I recently had a birthday which means that I gained a year. Aging is like Daylight Savings Time gone wrong - instead of an hour, we gain a year but never get to give it back. We just collect them year after year. Frankly, I'd rather collect books or vintage recordings or itty bitty pencil sharpeners shaped like victrolas but I don't get to choose. Actually, I didn't have a choice about those pencil sharpeners either (this is a subliminal message that tells you that someone in my life whose name rhymes with Puhleeza once collected pencil sharpeners). So, we get older and our bodies change and the way we think changes and the way we think about our bodies changes. Like Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, "Honey, time marches on and pretty soon you realize that it's marchin' across your face." Well, in that spirit, I'd like to share a few of my favorite things about aging. Acne
When I was a teenager, I would get a single pimple once a month. I probably only used half a tube of Clearasil during my entire adolescence. I am clearly making up for lost time in middle age. My skin has gone to hell and my employee handbook says nothing about excusing absences due to acne.
It used to be that when I wanted to lose 10 pounds I could just stop eating dessert and the weight would just melt off of me. I didn't have to make any drastic changes to my diet and I certainly didn't have to exercise. Now, I'm pretty sure I'd have to go on a hunger strike to lose 10 pounds. I love food and drink too much for that so I think that I am going to fill my body with helium and then I'll feel lighter than air.
The "What's That" Game?
You know how to play this one, right? You're standing in the shower washing a body part that you can't actually see and then you suddently feel something funny. That's right - you have run across something that wasn't there before or something that has essentially changed in size and/or structure and you're like, "What's that?!" So, you rub it for awhile and you try to turn your head around like an owl to see what the hell is going on there but you can't see it and then you have to call for your partner and she comes in and you're like, "Can you look at something on my [fill in the blank body part]?" and your partner shrugs nonchalantly because she's used to these inquiries but then looks and is all, "What's that?!" You get to play the game with increasing frequency as you age.
As time goes on, you get stories from the past confused. This week, Luisa and I were lying in bed talking:
Vikki (laughing): I just remembered that time I fell asleep while [name withheld to protect the innocent] was [engaging in a sexual act withheld to protect my privacy]. She was so gracious about it though.
Luisa: That was me. You fell asleep on me during [sexual act withheld to protect my privacy].
Vikki: No. It was very clearly [name withheld to protect the innocent].
Luisa: Oh that's right! You broke up with me during [sexual act withheld to protect my privacy]!
Vikki: Yes. That's right. For the record, your apartment had bad juju.
The best part of this example is that it is Luisa's mind that is going.
Collecting pencil sharpeners is starting to seem like a better deal than collecting years. You can put the pencil sharpeners in a box in the basement. You have to carry the years with you all the time.