Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Forsooth, I Really Miss My Youth!

I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions this year. The way I saw it, the universe kicked my ass last year. At least vicariously. My plan was to slip unobtrusively into 2008, no fanfare, no noise, just slink quietly along behind the boisterous throng and hope the gods, or whosoever is in charge of cosmic ass kickings, wouldn’t notice me. Surely they had toyed with me enough, tired of me even, and this year would be turning their attentions elsewhere?

Besides, this is the year I’ll turn sixty. Ye gods! How did I get here so quickly? Is my name Mrs. Van Winkle?

Early in the month the OC steered me to the optical shop for some new glasses. My prescription had only changed a little, but my glasses were quite scratched. Which, it turns out, was not altogether a bad thing. Through them things looked pleasantly soft-edged and blurry, and I liked their unobtrusive frames. With their co-operation I was able to maintain the fantasy that I didn’t look so bad for my years.

Choosing new frames for glasses is an exercise in futility. In order to do so you have to remove your old glasses, the only things standing between you and legal blindness. ……..So there I am, lens-less, peering in the mirror, seeing only vague, blurrier than usual shapes.

“I really like my present frames,” I told the assistant, hopefully

“Well,” she sniffed, in tones that implied i should move along and quit clinging to the past, “colour is really IN this year.” I refrained from telling her that I didn’t give a rat’s ass about what was “in.” If I was going to be paying a king’s ransom for the darn things, they’d have to appeal to ME.

Eventually a set of frames was selected, a small fortune was handed over, and we went on our way. A week later I went to pick up the new glasses.

“Wow!” Everything looked so sharp! So crystal clear! I hadn’t realized what a fog I’d been groping around in……

Then I made a fatal error. I looked in the mirror.

“Oh dear!” I sighed, as my fantasy breathed its last. Who WAS that elderly person wearing my clothes?

Every line and wrinkle was clearly delineated, even ones I hadn’t known I had……. It didn’t help that the mirror at the optical shop also magnified everything.

One night recently, eating a piece of cheese, I felt an ominous “crunch.” The outer shell of a filled tooth had broken off. No pain. Yet. Just an empty hole.
The dentist, hardly able to conceal his glee, said I would need a crown, and that would be another king’s ransom, thank you very much, and come in again next week so we can muck about in your mouth some more.

This afternoon I went to the grocery store, head in the clouds, and forgot to make a note of where I parked. When I came out, cart full of groceries, I had no idea where my car was. I wandered back and forth, trying to look nonchalant, trying to appear to know where I was going…….

I haven’t lost my mind. I really haven’t. But damned if I can remember where I put it.

Is this what turning sixty is going to be like? The eyesight goes, the teeth fall out, the memory goes missing. And it’s only January. What other indignities should I brace myself for before May? And me foolishly thinking I still had a few months of youth.

But, don’t mind me, gods, I’m not complaining. No sirs. Not me. Far better the universe mess with my body than my head…….


meggie said...

Well, you are really just a spring chicken Molly!
I will be 65 this year, & I wondering how the hell that happened!

Tanya Brown said...

You have highlighted one of life's basic frustrations: how in the heck is a person supposed to pick out new eyeglass frames when her eyes are so poor that she can't really see without glasses to begin with? I suppose one could perch the old glasses just behind the new frames while trying them on, but something of the effect is lost, isn't it?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I've had the tooth and spectacles experiences already and I ain't in my 5th Decade yet. Is my warranty running out earlier?

Ali Honey said...

Oh me too Molly - last year I did the new glasses and 2 teeth thing, but what the heck I'm still alive very active ( have to be ) and rearing to go. Once you start doing the numbers beginning with 6 they are just like any other. Whenever I start to think like you feel I recall the friends of my age who are not here any more and then I am very glad to be my age! Count every year as an achievemnet.

Go for it girl, you'll get used to it. Thank goodness we ALL get a year older each year. Imagine if it was only some people.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you. I am laughing so hard I am crying.

And I'm with the Squirrel...where do I sign up for the extended warranty?

I was downtown and I forgot where I parked my car. Noted the floor on which it was parked, but not the garage! I had to walk through two parking GARAGES before I found it in the third!
I am in the first stages of blurry eyes. I think that the soft edges might be a good idea after all.

AND...although I have never met you in person, I'm thinking to myself -- God, if I could just be like Molly when I grow up I will be eternally grateful.

My float said...

I like the "slip under the radar" approach. Perhaps the universe won't notice us!

Also, can I just add that losing your car isn't just a turning sixty thing. Most of the time I can't remember where I put anything - I blame the child. He must have moved it. (Maybe not the car though!)

Who needs their own teeth? Imported ones can really be scrubbed well. (Ok, just call me Pollyanna!)

molly said...

Well this was pretty much tongue-in-cheek. I actually think glasses, in spite of their forcing me to face reality, are one of the most marvellous inventions. I was about thirty, and in the middle of reading "The Thorn Birds," when the pages started swimming before my eyes and I realised "Oh my! My eyesight is going..."

I used to think that sixty was ancient, but the closer I get the younger it seems!

A word of caution to K---be careful what you wish for.

A word to the rest of you---go read her blog. you'll be glad you did!

I've been accused of being too Pollyanna-ish too. I figure it's better than being a grump.....

riseoutofme said...

As the Queen is wont to say - at the slightest opportunity - "The best is yet to come!"

And yet another quote, a slightly more reliable source this time - Monty Python - "Always look on the bright side of life"

This, of course, is sung boisterously when life gets ornery.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have come to believe that Nature in her wisdom causes our eyesight to fail at around this time so we won't know quite how bad we look.

Lately, I've been noticing old women, which of course means Even Older Than I, and musing that they were once little girls doing little girl things, just as I was.

And I wonder what the hell happened.

Molly said...

I really can identify with this post. I turned 61 in December. I loved being sixty; it is such a nice round number. Although I have been aging all along, this year seems to have brought more of old age's problems, more aches and pains, cataracts, and increased memory lost.

What can we do? Well, the blogging keeps young, right?

Tanya Brown said...

I have tagged you for a meme. No worries if you don't have time for it, though.

Pam said...

Yes, well, my eyes seem to be the only bit of me that isn't falling to bits so I don't even need glasses to see my deterioration....

Stomper Girl said...

I find glasses shopping so depressing, but that is because I have a difficult face for glasses. And dentists are even more depressing.