One of the ladies commented on my arms the other day.
"I wish my arms were nice like yours."
"Really?" I said. "I've always thought they were kind of hairy."
"Not that. Look how smooth your skin is. And look at mine." Her arms had age spots and bruises and her hands were thin-skinned and veiny.
"Oh, that's just part of growing up." I said.
And, as usual, I thought of a lot of better things to say after that.
Like: "Those are just your war wounds and battle scars. They're proof that you've 'been there and done that'."
Or: "If everyday above ground is a victory, those are your purple hearts and merit badges."
How about: "And you've worked hard to earn everyone of those. That's just a road map showing where you've been."
I know, when it's my turn to watch my skin change, I probably won't be happy about it, either. Maybe I'll wish for my young skin again. But I hope not. I hope that I'll recognize it for what it is: an old, patched jacket that shows that I have, indeed, "been there, done that, and got the t-shirt".