Category: Wrinkles

Elbow Wrinkle

Elbow Wrinkle: Hi, it’s nice to meet you–I’m so excited to be moving in with you!

Me: Oh dear, I’m–I’m sorry–did you not read my last text?

Elbow Wrinkle: Um, no, I didn’t. Why?

Me: Yeah, well, Youth has decided to stay with me a little longer.

Elbow Wrinkle: No no no, not Youth! Not again.

Me: Afraid so.

Elbow Wrinkle: Damn–well, let me know when there’s room for me, will ya?

Me: Sure, of course Elbow Wrinkle, without a doubt. I promise!



Poetry and Prejudice


A Rembrant

A Rembrandt (photo credit, Levinsky).


Old Poetry Similar Ideas

How interesting to read old poetry and learn about the prevailing attitudes towards youth and beauty through this art form. We’re all familiar with paintings by the Masters that depict full-figured women as their objects of beauty, so in a way, it’s strange that when reading old poetry the notion of acceptance that you might assume as commonplace years ago, isn’t generally reinforced by most of the old poets. Wider hips and a protruding belly were considered beautiful enough to be immortalized in paintings, but a woman’s age remained an essential component of her desirability and usefulness. In those poems time is the enemy of beauty and love.

To the Virgins

In Robert Herrick’s 1648 poem titled “To the Virgins to Make Much Out of Time,” the theme is about making the most out of life and seizing the day; although, I can also see a little more to the poem’s initial positive stance. Taking into account the era and women’s inferior standing in society, I can’t help but think that Herrick remains steadfast to preconceived notions of beauty and aging. In this poem he emphasizes the need to act fast before the passage of time, “Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may”—a nagging reminder of a woman’s precarious position with respect to time that we never see when mentioning men. “And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying”—this personification cuts straight to the point, and it emphasizes the fleeting nature of a woman’s beauty. If that were not enough reinforcement of the obvious, he goes on to say “That age is best which is the first When youth and blood are warmer“—a woman should take advantage of her youth and virginity if she ever wants to marry. And today, what’s different really? I remember that when I was single, my own grandmother would express a similar sentiment and tell me that I didn’t have much time left, and I was wasting my best years etc. Honestly, all I could do was giggle, she meant well and had married young and her own mother married at age eight! These days people tend to marry at an older age, at least in the West, and have kids in their forties, but with respect to work and career those archaic notions of age as a determining factor to one’s success, still hold true today, especially for women.

Married at 37 but too old as far as my granny's concernd.

Married at 37 but too old as far as my granny was concerned (photo credit, Levinsky).


You Never Can Be Old

Those of you who’ve read my novel The Diary of a Wrinkle may remember the Shakespeare quote in one of the opening pages of my book:

“To me, fair friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still.”

In other words, in Sonnet 104 Shakespeare is saying that as far as he’s concerned his friend will never age; in his eyes he will always look just as beautiful as the day they met for the first time. Indeed a very powerful message.  He goes on to describe the transience of time but his love interest remains as green as before, “Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned, In process of the seasons have I seen; Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.” Green coveys renewal and rebirth, youthfulness—the type of positive outlook we’d love to hear more often, I’m sure. We all want to be viewed as beautiful and relevant, regardless of age.

Shakespeare employed ambiguity in his writing, and he loved to tease his readers about his love interest’s identity. There is so much speculation about these sonnets and the identity of a young man he often addresses, or the true identity of a mistress whom scholars have called the Dark Lady, because he describes her with dark features and a dark nature. It’s widely believed that his love interest in Sonnet 104 is none other than a man, and in that case it’s just as interesting to see whether his generous ideas on beauty and aging differed with respect to women.

Fading Beauty

In Sonnet 18 we delight in his use of the sun as a metaphor to describe his beloved’s beauty, but the sun doesn’t quite compare to that beauty either as his love’s beauty is “more lovely and more temperate.” Shakespeare is concerned with the idea of fading beauty and he continues to distinguish between the unstable nature of the sun and his love’s beauty; it can be too hot, too dim, the season doesn’t always last very long, whereas his love’s beauty will never fade. But in the final quatrain Shakespeare is determined to make this beauty last forever, in a way he concedes to inevitable aging because he tells us that only the written word could survive the passage of time. But he uses this to his advantage by promising to immortalize his love’s beauty through the eternal power of his words. “When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”

Queen Elizabeth l

Queen Elizabeth l (photo credit, Levinsky).


Shakespeare was talented and prolific but he also suffered from a healthy dose of prejudice towards women, which was pretty commonplace among the white male population during the Elizabethan era. Ironically, this was the case even when Queen Elizabeth was known as a talented linguist, with impressive fluency in several languages. For most women, only very basic education constituted the breadth of their knowledge and while the privileged may have furthered their education more—adding to their overall charm and appeal—though heavier emphasis was on home economics as there were no career opportunities for women once schooling was over.

Disparity in the treatment of women is further expressed in Sonnet 20. Here, the object of Shakespeare’s affection has natural beauty, as opposed to made-up and unnatural beauty. His love interest has the grace and features of a woman but is devoid of guile and pretense, and this too is a generalized idea of female characteristics and so is the idea that all women suffer from mood swings and empty, false flirtation.

The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare

The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare (photo credit, Levinsky).


To be fair, for proper insight on Shakespeare’s ideas of love and beauty, one must look at his entire body of work, which is impossible to do in one post but with the few sonnets I’ve mentioned we are still able to get a general feel for aging and beauty in Elizabethan times. However, if I’ve learned anything of value from Shakespeare’s writing, it’s that he can’t help but humanize even the most vile and hated characters and he’s employed this type of empathy when describing his female characters as well. In The Merchant of Venice, there’s no doubt that Shylock is portrayed in the same racist light the rest of society had viewed Jews, but then Shylock says: “I am a Jew, Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is?” He’s giving the audience a chance to empathize with Shylock, with a Jew. Some scholars believe that his mistress, the Dark Lady, was really Emilia Bassano Lanier and she was the illegitimate daughter of a Jewish, Italian musician from Venice named Baptista Bassanoa. In the play, one of the characters is named Bassanio, and Shylock is definitely portrayed with a little bit of humanity.

Beauty Standards

We can find the same sentiment in Sonnet 130, which is a parody of the ridiculous standards attached to women generally or the clichéd way that other poets describe their beauty. “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun.” “And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” He then qualifies all of those disparaging remarks with “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.” Shakespeare’s mocking of other poets is interesting to me, it means that despite the prevailing views about women and beauty, despite the many literary devices he used to portray negative images of women in some of his works, conversely he was also sensitive to the majority view of beauty and felt the need to express otherwise. His wife, Anne Hathaway, was eight years older than him but I am not entirely sure that this had any impact on his ideas of age and beauty because all we have is a lot of speculation about the state of his marriage. He also left his marital home and spent the majority of is life in London. I think that what it comes down to is a type of hubris, and his ability to argue conventional ideas in the most literary means possible.

And you see this further in Sonnet 95 when he demonstrates a balance of sorts because as he describes his love’s beauty, it’s not devoid of a realistic observation as well. He compares the young man’s behavior to a rotten spot on an otherwise beautiful flower. In other words, the young man’s beauty will allow him to get away with bad behavior, but bad behavior will also distort his beauty. There is a moral question he addresses in this sonnet, it’ one of personal and moral responsibilities and those will determine one’s visage at the end of the day.

Has Anything Changed?

Centuries later, we find that the very same ideas about beauty have remained intact. And we see it now, more than ever, the notion that youth is the one and only answer to achieving success, whether in the workforce for a better job and career, or with respect to our ability to find love, or a “good catch.” If that were not the case then we wouldn’t be bombarded with so many treatment options for enhancing our youthful appearance, it wouldn’t be necessary for a female news anchor to fill her face with Botox and fillers in order to secure a prime time position in front of the camera. Why can a male newscaster sport grey/white hair and still be regarded as a top notch journalist or anchor? Anderson Cooper’s hair color has never been a deterrent for employers or viewers, he’s been able to hold on to his position on CNN for years but where have we seen a grey-haired female journalist or anchor before? I haven’t.

Of course I can see the appeal in young and flawless, and when I’m watching one of those pretty women on TV, after the initial reaction of “wow she’s pretty,” I become more focused on the content rather than how beautiful and flawless her skin is. On occasion, when I’ve watched Barbara Walters on one of her specials, I’ve never been concerned with her age, albeit she’s had a few procedures done, it’s obvious, and her older looks would never be the reason for which I’d switch to a different channel either. Similarly, Joan Rivers never fooled anyone with her artificially enhanced younger looks, she talked about it openly and with much humor, but the point is, she still looked like an old woman who had altered her looks, so I never really understood her need to keep pulling and stretching her skin.

The Pressure to Change

I liked her for her humor and bluntness anyway, and for anyone who remembers what she looked like before she started to alter her looks, well, it just doesn’t make any sense. Unless she too was influenced by the domineering male presence in her field of work where there was stiff competition, including a few lots battles, maybe that’s what drove her to the plastic surgeons table.

I’m not a critic of all the Joan Rivers of this world, but I’m definitely carving out a different path for anyone who’d like to join me and feel that it’s okay to show age; it’s okay to have wrinkles or grey hair and still feel confident and beautiful. And it’s okay to demand that first-class job. Let’s read old poetry in the context in which it belongs, in a time long gone when women barely had a voice. So much has changed since that era, and change is a good thing most times, it shows progress and the acceptance of new ideas.

Spreading the Wrinkle Revolution across the country.

Spreading the Wrinkle Revolution across the country (photo credit, Levinsky).


My hope is that this generation’s idea of beauty will be a brief phase at best and that less emphasis will be placed on one’s looks and that a varied interpretation of beauty will open doors for so many women who would otherwise be ignored and missed. Join my Wrinkle Revolution will ya.





Do You Choose Beautiful? Or Who the Hell Actually Cares?

Hmmm, am I average or beautiful?

A few weeks ago I watched the very controversial “Choose Beautiful” video, which was the new installment of Dove’s original campaign called “Campaign for Real Beauty,” first launched in 2004 and meant to empower women and boost their self-esteem. The first campaign came about as a result of a study titled, “The Truth About Beauty,” which was conducted by Dove with the input of world-renowned academics. Their goal was to explore the notion of beauty in women today, and what they found was that a mere 4% of women from around the world considered themselves beautiful, and at least 75% of women would have preferred to see diversity in the images of beauty, which are broadcast daily through film and all other forms of media. So this, in fact, was the genesis of the campaign that began to introduce images of women who did not fit the bill of traditional beauty because they had gray hair or a flat chest etc., but nevertheless, for the first time they were given the platform that was usually reserved for “traditional” beauties. Read More

Make My Wife Look Ugly!


A typical spider web-like tattoo.

The only glimpse I’ve ever had of life in Myanmar (formerly Burma), has been through Anthony Bordain’s gastronomical adventures around the world, and the random National Geographic article about this country. But as an avid reader with a yen for learning as much as I can about different cultures and customs from around the world—specifically as they relate to women—of course I could not resist to learn more about the last tattooed women of Myanmar. Read More

Would You Sacrifice Your Smile Just to Look Young?

The happy, without smiling look!

I thought that I had created a fictional character with Poker Face Polly when I wrote The Diary of a Wrinkle, until I came across a little blurb about a real person who has not smiled in 40 years in order to avoid lines on her face. I promise you that I have not made this up. Read More

When the Neighbor’s Dog Shits on Your Property but You Get Fined for it Anyway.


HOA imposed suburban monotony—should we let their rules define us as a society?

This is a good one, in fact excellent; it has all the makings of a real live television soap opera, minus the sex: there’s toxic material, angry accusations, opposition, denial, rejection, and battery. We’ve all had issues with our HOAs, it’s a fact, but the question that I’d like you to bear in mind as you read about my recent interactions with Terra West, is whether petty rules and regulations that we’re forced to adherer to by HOAs have come to define us as a society? Not the usual type of material that I choose to write about on this blog, but I think that it’s a subject matter that many of you will empathize with and also agree that it can easily cause a wrinkle or two. Read More

The Extra Nipple


The extra nipple

Recently, I noticed a dark spot on my chest; I didn’t like the way it looked so I showed it to my husband for further inspection. He looked and touched, then gave me his educated guess that in his opinion it was nothing more than an extra nipple that I had suddenly developed on my chest. Joking aside, I decided to make an appointment with a dermatologist for further investigation, and this is how my decline into the dark foray of age-delaying treatment began all over again. Read More

The Compromise

The Compromise,” is part 2 of my series titled The Male Perspective,  a monologue that I wrote long ago about the complex relationship between a guy and his girlfriend. Usually, we hear this type of subject matter from a female perspective, so I thought why not look at things from the male perspective for a change. What makes this monologue fun is that it’s written by me, so inadvertently it’s about how I perceive men in relationships. It’s split into small little chapters only a page long, usually, which makes for a quick, fun read. How does this connect with The Diary of a Wrinkle? Well, it still involves women’s issues that we can easily relate to. Read More

Pity or Piety Among the ultra-Orthodox in Israel


Maya and Ilana at the Western Wall, Israel.

What does a blog about wrinkles have to do with the ultra-Orthodox in Israel? Well, it’s about women’s civil rights for a start, in a modern, democratic country. Also, it’s the type of subject matter that would make you cringe and wrinkle in an instant. I am also aware that writing about this will inevitably create some sort of controversy among those who disagree with my observations. However, I could not help but feel disappointment with the Israeli justice system when I read the news last week about a group of 10 women who were detained by Israeli police after praying at the Western Wall while wearing a prayer shawl across their shoulders. I’m not an expert in all matters religious, but I am somewhat knowledgeable in the field and anyone secular living in Israel is aware of ultra-Orthodox piety taking over mainstream Israeli life. Read More

Breasts, Belly Buttons, and Baguettes.


There was no way we would not try to embarrass our children, and so we did!

Recently, I traveled to Paris and discovered what all the fuss is about–why people fall in love with this place, and why it’s depicted as the city of romance. It hit me the moment I arrived, and as soon as I left the Gare-du-Nord train station where cobblestone streets and magnificent architecture with whitewashed shutters adorned every inch of the city. That was my first impression before my full ingress into a new, exciting culture. Thankfully, there was so much traffic that our taxi could only proceed at a snail’s pace, giving us ample opportunity to absorb everything outside. The cafes and bakeries along the way were enough to send my head spinning, never had I seen such a vast array of eateries anywhere else that I’ve visited, or seen so many stores all nestled in such scenic surroundings. As soon as we arrived at our hotel, near the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t wait to go out to a local patisserie and bite into a crispy baguette and experience a Parisian pastry. My husband’s pleas to sit in a proper restaurant where he would have space to rest his tired feet went unnoticed by me; all I cared about was satisfying my craving for French baked goods. The moment I noticed the display of food through the window of the first patisserie that we passed, I sighed. No one spoke English, but the language of bread and cake is universal, so no problem there. From that point on Paris, for me, became a city filled with temptation because everywhere I turned and saw signs for patisseries I knew what flavorful pleasures awaited me. We didn’t only eat bread and cake, but also dined in proper French restaurants to get a gauge for other local delicacies. We made sure to walk for miles after each meal in order to develop an appetite before our next eating adventure. Sounds like gluttonous behavior, and that is exactly the way it was. Missing, thank goodness, from the scenery were the big yellow McDonald’s arches that can be seen in almost every metropolitan city worldwide, and the one and only American chain food fare near our hotel had a very tiny arch, almost unrecognizable as though ashamed and wanting to hide. I had to peek just to see whether the menu was the same; I remembered that a McDonald’s in Israel served McKabob, and in England they had an “After Eight” McFlurry. I wondered what variation of the usual menu this French McDonald’s would offer, and I giggled when looking at the McCafe’s dessert section with its colorful macaroons and other delectable cakes—it was nothing like the options offered in the US. While in France, I made sure to eat in non-chain restaurants and cafés, not difficult to find in a country renowned for its gastronomic prestige. It drizzled most of the time, yet people sat outside, unaffected and undeterred by weather, and looking complacent as they ate, drank and smoked. A plume of smoke hovered above most tables, something of a contrast in a city that was purposely razed, renovated and transformed over a century ago in order to get rid of despair and squalor. But for Parisians smoking is associated with joyous debauchery, eating and conversing and we were the minority with our self-betterment ideas and a smoke-free environment. We dropped the issue right away, its wasn’t worth spending one more minute comparing or discussing in the short time we had to enjoy ourselves. Every corner I turned surprised me with more restaurants, more shops, and more beautiful apartment buildings. Perhaps it was the feeling that I would never have enough time to do it all, and see everything which added an element of awe and excitement.

But enough about the food, because if you strip that away, there is still so much more to do such as our walks along the Seine, morning or night; delighting in th the way the Eiffel tower glistened when it lit up in the dark; the way the Champs Elysees looked when standing at the very end of the street, looking onward toward the Arc de Triomphe—a monument that stood big and tall amidst the modern-looking shops along this glorious street. A reminder that when those stores close or change hands, the Arc de Triomphe will still be there standing aloof, looking down on all of us, pretentious and judgmental. It has earned the right to do so. I couldn’t wait to visit the Muse du Louvre, holding some of the world’s most valuable art. On that particular day the sky was especially grim, which added another layer of romance and mystique as we walked along the Siene towards our destination. The gravel path leading to the museum produced a crunching sound as if to let us know that we were about to see something grand.  Ignoring the onslaught of tourists all around, we stood in the courtyard admiring a structure that had stood there since 1190, at first built as a fortress to protect the city but over the centuries it had gone through so many transformations and in modern times one  of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. The scenery was surreal, old and new sitting side by side welcoming our minds to wander through time. Thanks to clever thinking and purchasing our tickets ahead of time, we skipped the insufferable long line outside, and headed straight towards the Italian section in order to see the one and only Mona Lisa. We figured that with a five-year-old in tow it was the best strategy before he would realize here were no dinosaur bones to see, and an imminent meltdown would ensue.

Reaching the Mona Lisa was not an easy feat. The building was huge and there was so much to see, but most everyone congregated around Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, especially at that specific time because of a new theory–something to do with a hidden code da Vinci included in his work. Honestly, I had no interest in looking for those iconographic symbols; I just wanted a candidate view of a portrait I had only seen in books. After standing in line for thirty minutes, hoping that people would eventually let us through,  we finally decided to do the European thing and force our way in. With elbows bent to the sides of our body, we shoved and pushed like the best of them, and only then were we able to plow our way through an aggressive crowd and slowly advance towards the object of our interest, the Mona Lisa. Once we reached the outer rope, the one preventing anyone from getting any closer to the painting, it was a struggle to remain there for more than a minute as the perpetual shoving continued, and like an underwater current that would sweep you away from shore, we found ourselves moving away from the painting as well. I would’ve preferred to see the painting in a more relaxed atmosphere, instead of having to muscle my way in and endure people’s bad hygiene as they rubbed against me, but at the end of the day it was worth all the hard work and insufferable behavior.

I had seen Leonardo’s work before, years ago, but I never saw the Mona Lisa; although familiar with the painting, there was something extraordinary about viewing a classic up front. We didn’t spend as much time as we wanted in the museum, because at that  stage Jack was bored stiff, albeit he managed to point at a few bare breasts and giggle, but the was and positively confident that we were not in the right museum. So we did our best to soak up as much as we could until we reached the elevators at the end of the wing. I had forgotten how large some of those paintings were, and I’m talking about framed paintings and not frescoes. The Infant Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared in supernatural apparitions, and were the theme in most  of the paintings we saw, but what caught my attention mostly was the artists’ depiction of the female body between the 13th and mid – 18th centuries, and particularly how the artists’ chose to paint the female navel.

Full-figured women dominated the canvases, and as I continued to admire the art I also studied the crowd that had gathered around the paintings—analyzing and photographing as much as they could—undoubtedly adoring the artwork and the images before them. I wondered how many thought of the women in the paintings as great beauties or even remotely attractive? Is it not the case that in today’s society a full-figured woman can only dream of adorning the cover of a magazine, earning a starring role in a movie, or a contract from the top modeling agencies in the world? Yet those women in the paintings had stood the test of time, adored by the crowds at the Louvre. Strange? What if one of those artists were to magically come to life and then commissioned to paint the same biblical subject matter, would he choose a voluptuous woman, or someone like Kate Moss, or a Victoria’s Secret model as the muse for his 21st century painting? Would such a painting have the same effect on us?


Une Odalisque

While other people might have engaged in serious academic discussions when interpreting the artwork or at least trying to sound knowledgeable, my mind drifted in another direction. I remembered the erotic connotations associated with the navel according to Desmond Morris in his book “The Naked Woman.”  The female belly had always been considered a taboo zone because of its proximity to sexual parts of the body. The Victorians were so uptight about this particular part of the human anatomy that they couldn’t utter the word “belly.” Instead, they used “stomach,” so if you happened to suffered from pain in that area, you had a stomach-ache and not a belly-ache, and this is the term that we still use today even though it’s anatomically incorrect. In Victorian nurseries “belly” was still considered too vulgar so they made use of “tummy” or “tummy-ache” instead. A mistress was called a “belly-piece” in those days, and a man’s penis was known as a “belly-ruffian,” an “itch in the belly” was a sexual desire, and “belly-work” was copulation. Desmond Morris says that today’s slender-figured woman does not have the classic round looking naval, because in flat bellies the navel tends to look like a vertical slit. The female belly is usually longer than the male’s when comparing men and women; the navel is more deeply recessed in a female’s body than in a man’s body.

The Pastoral Concert

The Pastoral Concert—a round naval

But if you look at modern photography, you will immediately notice the vertical slit on the models with exposed bellies, and the reason for this, you may be surprised to learn, is to emphasize the part that looks like a body orifice. The female’s genital orifice looks like a vertical cleft and therefore a shift towards the vertical navel instead of the round one, which in this case would be symbolic of the anus, is a way the artists offer a substitute for the real thing. In early photographs it was painted out so the belly looked abnormally smooth. Under Hollywood code in the 1930s and 1940s, no navel could be shown in film. Even in Middle Eastern countries, which gave birth to belly dancing, covering the navel had become a requirement of the new religious regimes sweeping across those countries. And this strengthens the argument that navels have always had a very strong sexual connotation attached to them. In fact, the US Navel Observatory has listed a few interesting classifications for the different navels out there:  The Vertical Slit is known to be graceful, feminine and erotic; the Navette Navel is a strong, vertical elongation, but wider in the mid-section; the Triangular Navel—a common type, considered beautiful and shaped like an inverted triangle with convex sides; the Almond-shaped Navel—considered most beautiful by the Japanese; the Circle Navel—perfectly round; the oval—most common shape; the Cat’s Eye Navel—horizontal in shape, more like an eye; the Coffee-bean Navel—a shallow oval ‘innie’ with two flesh protrusions inside it and a combination of an ‘innie’ and ‘outie’ navel; the Pierced Navel—the modern mutilated navel.

I can safely say that after three hernia procedures, the last one not very successful either, as I still feel a twitch of pain here and there, my navel looks nothing like any of the aforementioned descriptions. It is more of an upside down smiley face—that would make it more of a “sad face,” I guess. And I doubt there is anything erotic in a sad face—nothing too exciting—and what kind of subliminal message could it possibly be sending my partner?  Thankfully, perhaps the only thing in my favor these days is that I too have small breasts, yes, just like the ones depicted in all those beautiful classical paintings at the Louvre. Perhaps classic, little breasts can make up for that missing vertical naval. Truthfully, I couldn’t care less about my navel, as I will never wear a top that reveals it, although I am guilty of following this fashion trend in the past. So what’s left then, the beach? Oh, who cares? But I still like to wear a bikini. However, at my age I’m not looking to impress anyone, and my main activity is chasing after my five-year-old rather than talking to young suitors. Usually, when I can finally relax and plop onto the warm sand, and look lovingly into my husband’s eyes, he then asks me to rub sunblock on his bald spots, and tweez hair out of his ears. If the people standing next to me at the Louvre only knew that great artwork had inspired me to think of things like navels, breasts, and tweezers they might have turned their noses at me.

I can’t wait to go back to Paris for another visit, maybe next time I’ll even get to sleep next to my husband without a little one squeezed between us–the only way he likes to sleep. Perhaps at that stage we’ll have time for some belly-work. But still, I will forever remember Paris as a romantic city, for I had totally fallen in love with geometric views, emerald green parks, flower shops and fashion including all the belly-cheer and belly-timber that it aroused–that would be food in Victorian terms. I also gained nine pounds that I‘m easily working off, because there are none of the same tempting belly-cheers out here in Las Vegas, and too many rules and restrictions that kina’ take away from all the fun.



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