The Rigors of Aging

My friend Lisa’s got a problem. She can’t stop slathering lotion on her hands. I’d say it was OCD, but in her case, it appears to be MIDDLE AGE. She, like me, looks down at her own two hands and doesn’t recognize them. What once was smooth, is now dry and wrinkly. As for my two hands, they look like a street map of Manhattan – all roads marked in green veins.

Meanwhile, Lisa’s family is becoming annoyed with her new rub routine. They’re rebelling against a perpetually greasy TV remote control. She’s dropping dishes on the floor – they’re falling out of her slippery hands. The other day, her 7-year-old son slipped on a pile of goo on the floor and broke his arm. They had to call an ambulance because she couldn’t drive him to the hospital: her steering wheel was too slimy to grip! And even worse: Recently, she loaned me a book laced with lavender, which wouldn’t have been terrible if it wasn’t also layered in linseed oil, shea butter and goat's milk. To put it bluntly, it was disgusting.

Now, some of my contemporaries are talking about chemical peels and, gasp, face lifts. My chubby chums fantasize about tummy tucks and my flat friends are obsessed with broadening their bosoms. And can you believe it, I’ve recently been a party to limp eyelid lamenting!

On the whole, though, I have had the good fortune to have been born a goddess, with absolutely no imperfections whatsoever. How lucky is that! In fact, I’ve been turned down for countless beauty pageants because I am too beautiful. If I were a contestant, there would be no contest and the point would be moot.

Meanwhile, a childhood friend of mine obviously didn’t agree with all of the others about my almost blinding exquisiteness. People once said we looked like sisters, although the only features we shared were our noses and breasts so large that they practically hit the ground. She, unlike me, opted for the chopping block and now looks nothing like me. Her breasts are now perky and her nose is significantly smaller and more rounded (unlike the long, beak-like protuberance we once shared.) In fact, I probably wouldn’t recognize her on the street. At her 40th birthday party, it took me a while to find her (luckily, there was a life-size portrait of her with her name written on it, for reference.)

Now, I do have to admit, that the spider veins, cellulite and stretch marks I see when I look down do indeed make me queasy. I am almost convinced that, for the comfort of others who have to look my way, I should get myself under the bright lights of my local in-patient surgery room. And I probably ought to consider panniculectomy (a word I can’t pronounce, but which can resolve “post-pregnancy issues with inordinate fat localized below the belly button.”) But truthfully, my rotund silhouette is probably due to the 14 bowls of ice cream that I typically consume on a daily basis, not the two beautiful children I have birthed. And it’s a good idea if I avoid any surgery, unless it’s a life or death issue. I’m not a good patient and am known to cry, scream and faint during a 20-second, routine blood test.

So I think I will just live with the ugliness and perhaps, cut back on the ice cream.

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