Monday, November 9, 2009

The Golden Years (my ass)

When I was young, it drove me crazy that older people—usually my boyfriends—would turn their conversation around to their health. Well, it wasn’t really about health, it was their lack of health. Dialogue gravitated to aches, pains, their wives, and what didn’t work that used to, how they used to be able to do something they no longer could, and how hard it was to keep up.

That was during a time when I’d rather have been talking about whose parties were coming up, sales I’d made, music I’d played, weekend jaunts I’d taken or planned, dinners, and sex. Now those topics were exciting.

Even ten years ago I said, “I’m so much more comfortable with myself as I get older. I look better, feel better, and have more confidence. But now? You know what I think of “the golden years”? They suck like a pool drain. I hate getting old. What makes it even harder is that I’m still a teenager in my brain.

But when I hit 49, the declining-health talk I’d formerly cringed at began to eek out of me when I spoke. It’s not as if I planned it, it simply emerged. I began talking about what was happening to my body: cells that needed to be destroyed, movements that weren’t being inspired, not feeling like a hottie, shrinking boobs. And whereas talking about bodily events used to lead to interesting discussions, the exchange became more of a dirge.

And you know that phrase “There are those who do it and those who talk about it”? I was talking about it. By choice. I got so self-conscious about all the purportedly uncontrollable* things going on in my body that I couldn’t imagine being too close to someone, not even the dog.

If this rings any bells with you, we’re part of the same club. The dreaded Silver Club, like a golf club—not the building, the silver rod with a mallet at the end to hit balls with. Hard, ’cause you’re so pissed off. How can you feel so young in your brain yet have a body that looks and acts so different, so old?

When I aged another year and joined Club 50, I decided to view the physiological changes as natural and not fight them. You know, start loving myself in this evolutionary stage. For 50, I figured I didn’t look too bad anyway. ’Course I need glasses. Plus the only person who sees me in the morning is my daughter, and she’s way past the shock.

So what do I do with the wrinkles around my eyes? Fill ’em with makeup. When the inner tube that used to be a stomach area gets too big, I wear long shirts. I use the little bumps that used to be my boobs as an excuse for not wearing a bra. Really, what’s the point?

When my pants feel tight, I don’t wear any. And because I work from home, when I look old, fat, and unacceptable, I can forgo being seen, except of course by the critical chick in the mirror. But I’m learning to ignore her criticism. (She-devil.)

So if you see a caulked-up, long-shirted, brassiereless gal wearing no pants, walking her dog, don’t think, Whoa! There’s a golden girl who’s lost her marbles. Think, teenager. Think, Woodstock. Think, titillating!

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

* purportedly uncontrollable: I’ll elaborate on this topic later.

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  1. Poor Auntie! You look pretty good for an old lady!

    Still chasing those old guys? They must all have one foot in the grave by now.

  2. At my age, all my peers are old!

    But maybe you're on to something. I should start taking classes at the local college ; )

  3. Welcome back Auntie. Your fans were suffering through the Eartha drought since early October. Quite a welcome refreshment here in your latest laments.
    We all complain about getting old, but isn't that the goal? What is the alternative? Follow in the steps of Elvis, Marilyn or Princess Di.


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