Before I go further, allow me to give credit where it is due. I didn’t come up with “Aging Ain’t for Sissies”. The credit belongs to Instagram poster tine_tibby0824 and I had to steal it.
Anyway, in less than two weeks, April 16th to be exact, I’ll be sixty-six years old. It’s a bit difficult in some ways and its other ways it’s pretty cool. Turning 65 wasn’t a big deal but there’s something about crossing the line from 65 into the high sixties knowing that you’ll be closer to seventy.
And chances are, I’ll be baking my own birthday cake..
And it’ll most likely be the Milk Bar Birthday cake recipe that I love!
I’m more aware of my mortality. And without being morose or maudlin, I become scared when I think about it. I mean, chances are I won’t be around for my grandson Owen’s thirtieth birthday. It bothers me.
Seriously. I wanna be around forever so I can enjoy this guy as he enters into his thirties!
It also grates on me that after a divorce, and being a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years, my return back to the workforce has been a steady stream of shitty jobs. Women who stay home to raise children work 24/7 as nurses, doctors, chefs, bakers, seamstresses, referees, diplomats, cleaning ladies, therapists, problem solvers, project managers, fashion consultants, personal shoppers, coaches, taxi drivers, event planners…and that’s just within the family! Yet, these multi-tasking skills are for naught when looking for a job. Human Resources is interested only in your up-to-the-second resume and your current job.
All this and more while raising three children. And Corporate America couldn’t give a shit about the multitasking that a SAHM does!
I shall exit this earth as we know it as a professional failure!
Yes. Aging is a harsh reality and it hit me hardest the day I had my cataract surgery. Pre-surgery, I saw life through foggy lenses. My face looked—well, it looked almost wrinkle free. And the uneven skin tone kind of blended into a blurry but attractive rosy color.
This is how I thought I looked before cataract surgery. No wrinkles and a rather ethereal aura! Little did I know…
And when I took a look in the mirror with my near-perfect and new eyesight, I was shocked, appalled and started to cry. The reflection that stared back at me didn’t look anything like the one prior to the removal of the cataracts. I was wrinkly—as in really wrinkly. There was no longer a distinction between freckles and age spots. My skin was a myriad of uneven tones. And, I could spot the chin hairs so distinctly.
That THIS was how I really looked! OUCH!
I wanted to get into my car, head to the surgery center and have my cataracts placed back into my eyes!
It’s true. Aging Ain’t for Sissies and I’ve put some random thoughts on the subject below. Maybe you can relate? Maybe you cannot. Maybe you’ll laugh at yourself along with me. Maybe you won’t. But here we go.
That’s right. Aging Ain’t for Sissies. We gotta be warriors!
Do you notice that you’ve been searching through the bowels of the linen closet or the cabinets in the bathroom for those maxi-pads you wore before menopause made you love every month? Only now, the pads are used for that little drip of pee-pee that drips out when you sneeze or laugh or jump up and down. Yeah.
I swear to you that when I found a supply of Oona’s maxi pads, I jumped up and down for joy. Then I leaked so I had to open the pack and put one in my panties!
Not to be vulgar or crude, but do you experience the Farty Party? You know, when you are walking fast and from out of nowhere little puffs of air in the form of flatulence randomly exit from your butt? Ahh. I remember a time in life when all it took was a squeeze of the cheeks to hold those little passes of gas back in.
Come to my farty party. It’ll be a real gas!
It’s the same thing on the other end. Do you ever think about a time when you thought it was disgusting to burp and belch? These days, I let it all out. I would rather release that garlicky or onion-scented burp than hold it in!
When you are in your Sixties, it is a surprise if you find a food that DOESN’T cause you to burp. Ohh. I just burped!
The hair apparent. Apparently, it’s moved. The hair on top of your head, the tresses that used to be, at one time, your crowning glory, has fallen.
The hair on my head has fallen
Some of these hairs miraculously landed on your chin—or worse, under your lower lip. Or worse are now growing in your nose. The brush which you faithfully gave your tresses 100 strokes a day has now been replaced with a tweezer in which you pluck 100 times a day! Oh…and let us not forget the magnifying mirror.
To my chin.
The tweezer is now my preferred beauty tool! Excuse while I go pluck around for a while!
Our mid-sections have expanded quite a bit but it is the expansion of the nose on the face that has us mystified. How did my nose grow as I’ve aged? Is it to hold my snotty attitude of my youth? Or is it to house the new nose hair?
The reality of it is that our noses DO grow as we age!
There was a time when I could scrub floors and jump up from all fours when I was done. Now I’m lucky if I can actually get up without crawling to the nearest table leg or chair to hold on to as I slowly make my way to a standing position.
At least she had a good reason for not being able to get up. I can just about get off the sofa!
My body makes noises now. I’m not talking about the farty-party noises either. My knees crack. My stomach gurgles. And when I eat—I make eat noises that used to gross me out when I was younger!
My body makes more noises than a one-man band these days!
I’ve actually passed by reflective windows and mirrors and scared myself with my reflection.
This happens on a daily basis! I’m not scared of my own shadow but I am scared of my own reflection!
I’m beginning to tolerate the scent of moth balls, old-lady perfumes and Ben-Gay! Clothing with elastized waist bands is looking rather stylish these days.
J. Crew and J. Crew Factory have perfected the elastic-waistband. It looks normal in front and from behind it’s totally elastic! I wore these pants with a tucked-in-the-middle Tee and sandals. I”m the cool granny!
I can’t stand the music that younger people listen to. Give me classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Now that was music.
Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Then. And Now. He’s looking pretty nice these days but I do think he should let go of the super-long hair!
I’m constantly amazed at big corporations pontificating their do-gooding Equal Opportunity bullshit. Until they include hiring people over 50, 60 and the like with that group of Gay, Trans, Bi, Yellow, Black, Brown and disabled persons, they are not inclusive. Think about that for a moment!
Spot the old person. That’s right. The old person isn’t represented. There IS no inclusion until older people are treated equally.
With Cancel Culture brings a Pandora’s Box of sorts. Do you realize that All In the Family; The Jefferson’s; Maude; Barney Miller; F-Troop; Hogan’s Hero’s and possibly MASH would not be aired on TV simply because anyone could be offended by the content. People don’t laugh at their shortcomings anymore.
And believe me, as adorable as Patty Duke and Sally Field were, someone today would find reason to be offended by these two nuggets of cuteness and great clothes!
I continue to be perplexed when I see TV commercials showcasing bratty, entitled children who refuse to eat what their poor working mother makes for dinner and then out of nowhere packaged Macaroni and Cheese appears and the kids, although still entitled brats, are suddenly happy. For god’s sake, make a meal and if the children don’t like it, tell them to either eat what you made or go to be hungry. Chances are hunger will take over.
Have you seen any of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercials? It is nothing more than teaching bad parents how to be worse by giving into their entitled offspring.
And speaking of children…I recently saw a House Hunters International episode where a couple was taking their four children to live in Brussels. They went to a bakery during the show and the baker gifted the family with treats. Not one person in this family, parents or children, said thank you. I guess manners are a thing of the past. Oops. I’m showing my age every time I say “Thank you” or “Excuse Me”.
Wouldn’t YOU be thankful for a free sweet like this? You know you are old when you are shocked at bad manners.
On the other hand, our aging has given us wisdom. We are more confident about ourselves. We say what we want without worrying what others will think. We wear what we want. If we want long hair—we’ll wear our hair long whether it is real or fake!
That’s right. I will wear the longer hair–even though it’s fake. And the makeup. And the old sweatshirt…
We can wear the short dress and the jeans and the hoop earrings.
…and I will always wear that short dress!
We can travel without worrying about when the children have to go back to school!
And, we’ll be returning this Fall. We had our vaccinations!
We can make every night a date night!
At our age, every night can be date night! We don’t have to get a babysitter!
But most of all, we can thank our lucky stars that we are aging! It’s something many don’t get to experience. So let’s toast to aging!
Here’s to aging!