Let’s be honest: most of us aren’t in our prime any more. That’s for younger generations. Which is something we have to get used to. Santa Barbara, California’s Barbara Greenleaf, founder of the blog ParentsofGrownOffspring.com, has come to terms with this and shares those terms with BoomerCafé when she asks, Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Waist Gone?

I’m not saying I was Long Island’s answer to Scarlett O’Hara, but in my day I did have a small waist. Okay, maybe it was a bit more than a hand span, but there was a definite indentation around my middle.

This is how I know: I got my wedding dress at the famous low-price store called Loehmann’s for $99. Even in the Middle Ages that was a very good price for an all-lace garment, so it had to have been a sample size, right?

Fast forward a quarter century and now my younger daughter wants to get married in that dress. She is only a size six, yet the dress has to be let out.

Suddenly, the dress that originally cost me only $99 is being altered to the tune of $1,000. It’s not that I’m bitter about the cost, honestly I’m not, although I do have to say that the price-gouging that goes on as soon as anyone hears the magic word “wedding” is truly reprehensible.

But I digress. The point is, if a dress has to be let out to be a size six, I must have had a waist back in the old days.

Barbara Greenleaf years ago – center in the back row.

Alas, these are the new days. I read somewhere that the average American gains a pound a year through middle age. I gained maybe half a pound. But somewhere along the line I lost the line, and my body reconfigured itself from an hourglass to a Rorschach ink blot. It’s not that I look like a linebacker, it’s just that my figure has become noticeably “indistinct.”

Too bad we’re not living during the Renaissance, when the full-figured woman was all the rage, or even the mid-19th Century, when a well-rounded lass could be an artist’s muse.

Today you’d better look like an X-ray or you’re considered hopeless. Remember Twiggy?

Barbara Greenleaf

For a while I bought into this, trying to whittle my waist by twisting this way and that, hoisting mega-cans of Campbell’s Soup, and crunching my alleged core. I even tried a “foundation garment” that nips one here and lets one out there, but for some reason I found breathing an issue.

Since I wasn’t having any luck changing my body, I decided to change my wardrobe:

  • I gave away my belts.
  • I gave away my tuck-in shirts.
  • I experimented with vests, which wasn’t a great idea in Southern California where I live, as it is often hot as hell and a camisole with a vest looks just plain weird.
  • I reverted to pull-up pants. My wardrobe from the waist down now bears a strong resemblance to that of my pre-K grandchild.

Truthfully, I don’t have time to obsess over my long-lost waist because so many other parts of my body have suddenly decided to do their own thing. Hmm, what are those jiggling things that took over my arms when I wasn’t looking?

Copyright © 2018 Barbara Greenleaf.

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