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My daughter convinced me to watch The Rachel Zoe Project on the cable network, and as I’m staring at these twenty-one-year-old, anorexic-looking models, I’m thinking two thoughts: 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 still stuck in 1981 but my body has fast-fowarded into a new century populated by people with graying hair, pot bellies and elephant skin. Is this really the generation I was born into? What happened to disco balls, leather pants and Boy George? If someone had told me thirty years ago 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 mini van that should have been shot years ago to be put out of it’s misery.
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 flyers in the mail pestering me to buy burial plots and to join AARP. Just the other day I was on the walking trail with my husband when I noticed a vulture following us overhead. He circled for a mile or two, just waiting to see which one of us was going to croak first. My husband raised his fist to the bird and shouted, “We’re not dead yet!!”
And what’s up with the age spots? I never had 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 weird skin disease. She just chuckled and said, “Welcome to middle age!” Now the spots are all over me—enough that if I get bored, I can play connect-a-dots on my skin. Some dots are larger, some smaller, some are lighter while others are darker. Some are the size of Africa. By the time I’m eighty, I’ll look like one giant, brown age spot, because all of the dots will have connected. Then I’ll just look like I 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 blind as a bat, and if I’m not careful, I may end up hanging upside-down in a tree with my new, furry, winged friends.
The lack of energy is what kills me. I used to be like the Energizer bunny until my batteries corroded. I’ve heard that fatigue is common with menopause, but come on, my sleep patterns could rival those of Sleeping Beauty. Except I don’t wake up to a kiss from a prince…just dog slobber and the sound of toilets flushing. Mega doses of caffeine are the only reason I’m still standing on two feet at the end of the day. I am a human percolator.
The thing that really makes me feel old is the contents of my nightstand drawer. When I was newly married, that drawer contained candles, gels, lingerie and all sorts of naughty items geared for fun. Opening the drawer now, the first thing I see is a tube of cracked-heel foot cream. Next to it, another colorful tube of anti-fungal cream. What else? A bottle of magnesium, aspirin, lip balm, a calorie counter and the crumpled wrapper from a chocolate bar. There’s also a container of foot pads and ear plugs, a broken pair of reading glasses, nose spray and a mouth guard. Sounds like a shopping list for a convalescence home. I suppose I could throw in a few pairs of Spanx, support hose and some high-heeled orthopedic shoes to make it more interesting…to an eighty-year-old.
Time to embrace the vulture years!
This post was originally published on Marcia’s blog, MenopausalMom.com.