The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Older and Wiser (and Eating Cake!)

The treadmills hum quietly and the pair of ladies speak loudly. Their grey hair bounces, they swing their elbows. When one says, “All right, here we go,” they turn up the speed just a pinch, and clasp onto the frame of the treadmill to stay upright. Moments later, one will call, “Okay! Okay!”  Then Burgundy T-shirt and Teal Fleece dial back from snail-pace to iceberg-pace and resume their chit chat.

They watch the long mirrored wall before them, but not to look at themselves. Burgundy admits, “I don’t look in the mirror much these days. Makes me go ‘Yikes!’”  Teal assures her, “Yep, but we never have to pass on dessert, do we?” They tread onward with a triumphant laugh.

Teal notices that people always turn to catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror as they walk by–young women who adjust their posture, muscular men who flex on the move. Every gym member who crosses the mirror is observed, and if their eyes seek their own reflection, our old girls giggle.  “Let’s just quit this and get a glass of wine,” Burgundy thinks aloud. Teal has already pushed the stop button. They head out with joy and satisfaction at a job half-done. And make the panting passengers on the cardio equipment wistfully hope for their next birthday.


Istanbul, Turkey, travel, tulips

14 comments on “Older and Wiser (and Eating Cake!)

  1. petchary
    May 3, 2013

    Lovely! As I am now in my sixties, I can relate to this!

  2. hughcurtler
    May 3, 2013

    That’s the way to exercise: raise a glass of wine or two!

    • Agreed! I thought this only happened in the afternoons for seniors in Austria! Good to know I can stay close to hope and still sip that reward. 🙂

  3. Eda
    May 3, 2013

    Fifty is looming and I’m not looking forward to it, but your last line gave me hope. Thanks!

    • Of course! Think of how freeing it is to be in each stage of life!
      I think this helps me to appreciate where I am as I look forward to what is next.

  4. lagottocattleya
    May 3, 2013

    interesting reflections again. Pieces of life in a place I have never visited, but can imagine!

  5. Rosie Amber
    May 4, 2013

    It made me smile, thanks!

  6. anglophiletoad
    May 4, 2013

    I’m for a glass of wine over cardio any day…

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