Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

Age Before Beauty

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~ Mark Twain

Now that spring has sprung, it’s time for women of a certain age and with an uncertain waistline – women whose bodies have been happily hibernating all winter -- to torment themselves by thinking about the approach of yet another season of swimsuit exposure.

I saw this torment on the face of a friend of mine not long ago when she stopped by for a cup of coffee. We lamented the increasing force of gravity on our various body parts.

“My thighs have fallen below my knees,” my friend said glumly, “and you don’t even want to know about my other falling objects. My husband has threatened to trade me in for a newer model.”

Through no fault of our own, we have somehow reached that age where things are starting to fall apart. This is a great injustice. Dante’s Inferno mentions nine levels of hell, but Dante – being a man – didn’t realize there is a 10th level reserved for middle-aged women watching their youth head for the hills. Sure, we could submit to a surgeon’s scalpel or have poison (in the form of Botox) pumped into our faces, but those are merely temporary fixes.

And surgery or shots won’t forestall the brain drain that seems to be occurring, at least in my case. My memory is on the skids. I sometimes walk into a room and forget why I went in there. My math skills, such as they were, have also evaporated, crowded out by all the other stuff in my head – user names, passwords, PIN codes, security codes and the wide variety of numbers necessary to use the communication devices that populate my life.

Lyrics to songs I really don’t like stay on a loop in my skull, and goofy theme songs from those “ask your doctor” commercials burrow like brain badgers into my mental synapses and refuse to be dislodged. (Thanks so much to the makers of those Viva Viagra commercials!) Yet I can go to the grocery store and draw a blank when I try to remember what I needed.

My kids have lovingly suggested that my warranty must have expired, while I have just as lovingly disowned them. Don’t worry about them, though, because I’ve already forgotten I did that.

The lowest blow came recently when I was shopping at a store that offers a “senior discount” to those 50 and over. Now, it is against my religion to disclose my age, but let’s just say that I am a LONG WAY from 50, at least in dog years. The vicious juvenile delinquent of a sales clerk, however, automatically added the old-fogey markdown to my purchase. You just can’t get decent customer service these days.

I went home, feeling 10 years older and dragging one foot that felt like it should already be in the grave. Then I called my friend, the one who is still trying to locate her thighs down past her knees. We consoled each other, both of us finally understanding the old axiom about youth being wasted on the young. We agreed that we should learn how to age gracefully. Yeah, right.

~ Jackie Papandrew ~
© 2008, All Rights Reserved

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2008, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]


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