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Humor January 2017

Agelessly Yours

Growing Old Gracefully? How Should I Know?

By Karen White-Walker

I might be playing these little mind games with myself, not so much pretending to not be my age, but truly disbelieving that I can’t possibly be this old, this quickly. Seems like yesterday I was drinking Ovaltine from a sippy cup and today I’m popping down Geritol with a prune juice chaser.

Now the subtle signs are beginning. Nothing big, and should I even mention them? Darn right I should, because you see, I’ve never quite been on the cusp of “old age” before. Cusp, hell, I’m in the throes of it! Actually, you’d never ever know it if I whizzed by you in a speeding convertible. For all I know, men out there are honking and whistling at me as I fly by, but both my hearing and eyesight aren’t as acute as they used to be, so I’ll never know.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I might be playing these little mind games with myself, not so much pretending to not be my age, but truly disbelieving that I can’t possibly be this old, this quickly. Seems like yesterday I was drinking Ovaltine from a sippy cup and today I’m popping down Geritol with a prune juice chaser.

“You’re so active, ‘with it,’ and alive!” insist my complimentary neighbors. Thank God they’re Protestant and I’m Catholic, and they weren’t with me on that fateful Sunday morning. I humbly walked into church and when I went to genuflect, I couldn’t get back up again. Two elderly ushers came rushing over to pick me up, and as I tightly clung to them to hoist myself up, they almost fell and I thought, dear God, who’s going to pick THEM up?

“You falling in front of a packed parish could happen to anyone,” consoled my sister.

“Tell me the last time you went to Mass and saw somebody sprawled out, spread-eagle, in the aisle?”

“You’ve got me there, kid,” she confessed.

A lesser well-adjusted woman would have begged, on her knees, for ALL the communion wine, but you should only deal with aging afflictions cold sober.

Don’t laugh, but at my age, I’m mourning the loss of having pickles with my chicken salad sandwiches. Just go buy them, you say? Sure, but who’s going to open the jar once you’ve got it home? When I lost my dear husband last year, I said goodbye to my iron man and hello to a weak-wristed widow.

The other day I bought MiraLAX, so I take the prunes, too? you ask. The instructions read: To open, just press the two sides of the container. The lines indicating which two sides were the exact SAME color as the cover — brilliant. As I ran my fingers across the cap, I felt it might behoove me to learn a little Braille for this little stunt.

My new prescription bottle wasn’t any better. It read: To open just press down hard with the palm of your hand. Trust me, I didn’t bear down that forcefully while I was giving birth, but at least the end result was a bundle of bliss. All I had this time for all my huffing and puffing was an imprint of the cap bottle embedded into my palm. Huffing and puffing –  ah, I can equate that now with happier times.

You know how an expert giving advice needs credentials? Well come to think of it, what are my credentials for complaining? Right now, right this minute, I’m going to celebrate all that I CAN do, like going grocery shopping WITHOUT a list. It’s a great brain exercise, you know, ascertaining at home what you need, remembering it all when you’re at the store, coming home to discover that you’ve only forgotten 8 out of 32 items. Hey, that’s about a 75% average, higher than my math grade in school. I can get a lot of mileage out of that, just like I intend living happily in my waning years.

Old age? You can’t live this long without being tough — inwardly. As for outwardly? Ask gracious senior citizens who have never made fools of themselves. My advice? Try non-Catholics who don’t ever have to genuflect.

 

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