My right to bare arms

by Bron | September 6, 2013 12:05 pm

001Oh shit. Shit shit shit shit shit. It’s nearly summer, hey.

Which is actually ok by me, despite my repetitive profanities.

Now you know I’m not really a winter person. It’s like beach or countryside. Tea or coffee. Country or western. We tend to be either one or the other.

I’m more your summer person. I like to swim, eat outdoors and drink white wine that is almost sub-Arctic in temperature. I like to sleep with the scent of my jasmine vine wafting over me. Gawd that was almost poetic!

My birthday is the 25th of August and people are often perplexed as to why an imminent birthday causes me no grief. It’s because once my birthday is done, there’s literally one week more until winter is over. Literally. Praise to you Lord Summer.

For a brief moment every year, I pause to consider whether I would like to change teams and become pro-winter. Like voting for Clive Palmer. I think that one day I’ll be all nasty and menopausal and wanting to put my head in the freezer. Brisbane summers look like they could be somewhat brutal to menopausal women.

Or when we got back from a few weeks in the UK, where I wore 5-metre long scarves in some ultra-chic Elizabeth Hurley way, and slept under massive goose feather doonas, and drank wee drams of whiskey by the fire… Yes then I think I might like to be a winter person.

That is, until it’s time to go back to work and I’m standing at the train station at 6:45am and it’s freezing.

Nope, summer it is for me. 32 degree days, a quick dip in the pool before bed, sandals and swishy skirts and very little makeup.

There’s just one thing that blights my otherwise heated landscape. My arm flap. Call it what you will – nana arms, tuck shop lady arms, bingo arms, batwings, flabby arms…

It’s one of those nasty cruelties of life that insidiously sneak up on you when you’re paying more attention to keeping your kids off drugs or cataloguing your Bay City Rollers records.

Slipping into something sleeveless is no longer seamless.

It’s not like I don’t go to the gym. I do. Just not enough. And when I’m there, I tend to favour the treadmill or recumbent bike, where I can prop up my iPad and watch episodes of House Husbands or Game of Thrones.

The free weights area is not really mobile television friendly. There’s nowhere to prop up my iPad. There’s no electronic device counting my reps for me while I focus on whether someone is going to lop that miserable Cersei’s head off. And, heaven forbid, I might drop a 5kg weight on it. That would not please my husband. Or the people at iTunes who can all comfortably retire on my downloads.

In a bid to be pro-active, I took a free weight to work. All 4kgs of it sat right in the middle of my desk and shortly thereafter I discovered it made both an excellent paperweight and a conversation starter.

Co-workers would regularly call past my desk for a chat and an arm curl. During a mid-length conversation they would do 25-30 per arm and thank me for my hospitality. Then put the weight back on my pile of papers. Considerate.

I got the idea from Jennifer Aniston. Now there’s a lady with great arms. I’d like to think that she told me about it while we were having one of our regular girly chats but I doubt you’d believe me, so I won’t. I was reading in some magazine while I was getting my hair done that she does about 100 arm curls with a free weight everyday.

Her secret, she says, is to make it a part of another daily activity like talking on the phone or watching tv.

So, I took mine to a meeting. That’s a daily activity for me. Sometimes thrice daily. They’re usually not very interesting so doing some arm work will keep me occupied. Save me from realising I forgot to turn off the sound on Candy Crush, which I was trying to sneakily play under the table.

Not for a second did I think it would be a bother to anyone. Moreso, I thought to be congratulated for bringing the company’s healthy living message to the table. Literally.

Apparently not. My boss told me to “put that confounded thing on the floor, you’re distracting everyone”. Which was a shame because I hadn’t brought my phone so there was no chance of a quick level of Candy Crush. Drat.

When I was in my 20s and 30s I’d look at women my age and wonder why they persisted in wearing these infernal short-sleeve cardigan type arrangements over their lovely tops and dresses. It’s summer in Brisbane, for goodness sake, don’t you get hot?

What I’ve learnt, is that it is a far far better thing to be hot than to expose a flabby arm.

Dress shops, I think, have caught on to this phenomenon. Cute little summer dress, lovely subtle floral sort of pattern, sits right on the knee, flattering v-neck… yes please. Ooh goody and only $79. Matching little bolero-style jacket/cardigan top-arm-covering arrangement? $249.

See my point?

This weekend, my husband and I have a wedding to attend. And my dress of choice is somewhat lacking in the sleeve department. I’ve decided to slap on a big whack of fake tan in the hope that the smell takes the attention away from my arms.

I’ve also decided to take my free weight. It will prove to any judgemental guests that “I’m aware of my problem and working on it”.

It will also give me something to do during the speeches.

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