Better to fly with the vultures than roost with the turkeys, at least for humorist Marcia Kester Doyle. Here she explores the joys and many, many pains of the midlife years. Avert your perfectly-working eyes, youngsters! Read more from Marcia on her blog, Menopausal Mother.
My daughter convinced me to watch a reality show about models on the cable network. As I stared in disbelief at the slew of twenty-one-year-old, anorexic-looking models gracing the screen, two thoughts came to mind:
1) Someone should tie these girls down and force-feed them doughnuts, and
2) Was I ever that young?
Right now I feel more like something an anthropologist unearthed from King Tut’s tomb. My brain is convinced that I’m still twenty-five, but my body has fast-forwarded into a new century populated by people with graying hair, pot bellies, and saggy skin. Is this really the generation I was born into?
What happened to red leather pants and Boy George? If someone had told me thirty years ago that I’d be spending my weekends in the backyard using a pooper scooper, I would have laughed in their face. My husband feels the same way every time he gets behind the wheel of our prehistoric minivan that should have been shot and put out of its misery years ago.
For the most part, I’m young at heart. But some days I feel like it’s time my kids wheel me into a nursing home and spoon-feed me soup. I’m already getting fliers in the mail pestering me to buy burial plots and to take tours of local retirement centers. Just the other day I was on the walking trail with my husband when I noticed a vulture following us overhead. It circled for a mile or two, just waiting to see which one of us would croak first. My husband raised his fist to the bird and shouted, “We’re not dead yet!”
I never had age spots on my skin. Then suddenly, I woke up one morning looking like a leopard. I rushed over to the dermatologist, convinced that I had some sort of skin disease.
She chuckled and said, “Welcome to middle age!”
Now the spots are all over me—enough that if I’m bored, I can play connect-the-dots on my skin. Some dots are larger, some smaller, and some are lighter while others are darker. Some are the size of Africa. By the time I’m eighty, I’ll resemble one giant, brown age spot, because all of the dots will have connected. On the plus side, I’ll look like a have a great tan without even trying.
My eyes have also gone to hell. My mother promised me when I was little that if I ate my carrots, I’d have good eyesight. She lied. I’m blinder than the love child of a bat and mole combined.
Lack of energy nearly kills me on a daily basis. I was the Energizer Bunny until my batteries corroded. Now megadoses of caffeine are the only reason I’m still standing on two feet at the end of the day. I’m a human percolator.
I now depend on certain “senior accessories” to get me through each day. A gallon jug of skin cream (heavy on the SPF), Benefiber, aspirin, lip balm, ear plugs, nose spray, padded shoe inserts, reading glasses, a knee brace and my mouth guard. I suppose I could throw in a tube of Icy Hot, B-12 pills, support hose, and some high-heeled orthopedic shoes to make my life more interesting … to an eighty-year-old.
Time to embrace the vulture years!