I am 58 and it is an interesting age. I can’t really call myself “middle-aged” unless I am under the delusion that I am going to live to be 116 years of age. That is a bit of a mind-blower in and of itself.
I find that I feel forced to watch more commercials on TV. This is due to the fact that I jerk my head to attention when I hear some voice barking from the TV set “for all of you listening who are 55 and older”. Of course that has been true for a while but suddenly I have to listen. When I was 56 and 57, I could deny it because I could still round down. You know round down to 55, I wasn’t 55 AND OLDER. I was just 55. Now I am 55 and OLDER. Damn. They are all depressing and I am learning to tune them out. If I fall, I can still get up thank you.
Perhaps the most humorous commercial is for Cialis. Of course it is supposed to appeal to men who have erectile dysfunction. And I am sure it’s effective for them. But have you ever noticed the women in the commercials? They are always smiling, looking ever ready, just waiting for that moment when their man is going to sweep them off their feet or give them that knowing look of “baby, it’s time”. Well, at 58, it takes more than a wink and a bathtub.
There are just things they don’t tell you. About aging I mean. Like calcium deposits. These tiny little hard things that come up on your skin, on your hands or chest. They are so irritating. I try to pretend they are not there, but they look like a pimple used to look if I can remember back that far. So like a good teenager, I pick at it and that hurts like all get out. When I have finally scrape it away, it leaves a big red spot. Lovely. I have been diagnosed with mild osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. Visions of being a little old lady all hunched over with a walker comes to mind as I do my planks, swallow handfuls of calcium tablets and try to remember to stand up straight. That’s caused by a deficit of calcium in your bones, right? So why in the heck do I have calcium oozing out of my skin? Why doesn’t it hang out in my bones? I should google that.
They don’t tell you that you should buy stock in a reading glass company. That you will need a pair in every room because you can never find them anywhere or because you forgot where you put them or because you left the one pair that really is the correct strength at the office. The ones that are right for reading are not right for the computer. The ones that you thought were cute last year look stupid this year.
Plus everything is shrinking. I am shrinking. I used to be all of 5 feet 4 inches. Now I am barely a whopping 5’3″ maybe and a quarter. Restaurant menus challenge and the phone book type (not that anyone really uses it anymore) is miniscule. Which is when I need my reading glasses that I can’t find. And cell phones are a whole other matter. I have noticed that some in my generation have the font so HUGE that I can read it from halfway across the room. They must have to scroll constantly just to read the simplest of conversations. Hi need to pick … scroll.. up Jimmy.. scroll … today at … scroll … school early … scroll. Exhausting.
Packaging is shrinking or at least getting so darn hard to open that it takes a rocket scientist to figure it out. I am Phi Beta Kappa (impressed?) and sometimes trying to open a recent techno gadget brings me to tears. I usually end up banging it on the counter in utter frustration. The plastic is too hard to get open; there are so many wires to cut I feel like I am engaging in a crime. Memory cards are TINY. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fascinating what is happening and I will not be daunted by all of it. But “come on man”… give us baby boomers a chance.
Things that are not shrinking? My feet. My ears and nose. Some would probably say my ego. My waistline. Definitely not my waistline. I suffer from ‘lack-a-waist” and have since childbirth. Oh well, it was worth it. Then menopause added to the fashionable rectangular look.
The good news is that there is good hair color. I am totally with Nora Ephron, who I am so sad died so early. I love her books and movies. The only reason fifty might be the new forty is good hair color, as she said in “I Feel Bad About My Neck”, a poignant and whimsical book if you haven’t read it. And try that stuff now that you can brush down the middle of your head that hides the gray between times to the salon – Joan Rivers makes it or at least it has her name on it. Brava Joan. Takes at least two years off my 58.
What’s good about being 58? The alternative. Not so hot.
And I am going to listen to a lot more music.