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Humor May 2016

Agelessly Yours

A Wrinkle in the Winter of Our Lives

By Karen White-Walker

They say one of today's greatest fears is struggling with old age, but we've dealt with other hurdles — adolescence and middle age – and we never were driven to dumping Drano over our spaghetti to end it all; we managed to go on.

Never once do I remember my parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles mentioning anything related to growing old. They gracefully accepted this natural process, so unlike today's society which seems to be fighting it with every anti-age remedy out there. Boy, are the pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of beauty products ever getting rich, richer, and richest. If all these products are meant to reinforce a healthier sense of being, why are so many people today being treated for anxiety and depression and hooked on everything but life?

For my aunts not to scare their husbands with their looks, they'd apply a little Vaseline to their eyelashes for that “dewy-eyed” look and dab a little rouge on their cheeks. I once overheard one of my uncles whisper to his wife, "Go easy on the petroleum jelly, honey, we might need it for later," and, because I was a child, I didn't know why. Well, I DID know why years later when my own husband bought the biggest jar known to dreamers. I guess some men just can't separate fantasy from reality.

They say one of today's greatest fears is struggling with old age, but we've dealt with other hurdles — adolescence and middle age – and we never were driven to dumping Drano over our spaghetti to end it all; we managed to go on. I'd like to believe we will again in the winter of our lives, and we should be darned if we're going to waste our energy on wondering what people think of us or how we look to others – but why am I always tempted to have my picture changed on a web site, hoping one will look better than the next? I know a lady who, when asked how old she is, adds ten years to her age just so she can hear people exclaim, "I can't believe it! You look positively gorgeous for your age!"

How many of us are just striving for clean and looking alive? Oh, and tossing in the ability to still exercise is crucial. So what if we have the rescue squad's number plastered on the back of our tee shirt while we're walking or jogging? Depending on our gait, passersby will know if they should summon help or just pass us by.

Personally, I feel that interaction with family, friends, and even strangers is the best enhancer. You forget about yourself and automatically it's like a tonic for whatever is holding you down or under.

"But some of my family and friends have cut deeply and it's hard to forget," some people will whine and to that I say, "Hey, if I can forgive my 57-year old ‘baby sister’ for years ago slamming the door on my possible entrance into untold wealth, you can deal with whatever is bugging you."

The fate of fortune was looking down on me that day, so long ago, when I met Charles III, whose family owned such a thriving business; he was riding around in a limo. That's when nobody in our area, or maybe even in the entire state, had anything shinier than a Studebaker. Well, old “Chuckie” took a liking to me and he asked me for a date. Back then a suitor would come to your house, meet your parents, and deal with your dad when he threatened that this date better have his daughter home by midnight — or else! 

But dad was the least of my problems.

It was my eight-year-old sister who came hopping into the living room that gave a “slight” hint that ours was not a classy household and would never “fit in.” For right before my disbelieving, horrifying eyes, this mental health hazard (to me, that is), was jump roping with the hose at the end of an enema bag!

And you think you can't forgive your family member (s)? After that, I think I can forgive anybody anything. Also, there are worse images than the thought of growing old. Think enema bag and the loss of position and wealth.

It's best that I don't keep Drano in the house.

 

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