Friday, July 20, 2012

Ethel's Elbows

First, let me say that this is not Ethel.  I have no idea who she might be, but she has a pretty good looking set of elbows.
Elderly happy senior woman doing fitness exercises and showing her muscles photo
And I apologize to anyone who may be reading this and happens to be named Ethel. 

Next, let me tell you that I do not know who Ethel is, that is the Ethel in the title of this post. Never knew her.

Here is the thing.  My youngest sister always had a bit of a critical streak toward anyone she did not think looked quite up to par.  In her younger years, my guess is that it came from the fact that she was quite good looking.  Natural blonde hair, big blue eyes in a pretty face, and all in a petite five foot one inch package.  She was, in fact, now that I reflect upon it, quite vain.

And she had a "thing" about elbows.  

She knew someone named Ethel, who apparently had the misfortune to have sub par elbows, as in baggy and saggy.  My sister did not hesitate to comment upon them in less than kindly terms.  It left me with a horror of ever developing what she so disparagingly called "Ethel's elbows."

Once after a visit to our mother, who was by then in her sixties, M. (my sister) said to me on our way home, "Good grief.  Did you notice? Mom has now got 'Ethel's elbows'?"

Sometimes she would nudge me in a cafe or a department store, and  whisper, "See that?  She's got Ethel's elbows."  It was the ultimate put down.

Fast forward twenty five years, and here I am the approximate age my mother was when M. declared her to have developed the dread condition known as "Ethel's elbows."

Imagine, if you can, my chagrin therefore, when the other day my son, K., remarked as I bustled about his room tidying up, "Mom, those are some pudgy elbows you've got there."

He said it with a smile, and with no disrespect intended.  It was just gentle teasing.  We have had to have a lot of physical proximity this past year, while I took care of him during his illness.  He probably notices things that ordinarily he never would.  At least I am hoping that is why he noticed.

I left the room, plopped myself down on a chair and thought to myself, "Well, here I am.  I now have Ethel's elbows."

Okay, so it is what it is.  Welcome to getting older.  

But I can still work a full day, walk a full mile or two, laugh at a good joke and enjoy a garden.  All things considered, I guess there are worse things than having Ethel's elbows.  God bless her, wherever she is, I hope she is doing as well herself.

So whatever your particular nuisance associated with getting older may be, hope you are ignoring it and enjoying your day.
Until next time ... Marsha


  1. As I get older, function appeals to me much more than form.

  2. Well, you took my breath away! Elbows and all!
    Nicely said and yes, I will enjoy my day, knowing I'm not alone with this growing older stage of my life.
    Thank you!

    1. Christine - You certainly are NOT alone. They tell us that there are about a kajillion of us baby boomers. :) Have a good day!

  3. Ethel's elbows, now I think I will remember this phrase. This post made me smile.

    1. Terra - Welcome back! Then I have achieved my purpose which, as you may have noted above, is to either offer something of interest, encouragement, or which makes you smile. :)

  4. And all this time I was worried about turkey waddle neck! I'm with Shelly. As long as it all functions properly.

  5. Oh your post made me smile. Ethel's elbows eh - I will need to remember that one. :))

  6. Well Marsha, my mom's name was Ethel. This is the second blog post I read today that talked about an 'Ethel'. LOL

    My mom hated her name but eventually gave in to it. What could she do? She was a beautiful woman and wore her Ethel elbows very well thank you. :)

    But I know what you mean. And I too am having some trouble with a bit of extra skin under those arms. I tore my rotator cuff and have been going to Rehab the past few weeks though. And do you know what? The exercises I've been doing are helping that extra skin. Maybe I'll continue with these weights if it will get rid of Ethel elbows and arms.

    Blessings and love,

  7. Old age is NOT for sissies! sandie

  8. I can't easily see my elbows so I'm not going to worry about them, but I would love to have the hollow of my eyes plumped up! I suppose we all have something(s) we wish were not as aged.