Aging Isn't for Sissies

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I never noticed before, but I shocked myself the other day when I discovered I have mom hands.  I remember seeing that skin before when I was younger, all crepey and dry.  It scared me at the time. It wasn't that old tissuey skin like my grandmother had where you can see very vein, it was that plump skin that looked like crepe paper streamers.

I know where it comes from now too.  It comes from years of washing them which starts when we have our first child and suddenly everything must be sterilized, to putting every dish known to mankind into the dishwasher at least 2 1/2 million times during the lifetime of the dish.  It also comes from years of cooking and touching hot things.  When you are a mom, you have very little time to let the dishwasher cool down before you are whisking the dishes away.  Honestly, my hands have developed a heat insensitive quality even NASA would be proud of.

You know, nobody warns you about getting old.  It just happens and you are expected to accept it gracefully.  Well I'm here to inform the youngsters just what to expect.  Believe me, growing old isn't for sissies.

It starts with a click in one of your joints.  Maybe an elbow or a wrist or a knee every time you climb the stairs.  It evolves into the sound made by running your car back and forth over bubble-wrap in a driveway on the way up and down   No seriously, I have a friend who did this.  He saved every piece of bubble-wrap and lined his driveway with it to see what would happen.  Ya, that was back in the day when inquiring minds had too  much time on their hands and no cell phone or other electronic device to keep the hands busy  You youngsters cannot appreciate the beauty of mindless activity.

I thought it was particularly interesting when I achieved the age of the odd albino eyebrow. After that we can just lay blame on the fluctuating hormones for the lambchops and goatee.  Momma never warned me about the interesting facial hair growth patterns that take place when estrogen decides to take a vacation, leaving testosterone alone to play.  What's more, who knew that astounding and oh so sexy achievement could be one upped?  The other day I found a grey chin hair.  Hey, you could barely see it, other than the fact it was long enough to french braid.  Well then there's that.

Oh, and speaking of grey!  Who knew all your body hair would turn grey?  When I was sick I let myself get a little, shall we say untidy, and was shocked to get that mystery from my younger years answered. Ewww.

How about losing the ability to twist and wipe?  Ya, I thought so.  Nobody ever told you about that one.  I guess now I can see where the bidet, and personal cloths came from, but do yourself a favor and make those back and spine stretches and twists a priority.  You'll thank me later when you're trying to reach the tampon or the backside.

Then again, I almost forgot the memory.  There is nothing like walking across the room and forgetting why you even got up in the first place. Well, try having a thought that leaves your mind as quickly as it came and you wrack your brain for an hour because it was something good too.

And don't even get me started on the hearing and the eyesight.  The super human hearing you had when you were first married and could hear your spouse in the other room, turns into lip-reading at the kitchen table when the news is on.  And readers, readers everywhere.  Hells, I even have various magnifications as well, depending upon the task.  Believe me, threading a needle with a pair of 1.5+ is impossible at 50, I need 2+ just to see the thread.  And forget about reading medication bottles. I swear, they purposely make that crap small in order to make us insane.  Why can't they put those fold-out instructions on the bottle, like the pesticide companies do?  Ya, answer that one for me.  A guy I work with had clear glass/reader progressives made because he was sick of the chaffing from taking his glasses off and on.  Now there's an idea.

Then there is the AARP membership.  Hate their liberal-ass policies but love their discounts.  Got a rent car for 10 days for half price.  Gotta love it.  But their magazine?  I swear it is written by young people.  Their article on sex over 50 in this month's magazine was about as ignorant as anything I've ever read out of Glamour or Teen Beat.

Oh, and then there is the most distasteful distinguishing factor.  The fact that your skin just hangs there after years of abuse on the skeletal hanger.  Now I understand where that song, "Do Your Ears Hang Low" came from.  I even noticed that people have ear bags.  Really!  The skin sags back there and it's kind of creepy if you stare at it too long.  It's as if it has a  mind of its own when they are chewing.

Speaking of sagging, momma most certainly didn't warn me about sagging and bagging bits and pieces that move independently from the main frame.  And for God sake, watch your weight because if you lose it when you are older, the bags are amplified to grotesque.  And to say a man is well hung as a young dude, well that's just saying something, but to say it about an older man, well you get the idea and it is something you will now have to scour from your brain for years to come.

Happy aging!