While most people ponder great philosophical thoughts about the events of the past year, I would rather whine about my body's disintegration.
Things that happen when you're an older woman aren't always what you might expect. Wrinkles, arthritis, spider veins, and thinning hair are just for starters. Thanks to television, "overactive bladder" is the latest public outing of a formerly private issue. Women who enjoyed the thrills of pushing out their babies via the tunnel of love start peeing in their pants in fifteen minute intervals as they age, especially during laughter or sneezing. Unless they were smart enough to have their babies by c-section. Who knew that a bikini scar was a better gynecological option for your sex and bladder functions? But the unpleasant yellow peril hasn't happened to me [yet] because, along with LaMaze, I did my Kegel exercises like a good little soldier. In fact, I was doing them while writing that last sentence. I know, you didn't ask. But if you ever see a mature woman, sitting alone, stirring a cup of coffee, absentmindedly, while staring into space -- dollars to donuts, she's not wondering what to write about on her blog, she's just doing her Kegels, desperately hoping to keep her plumbing from dropping to the pavement for just a little longer.
Of course, you're still young and don't have to think about these things.
For years, my redheaded, freckled, Anglo-Saxon complexion, for all its faults, has spared me from another old lady issue -- excess hair. In fact, true to my nature, I had little or no empathy for women who complained about their mustaches and other follicle-challenged areas, since those weren't my problems. Until a straight, black, lone ranger began to grow by leaps and bounds just above my upper lip sometime yesterday or the day before. And, moments later, another showed up about an inch in front of my left ear. And four or five appeared under my chin and down my neck. EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! Now I have to shave those persistent, permanent growths every morning, unless I'm flush enough to afford the $50 for a wax, which always leaves me with tears in my eyes and red welts all over my face. But that excruciating blast of hot, searing pain means no spare hairs for the next six weeks, so the hellfire is worth every freaking penny.
Of course, you're still young, so you probably don't know what I'm talking about.
And what's with these things that appear on my skin whenever and wherever they damn please? Some are just little brownish grayish spots. Like drops of turkey gravy. Others, like one on my ankle, and one above my right knee, are lumpy and purple. How gross is that? A teeny tiny little red spot just showed up on my nose in the exact same place as another teeny tiny little red spot I had removed ten years ago. Not a good sign. And there's also a pimple-sized bumpy thing growing on the other side of my nose, except that it isn't a pimple. I don't know what it is. A wart? Seriously. I always thought that when push came to shove, my nice, straight nose would be one feature I wouldn't have to worry about becoming a liability. Not so fast, Missy.
Of course, you're still young, blah blah blah.
Perhaps the only bright light in this otherwise dim assessment of my mortal portal is the pair of shiny new matching hip implants which are providing me with rock star quality performance. Walking in particular. Forays into bowling and tennis, too. And there was an actual sighting of me running across the hot sand at the beach this summer. Like a normal person.
Which brings me to the one item on the old age agenda that doesn't seem to diminish as much as I had hoped it would -- dirty old men. When I was so crippled that I often had to rely on crutches, an elderly man I had just met had the cojones to ask me, "So how do you have sex?" I answered with the old cliche, "Very carefully."
After that, I should have been prepared for the reaction of old farts whenever they hear about my newfound mobility. So far, once they learn I have new hips, all of the men -- the ones who've just been introduced to me to the ones I've known for decades, from married to unmarried, regardless of their religious, ethnic, racial, economic or political bias -- ask about sex. At least that's what I think they're asking about, "So, uh, now that you have new hips, how's the, uh, you know, I mean, can you, uh, have, uh, you know, I mean. . ."
Of course, you're still young, so you can't imagine anyone over sixty having sex anyway. Frankly, I wouldn't want to have sex with someone over sixty myself. Of all the things that befall an older woman, that may be the worst.
Well, I see by the clock on the wall, it's time for Mrs. Linklater to dress for her wellness check. Have a happy holiday.