On November 27, 2014, I turned 44 years old. The life expectancy of an American female is 81.2 years old, which means I’m beginning to pick up speed on the downhill slope. It’s okay, though, because I have a strong strategic plan for remaining youthful-ish: Wear Converse tennis shoes whenever possible.
Yep, that’s pretty much the extent of my strategic plan.
Most of the time, I don’t feel old. I’m still keeping up with technology, I don’t fly south for the winter, and I don’t own a Craftmatic adjustable bed. (Confession: I really, really want a Craftmatic adjustable bed.) Some days, however, I’m pretty sure I’m being scouted by the AARP. They’ve seen me look longingly toward my bedroom beginning as early as 7:30 pm. They’ve noted the increasing volume at which my knees creek/pop/grind on the way down the stairs. They’ve caught me listening to the oldies radio station; they’ve seen me crank it up for Depeche Mode’s “People Are People.”
The most disconcerting bits of my middle-aged-ness have to do with my appearance. (Big surprise, right?) With increasing regularity, I catch my wrinkled reflection in the mirror and think, “Crap. How many times did mom tell me to use sunscreen? Why in the world didn’t I listen to her?” (<—– This is another sign of advancing age: I’ve conceded my parents’ superior wisdom.) And then there’s my poor hair. The blond has apparently thrown up its hands in surrender to the silver. And who wouldn’t? They’re dangerous-looking—all wiry and crazily postured.
There are, of course, things that can be done about my aging hide. It’s just that said things are so stupid expensive, and spending $120/month on products to fix my wrinkles feels incredibly vain and fiscally irresponsible. Plus, it’s my fault I have wrinkles. Miracle, anti-aging lotions are the dermatological equivalent of those traffic law places that make speeding tickets go away. If you do the crime, you gotta pay the time, is what I’ve always said. (Actually, I’ve never said that before. But I can see why people do.) I could also do something about the gray hair, but once you start down that road, it’s for life, people. I just can’t make that kind of commitment.
Oh! And what about those lovely, momentary lapses of mental acuity?
“Gah. I can’t find my stupid phone. Could you call it please?”
“Kelley, I did call it–two minutes ago. You answered it. You’re talking on it.”
“Oh. Hahahaha. Wow. I’m a genius. That’s funny.”
That’s actually the opposite of funny, but when I’m blinded by fear of quitter synapses, I laugh. Apparently.
Okay, just typing that out made me nervous. If you need me, I’ll be at the shoe store.