December 29, 2014

On Aging - Not So Gracefully

“Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.”
― Phyllis Diller

AGING. There are so many advantages to growing older. Things I wouldn't trade to have my 20 something body back - such as: experience, wisdom, perspective. This post is about none of those. It's about the "other" part. The things we  face as we age that just aren't fun even though they can be pretty funny. (When they happens to our friend first!)

To quote a 100 year old woman of astounding wisdom:

 "If you live long enough, you're going to get old." -Gertrude Glace

The same Gertrude Glace pointed out that women can tell they're getting old when their bra size changes from a 36C to a 36 long. I USED to think that was hilarious! Not so much anymore.

Men, you don't get away unscathed either. A tell tale sign for you is when you go to bed with a forehead and wake up with a fivehead. Gravity is heartless to both sexes. It's just that women's losing battle with it is more obvious.

We live our entire youth believing that aging is for other people just like we believe death is a remote possibility instead of an absolute eventuality. Maybe it's because until it happens, we have no frame of reference for it. Besides if I knew in my youth what my body would do in my 50's, I might have run my car into a tree to get out of it before then. (Notice I'm blaming my body as if I've been just an innocent passenger without any control over any of it? It's just easier that way!)

At first we see a few "smile" lines. (Dumb name. Who's smiling about it?) Then maybe a couple of gray hairs. I started with the gray at 18. No biggie. That's why hair coloring was invented. It doesn't stop there though.

I remember (and that's not as easy as it sounds these days) a time when I could just paint my face and go. Now I have to Spackle and sand first. There are days when I wake up with bags under my eyes that even Southwest Airlines would charge for. WHAT is that about anyway?

I found a sign that cracked me up so I brought it home and hung it above my bathroom mirror. It read: MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? I left it there for 6 months before I realized that waking up to that each morning was NOT helpful. I stuck it in the closet next to those skinny jeans that are also no longer helpful.

The good news is that as we grow older we're suddenly seen as sages (by people who aren't our children.) A lovely young mother came up to me after a meeting and said, "You're so wise." I told her "Yes, and it only cost me my youth and beauty. Want to trade?" Guess who's still wise and who's still young and lovely.

So - I've been thinking a lot about it and I've come up with a list of 5 things that are NOT our friends as we age. I thought I'd share with you. If you're still young, you'll understand as you become "wiser." If you're my age or older, you'll know exactly what I mean!

1.  Unexpected hilarity. (Particularly for women who have birthed children. Enough said.)
2.  Bright lights (Unless we're home alone reading with our thick spectacles.)
3.  Dermatologists (They only see what's wrong...unless they're a personal friend and are willing to fix it at a deep discount.)
4.  Class Reunions (Personal appearances can't be Photo Shopped - yet!)
5. Not enough sleep. (Wrinkles have children on sleepless nights.)

I'm sure the list will grow exponentially as time goes on.

My husband and I have decided that when we become seniors, we're going to be grocery store geezers. We're going to get up early (as if our bladders will leave us a choice) and head over to the grocery store coffee shop and read the free papers, watch the free TV and make disgruntled noises at parents who's children are misbehaving as if we'd never seen anything like that in "our day."

Meantime I relish in the fact that senior citizens and children are the most free people on the planet. In both cases the need to impress anyone is completely absent. It's something that is undeveloped in children and completely abandoned by seniors. In some respects I can't wait to reach that tipping point of "It doesn't matter how much makeup I apply, it just doesn't get any better than this so the heck with it!"


  1. This is a good read, Anita! I'm right here LOL-ing to the beautiful and ugly truth of aging. Just a week ago I felt like I was having a quarter life crisis too. I wouldn't trade the gifts of aging as well, but sometimes, "what the heck!" is right. :D

    Well, Happy New Year to you! Here's to another year added to our age! Cheers!

    1. Cheers to you as well! I've decided that 2015 will be my greatest year of denial yet! Fake it till we make it just doesn't apply because there's no "making" us younger but we'll always have denial! :)

      Happy New Year and thank you for reading and your lovely comment!