Saturday, March 15, 2014


                                PUMP UP THE VOLUME     

     Volume used to mean how loud something was. The term referred to my parents rants, “Turn that damned thing down!” when I was a teen-ager blasting “Don’t Be Cruel” through the bungalow.  Actually, it’s those teen-age years that volume first becomes an issue--and it has nothing to do with loud.

     Volume makes its nasty appearance in parts of the body that teens do not expect. Now we’re talking fifties teens. At that time, our role models were contradictory:  Twiggy and Marilyn Monroe. Whaat? So when the butt cheeks and the thighs took on lives of their own, volume became an issue for the first time. I remember sitting in the tub (when baths were for everyone not just seniors on Cialis) looking down at my thighs, praying, “Dear Lord, please make this fat go away.” I think I was 13. There were no “it’s-all-about-health” movements going then; it was all about mashed potatoes, gravy and hot fudge sundaes. 

     The good news was that there was volume in our cheeks, our necks and  our hair. We never thought of it as “volume,” but we had it. We didn’t realize or appreciate the fact, but it was there. Years later, we yearn for volume--volume anywhere that will make us look young, not inflated. We inject volume, we buy volumizers for the mane, and we learn to position our heads for selfies so it doesn’t look like we have caverns in our cheeks. Some women even pad their buttocks (buttockses? buttocksii? cheeks!) when there is no collagen left to hold them up. There’s some term for the buttocks that becomes part of the back of the thigh, but I refuse to learn the term for fear I have it.

     As I have arrived at a “certain age” without hearing issues, I put those tiny headphones in what’s left of my ear holes and pump up the volume so loud that you can hear Pink in Prague. I never take baths, but when I’m in the shower, I check out what’s left of my thighs and pray, “Dear Lord, please tighten up these puppies.” 

     Yup, volume has taken on a whole new meaning. What did you say?