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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Growing old gracefully is an oxymoron

  • Growing old gracefully sounds pleasant but it’s easier said than actually done. It’s not so good when attempting to get out of bed and your body starts sounding like the coffee maker––grunting, groaning, sputtering––with each upwardly mobile movement. Actually, come to think of it, the movements aren’t necessarily very mobile.
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  • It’s okay that wine grows finer with age, however, when our old gray locks grow finer, it has nothing to do with wine. Worse yet is when the strands commit suicide by leaping from our heads, leaving our mirror wondering who is that old person with the balding pate.
    That’s just the top of the head. Work down to the face. Wrinkles don’t hurt. That’s a plus. But, necks? Turkeys have wattles, and look quite handsome imprinted on annual National Wild Turkey Federation commemorative stamps. What do old people do about necks? Men button collars up beneath their chins, but what’s hanging over isn’t a positive. Hoping for an optical illusion, women sometimes fill in the crevices with makeup. Putty might work better.
    Next, consider the chest area of elderly individuals. A woman might bemoan that she remembers having rosebuds but now has hanging baskets. Men look down to find a shift from fine pecs to sunken chests (and we aren’t talking treasure chests) including waists that prefer elastic to belts. Sometimes it’s tough to find the dividing line formerly referred to as the waist.
    Hips. Men don’t have them. Women do. With age, men still don’t have them but women still do. Then, take legs. After awhile, men don’t care what their legs look like. Women bemoan, wondering what happened. At age 12, I won a leg contest. Best Legs. Now? I don’t know what happened.
    Sister Jan called, said she had a bone density test and she shrunk. When asked how tall she is, she said five-feet, eight inches. When they measured her, she wasn’t. I told her the same thing happened to me. I went from five feet, seven and one-half to five-feet, six inches. I suppose our bones got denser and we got shorter. Kind of like packing coffee into a canister. Shake it, pound it, and eventually it’ll all fit.
    If we’re losing height, it’s no wonder we’re gaining width. I mean, it has to go somewhere doesn’t it? What goes up must come down. My feet aren’t any bigger, but my derriere is. I think it’s called “middle age spread.” Hmmm. Spread sounds innocent enough, however, ask old people and they’ll tell you it’s not.
    What about the recent Senior Citizen Wheel Chair Race debacle? It started so exciting. Onlookers banged canes and clicked their false teeth in time to the music. One excited oldster jumped two inches off the ground while cheering, then had to slip a nitro pill under his tongue to settle his heart down. Past naptime, several geezers dozed off, missing the best part but they didn’t know they missed it. It was a fun rally until the judges ruined everything. The oldster who won by a whole wheel length was disqualified. His wheels tested positive for WD40.
    Page 2 of 2 - I won’t make jokes that being older is better than the alternative; we know that’s true. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make all these bodily changes any more fun. My secret to diverting eyes from my thin hair, mottled skin, and marshmallow body is to smile, keeping everybody focused on my beaming smile so they’ll pay no heed to the rest of my sagging self. It’s not a ruse, though. I’m actually a blithering happy person most all the time.
    Hey Sonny, where’s my Senior Discount?
     

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