I didn't know 50 was old. It use to be back when I was younger, and especially old when both of my older sisters, Brenda and Nancy, reached 50. But when I finally reached that milestone I realized it wasn't any big deal. At least it wasn't until lately.
When my husband, who is older than I am, started receiving letters from AARP, I laughed at him -- a lot. The first time I saw my name on an AARP invitation to join, I laughed again and threw it in the trash.
Lately, though, I've begun to wonder what is in those envelopes.
I'm not sure when the oldness took over. My sons have always told me I'm old and I guess I have to be since I have sons who are getting older and older and older. Since they have more grey hair than I do (most of the time) I decided I'd stop coloring my hair and let nature have its way. That was a horrible mistake and I have pictures to prove it. I have no natural beauty. The color bottle will be my friend for at least five more years.
That was oldness number one.
Oldness number two really snuck up on me and will not go away no matter how little I eat or how much I exercise. I didn't realize that the numbers on a set of scales only go up, never down, after the age of 50. As my long-time older friend said, "I can't believe skinny Erma isn't skinny." Thanks, Janet.
Oldness number three made me change doctors. I had a great doctor. He always took the time to listen to my complaints and prescribed the right medicine to cure most of my aches and pains. I just didn't like his explanation for most of those aches and pains.
"You're just getting older." "The body changes as it ages." "Older people have a harder time getting over it."
My new doctor is female.
Oldness number four came from a little grand-blessing. I love being a grandma. But when my granddaughter couldn't tell the difference between my underwear and Grandpa Tom's, that was a big reality check.
Oldness number five is really starting to irritate me. If I walk into one more room and forget what I was going after, I may scream. Since my husband and I both find ourselves doing that a lot, we make lists so we don't forget what we need when we head to the grocery store. Except, that doesn't work too well when you leave the list on the counter at home.
Oldness number six was the discovery that my driving reflexes decreased at 50. But the good news is, if I make it a few more years I can take a special safe driving class and get a discount on my auto insurance for three years. (That's actually a really good idea.)
Oldness number seven involves several different products.
I went to get vitamins. Did you know that bodies over 50 have their own specially formulated compound?
And makeup -- for mature skin it reads.
Lipstick -- a staple because over 50 lips have no color and they get skinnier and skinnier. (The lips, not the body.)
Reading glasses -- I think I have a pair in every room, in the car, and on my office desk and I still can't find them half the time. I use to chuckle at how high up Wanda and Debbie D. had their office chairs until I was told they were looking down at their computers through their bifocals. (Yes, that does work. And, yes Betty, you can lose your glasses when they're on your head. And, no Patti, I'm not wearing an eyeglass chain around my neck -- yet).
The product that made me the saddest and gave me the oldest feeling was my Thermacare HeatWraps. I love those things. They're the best invention in the whole world. They really are a heating pad without the cord. They really give you 8 hours of heat and deep muscle relaxation. They also say, "55 OR OLDER: Your risk of burning increases as you age. If you are 55 years of age or older do not use during sleep." So, let's see. I was born in 1955 and this is 2007. That will make me 52 this year. So, according to that warning my skin will completely collapse in three years.
And, oh yeah, back when I let my hair color "grow" natural, I was invited to join the Red Hat Society (that great group of women celebrate turning 55) and a friend asked if I qualified for the Silver Sneakers program. Now you understand why I went back to the color bottle, don't you?
Now ... where did I put that AARP letter?