathing suit season is upon us.  Nine months of the year, I alternate between camouflaging, concealing, and then, refusing to even acknowledge my 48-year-old form in the bathroom mirror, much less behold it in the blinding light of a summer day.

But as May approaches, the rising mercury and my own unpredictable internal thermostat force me to peel back the layers.  I’m obligated to behold – and then, lift and separate and compress and flatten.  Still, I’m reminded of a tube of Crest.  Those parts of me that have worked their way out and spilled over the top of my jeans and back of my bra, can’t possibly be stuffed back in.  And smoothing out that aging, sun-damaged skin?  Better to try and return a wadded up ball of tissue paper to its original sleekness.  No iron in the world could make things right.

I’m not the only one cringing.  According to a recent survey in The Daily Mail, we women would rather that women of a certain age keep it covered up.  Indeed, my own Darling Daughter agrees.  Here are a few of the survey results, plus DD’s 14-year-old perspective.

The Age Women Believe You Should Stop Wearing …
  • A bikini?  47.  According to DD, however, the two-piece should be tossed once a woman graduates from college.
  • A mini-skirt?  35.  Or, in DD’s opinion, if you’ve graduated from anything, the mini-skirt is out.
  • Stilettos?  Age 51.  If I recall, DD’s exact words were, “Mom, take those off.  Now.”
  • A see-through chiffon blouse?  Age 40.  DD’s comment?  “That’s not really a question, is it?”
  • Swimsuit?  Age 61.  But as DD sees it, at age 48, I’m long past my swimsuit years and should stick to wearing shorts.  But not too short.
  • Leggings?  Age 45.  Or, to quote DD, “That’s stupid.  No grown woman should ever wear them.”  Sigh.  Even under a really, really, cute dress.  That I love.  Even when the leggings look like tights.  No fair.
  • Leather trousers?  Age 45.  Or, finally, a reprieve from DD, “Um.  300?”

Whatever.  Call me old-fashioned, but I’m appalled by “see-through blouses” at any age.  However, I’ll be tugging on a bathing suit – and complaining about it – for the rest of my life.  Sometimes you’ve got to go against the flow.  Like in this unexpected flavorful, savory rice dish.  Rice?  With lime?  And cinnamon?  You’ve got to, got to, got to try this.  Even DD agrees.  (But only a small serving for me.  Did I not mention that it’s bathing suit season?)

Cinnamon Lime Rice
1, 14-ounce can chicken broth + ¼ cup water
1 cup raw rice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
zest of one lime

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once and reduce heat to low.  Put lid in place, and cook for 13 minutes.  Remove lid, fluff gently with a fork and serve.


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