Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The skin you're in

Something happens to you when you are old. You lose most of your mass. Your body shrinks, weight is lost, and bones curve. Every part of you seems smaller, gets more compacted. They say your nose and ears keep growing, regardless of your age, but I think they have missed the obvious third. Your skin.

I have a theory. Your skin continues to grow long after you stop growing. Your body starts to die bit by bit, but not your skin. It continues to expand and carry on. It just doesn’t seem to get the memo.

Seriously. Have you ever looked at an old person?

I was chatting with my Grandma last night when I came to this conclusion. Now, my Grandma has always been a small, little wisp of a thing. Just over 5 feet and a bit, and around 100 lbs, she’s never been a big lady. Yet, her skin would fit a 6’2” of 250lbs. I’m positive of it.

Her skin seems to have stretched thinner, as though to cover a larger area. Parts of her skin are so thin they seem see-through, yet it pools excessively in some areas. Elbows, wrists, and neck all have copious gathers of skin just waiting to be stretched across the frame of a line backer. Yet, veins are barely protected by more than thin lace.

It is as though all elderly people suddenly get the Elephant disease. You hit 70 and your skin bursts into a growth spurt like a 15 year old boy. Every other part is readying for retirement, ready to settle down and relax for once. Not skin, it is going to make its’ presence known.

The only explanation I can think of is that the folds are to allow for storage. Kleenex, mints and coins can be kept all over one’s body without ever needing a purse. Ask Grandma for a tissue. I swear she has more than one in her wrist.


  1. Oh May-b. You are so awesome. That post was a great balance between thoughtful and cheeky. Especially the last sentence. Totally made my day!

  2. Do you have that beautiful B&W picture Ky took of Grandma. It illustrates your story to a T.


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