Something is happening to me now. Everything I do I’m slower doing (and they used to call me ‘the Turtle’ way back in junior high!)
It’s been happening for a while now but I think writing as I did yesterday that I don’t always know how old I am on waking up mornings made me realize it. I said I generally feel as if I’m about 32 but I am SO not 32. This next month I’ll be…. 63. 63!
So how can I keep forgetting that? Is it my colorist’s fault for keeping my hair brown?
Fashion’s fault for making it seems normal that women in their 60s are pawing through racks of the same gracefully drooping sweaters as the 20-somethings wear? And by the way a shout-out to the fashion industry for inventing those awesome sweaters which can hide even a figure like Homer Simpson’s, so nicely displayed above.
You forget you’re old maybe because when YOU were a kid old people wore black tie shoes with little heels – kind of like what Al Pacino wore in Scarface ha ha. Sneakers were unheard of past about the age of 12 for a girl unless she played sports in high school but oops there were no sports in high school when you were young, Title IX having not come along ‘til the 70s.
Anyway what’s been happening is, I feel my age now. I see it in the mirror, sure – the sun damage alone – but I feel it too.
I can hop up and down for an hour at these various cardio classes but not as high as the young mothers. Not as high at all. I used to do yoga but now changing rapidly from position to position? Forget it. I get up the way a card table gets up, painstakingly, limb by limb. It’s ok; I kind of hated yoga anyway. The mindful part I liked; the breathing I liked but backbends? The pigeon? Please.
I feel my age because I am slow to wake mornings. I used to be always grabbin’ the moral high ground by being out of the bed literally hours before Old Dave. Now I find nothing nicer than to wake up and see him over there on his side and go back to sleep thinking “He’s still here! After all these years!”
“Hey!” I say to him when I open my eyes. And he reaches over and pinches my nostrils shut. (Maybe you’d have to know him to see how that’s a gesture of affection.)
So I get up later. I also go to bed earlier. AND I can’t drink like I used to. Sometimes I pour that three ounce glass of wine I can afford on my Weight Watcher Points, take one sip and toss it in the sink . Why doesn’t it taste good anymore? I never drank to get fuzzy; drink doesn’t’ make me fuzzy, it only makes me anxious and depressed. I drank because it tasted good. But now, “I need this?” I’m beginning to say to myself, and yet having a glass of wine with friends is such a symbol of conviviality, how will I put it aside entirely? It’s like tobacco was to every smoker you ever knew: did you ever see anyone happier than smokers when they smoke. Nirvana!
Mostly I feel old because now when I take our 91-year-old uncle to his favorite city pond as I do two days a week I no longer feel antsy and bored when he says for the 900th time “How many shades of blue do you think is in that water?” while gazing hungrily out over it. Now I’m right there gazing too.
We went there today and the wind was up and all of the last fortnight’s ice was gone; just melted away in this eerie warm winter. Look at the chunks of it riding on the waves.
“It looks like ice in your drink,” said Uncle Ed.
“Exactly!” I said back and we both smiled.
See if you don’t think this is pretty nice too, however old you happen to be: