I keep trying to ignore the fact that I AM getting older, but my body won’t let me forget. How annoying. I’m fine with denial. I don’t WANT to know how worn out parts of my body are getting. Ignorance is bliss I say. I’m fine with fantasizing that I’ll always look at least a decade younger than I really am. Oh, hush. A girl can dream. And I don’t need any lip out of you, Super Cop. As Barney Fife would say, nip it!
I am ignoring the fact that it took eleven consecutive hours of sleep to catch up from my road trip to St. Louis. Or that my right knee had a twinge when I was running Saturday. Or that I can barely stay awake past 9:30pm….on a Friday night. In fact, I’m ignoring a lot of things. Let’s start from the top.
-My hair: I used to have to color it about three times a year when the gray finally crept into my roots in noticeable amounts. Now I have a standing appointment every six weeks for a San Tropez cover up. Let’s not even discuss the coarse texture it’s developing.
-My skin: I used to moisturize only my forehead. Gradually, the need to moisturize has spread south to my cheeks, neck, chest, arms, legs and feet. It’s like taking a flea dip when I drag out the Oil of Olay. If my feet get any drier, I’ll have to wear shoes in the house to protect the hardwood floors. Moisturizer isn’t the only lotion I buy in bulk these days. Sunscreen has become my best friend. I remember a time about twenty years ago when I would have roasted myself in a tanning bed during the spring so I could have something resembling a tan by late May. Not anymore. I’m terrified of skin cancer. I’m even more terrified of age spots. I was sitting in a meeting the other day and noticed for the first time three new brown spots on my right hand. I almost gasped out loud. I can’t tell you a word that was said during the rest of that meeting because I was so shaken to realize I’m going to have my mother’s hands after all!
-My eyes: I don’t need reading glasses yet, but I’m overdue, so that’s likely to crop up sometime soon. In the meantime, the crow’s feet are keeping me entertained.
-My ears: In the last few weeks I’ve realized that I simply don’t hear as well as I used to. Too much loud rock n’ roll. I keep asking people to repeat things, and the drive through speaker at Arby’s isn’t the only thing garbling speech these days.
-My breasts: Dolly Parton has been quoted as saying that she got a breast lift because people kept asking to see her boobs and she got tired of lifting up her skirt to show them. I’m not there yet, but I certainly find “perky” gals annoying.
-My abdomen: I may be skinny, but the pregnancy stretch marks are still there, and the ab muscles are never going back the way they were. I could work out from now until the end of time and never get my midsection tight again. This is a source of eternal frustration for me since I’ve always wanted a six pack for just six months in my life. Shoot. Six seconds is out of the question. And frankly, I’m tired of working on this one.
-My legs: They are so banged up and scarred. My knees still bear the results of my big tumble on the pavement last summer. In fact, you can still see the footprint of every asphalt slash that bloodied my lower leg. Lovely. That’s on top of all the other scars I have collected throughout the years. Remind me sometime to show you the cinders under my skin from that ATV wreck.
-My feet. Oh, where do I start? I have tendonitis in my left heel. I pronate toward the outer part of my foot, and my toes are starting to lean inward like pine trees blowing in the Carolina winds. When I was a kid, I laughed at my mother’s feet. Now, I can look at mine and see the same thing, but it’s not so funny. The joke is on me.
-Hair growth in odd places: I won’t go into detail on this on. I’m just going to assume that you know exactly what I’m talking about and don’t say you don’t if you’re over forty. I’ll know you’re lying.
It’s not that I’m vain, and I don’t expect to compete with the young folks in the body department. I just thought I’d grow older a little more gracefully, that I wouldn’t suffer the droops and sags that my parents did. For some stupid reason, I thought I’d be different, that I would escape the more vicious parts of aging. I’m not old yet, but my body is giving me signs that it IS inevitable. Dadgumit! I’m not ready! Not yet. I want a few more years of energy, perkiness and tight skin. I don’t want to have to pick my backside up and carry it every time I get in a hurry. I don’t want hearing aids, reading glasses or orthopedic shoes. I refuse to give in..for a little longer. Hmph! I do not feel that pain in my knee, and I can stay out late if I want to. Just don’t call me early the next morning.
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