Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I don’t think anyone warned me that aging:
- shows up first in your hands. As children, we must spend large quantities of time staring at our parents’ hands, because every so often I find myself staring at my hand in amazement at how much it looks like my mother’s.
- eventually causes conversations with that same parent to become schizophrenic as you stare at the face which is rapidly becoming yours and wonder if this will be the year that people sincerely mistake you for sisters instead of mother and child while the other person wonders why, on the inside, they still feel like they did when they had the younger version of the face.
- would make cramps move from the logical area of the body where reproductive organs are to the silly and slightly embarrassing inner thigh area. Perhaps my uterus went down there to hide after my last child was born.
- makes your feet become unreasonable. They feel uncomfortable in any shoe that is the least bit cute. Instead of relaxing during pedicures, I have to tell the technician that I am going to cry if he rubs the top of my foot again. I strongly suspect that a time lapse camera would show aging toes changing shape.
- plays games with your memory that make you constantly wonder if it’s time to start taking Alzheimer’s meds. I can recite every line and lyric to Hair, but I still find myself calling my children by the wrong name. I know which child I am talking to, but maybe because I am worrying about another child or perhaps the chemicals the body produces during childbirth caused brain damage that let the wrong name escape my lips. It doesn’t matter why it happens, because I know it wounds that child’s tender soul every time I do it and I don’t know how to fix it.
- is ignored by the fashion industry who make cute clothing for the young, ugly polyester for the very old and nothing for the years between young and old.
- makes you develop allergies. I wore a specific brand of deodorant for two decades and then, without warning, it suddenly makes me break out in red welps whenever it touches my skin. I do NOT want to be allergic to deodorants.
- is not the worst thing in the world, but I miss feeling like I look good even when I probably just looked mediocre. Now, I know I look mediocre. If I’ve dropped below mediocre, don’t tell me. I need more time to embrace that horror.
*Your mileage may vary.