Senior Citizen Puberty

Yesterday I turned the big 5 – 0.  Damn that’s old.

It’s ½ of 100.  Half a CENTURY.  I’ve lived FIVE DECADES.  Twenty five years, twice.  Geeze.

It’s not the number that bothers me.  Forty, fifty, sixty, thirty.  It’s just another day.  But it is more about the aging of my physical being.

At 4:50 AM on my birthday morning, I was at a gas station by the airport trying to fill up for a busy day ahead.  I could read the screen asking if I wanted a car wash.  I did not.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a pair of glasses in my car so I couldn’t find the “no” button.  I had to restart the transaction three times before I finally pressed something that would allow me to move on.  So    dang    frustrating!

Last weekend we were going to a wedding so I wanted to clean up a bit.  Of course I showered and shaved, but there’s something about a special event that makes you feel like you need a good grooming.  So I got the expanda face mirror out and a pair of tweezers.  This hair pulling utensil was given to me as a gift.  It actually has a light on it.  Between the mirror and the random hair spotlight, nothing goes unnoticed.

I plucked the pom-pom sprigging from my ears, and it hurt like mess!  Who knew you could grow an ear toupee?

I remember my granddad’s ears.  He got to the point he shaved them, just like his face.  They turned gray.  Can’t wait for that genetic hand-me-down.

I then pulled out five eyebrow strands that were four times longer than their peers.  How does that happen?  Where do these mutant follicles come from?  Did I accidently splash Miracle Gro on them when watering the plants?  If I don’t pluck, my children hound me, beating down any sense of self-esteem I might have developed since I last saw them.

“Dad, you look like Albert Einstein.  It’s time to mow your brow!  Oh, and look at your ears.  Gross!”

My hip pops when I walk up stairs.  I’m gonna have to wait until I get on Medicare to get that thing replaced.  What if I get in the doughnut hole?

You know you’re getting old when you dread cutting your toenails.  It becomes such a chore.

I have to find time to sit down and somehow figure out how to get my toe close enough to my hand to make the transaction.  It wasn’t until my upper 40’s that I realized my toes were so far from my hands.  It really is a very long distance.

And pretzeling my leg into position is not the only issue.  My pinky toenail on the left side has double developed over my lifetime.  Like it has two times the thickness of any of my other nails.  Like bullet proof glass.

The good news is you couldn’t puncture the end of Mr. Pinkie with an ice pick.  Nuclear war?  He will survive.  By sixty I’m gonna need yard shears to ready for a special occasion.

This is like senior citizen puberty – suberty.

And AARP.  Couldn’t they mail the application a month or two AFTER your birthday?  You’re cruising along, all is good, and then you open the mailbox and there it is.  An envelope that essentially says Hello Old Fart!

Jiminy Christmas.

 

 

Headed to Wadi Halfa

Wadi Halfa

I used to think it was nuts that old people moved to Florida for the winter.  Move for the tax relief – I might consider it.  But leave my friends, my life, just because of the weather?  Insane.

But I swear, the older I get the colder I get.

My mom wears a wool sweater, mid day, on the beach in July.  We have never been anywhere that she didn’t remind every family member to bring a sweater.

“Mom, we are going to a hot yoga class!  We don’t need outerwear!”

“You’d better grab a sweater.  They have air conditioning in the lobby.”

The only time I’ve ever seen her hot was in her forties when she was going through “the change.”  We’d come home and she’d be dusting the house in her bra.  My dad said she’d go to sleep in flannels bundled up in a quilt and in the morning she’d be on top of the covers in her skivvies.

I got her cold down pat but none of the warmth.

At work I recently changed offices with the guy next door because he had the thermostat.  It would register warm and cut off.  I had icicles made of snot dangling from my nose.  He was sweating bullets.  But he’s young – just 40.

I used to sleep in boxers only – no shirt, no sheet – winter, spring, summer or fall.  Last night I wore flannel pants and surrounded myself with six pillows to help hold the heat in.  I considered a toboggan but was too cold to get out of bed to fetch one.

If I didn’t have seat warmers in my car, I’d take a taxi to work.  I assume it would already be heated up by the time he got to my house.

My feet could cool the heat rods at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant.

Sometimes I get in the car on a hot summer day and don’t turn the air conditioning on until I simply can’t breathe anymore.  It’s the only time my bones really feel toasty.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  If it is old age, I’m unimpressed.  As I approach 50 my body is changing, rapidly.  I may just skip Florida and head straight to Wadi Halfa, Sudan.  It’s the hottest place on earth – I looked it up.

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Another Year, Another Wrinkle

I’ve got a birthday this week.  I turn 47.  And yet I don’t feel a day over 46.

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what in the hell happened?

Since when did my hair turn white?  Not only on my sideburns and around my temples, but the stuff is taking over my chest.  Out with the brown, in with the gray!

It’s like old man kudzu.  And I’m not excited about where it might appear next.

The older I get, the more grooming I do.  As if showering and shaving isn’t enough every day, I now have to hunt for rogue hair all about my being.

Oh there’s a thatch growing out of my nostril.  A pompom of fuzz protruding from my ear canal.  And the one, only one, standing fully erect right on the top of my left shoulder-blade.

My eyebrows remind me of the fringe on my grandma’s handmade afghans.  I could serve spinach dip out of the crevices in my forehead.  Not only do I need glasses to read the menu at a restaurant, I also can’t see my food without them.  Imagine my surprise when the blurry “carrots” I bit into turned out to be rutabaga.  YUCK.

My grandfather, Woodrow, had a forehead the size of Montana.  And as Spurgeon, the other, added years to his life, his ears expanded like a Magic Towel wash cloth.  What a future.

I pee all the time, and there’s a 3″ x 3″ patch of skin on my back that’s as dry as a bone.  “Oooooo Dad!  What is that?  Scabies?”

“No!  It’s not scabies!!  It’s dry skin – it’s called eczema.”

“You need to get that checked out.  It’s gross.”

My girls are outstanding at pointing out all my flaws.

“You’re belly is jiggly!”  “You have warts on your feet.”  “I didn’t know you could get pimples at such an old age.”

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to develop a strong self-esteem before I had girls nearing the teenage years.

They haven’t discovered the vein that’s popping out around my right ankle although they relish the opportunity to discuss the volume of lint that collects in my bellybutton.  “Pull it out dad, I need a new scarf for winter.”

Where does that stuff come from and why is it in my navel?  I feel like a dryer.

I’m like an old house that needs major repairs.  I’m just not sure I could recoup the investment.

Annual Physical = Anxiety

Posted by Danny

I changed doctors about a year and a half ago.  I’d been seeing this guy for years, he’d touched me in so many personal ways, I felt an intimate connection with him.  But he couldn’t remember my name.  It hurt.  So I made a change.

My new physician’s name is Brian.  I like him a lot.  He’s about my age – I think he understands some of what I’m facing as a 46-year-old man.

Even though he’s a great guy, I was still dreading my physical last week.  I get excited about a massage, there’s a woman named Shelva in West Virginia who gives me my annual rub down at Capon Springs.  Her hands are like money!  But for some reason, I didn’t have the same level of enthusiasm about my family practitioner.  

I had worked myself up – I struggled to sleep the night before.  The anxiety of someone I didn’t know poking and prodding all over my body just about undid me.  The words, “Turn around and bend over – this won’t hurt a bit” kept echoing through my head.  I could smell the latex glove.

I woke up early.  I wanted to make sure I’d done all of my business before heading to the internal masseuse.  I cleaned extra well.  I wanted be his tidiest patient that day.  I can imagine some of the conversations he must have with his nurse after certain patients leave the office.  I didn’t want to be the topic of their water cooler talk.  And if I was, I wanted it to be good…”Did you smell him?”  “I sure did!  Like Old spice!”  “Un huh.”

We all know why there is mouthwash in the dentist’s bathroom.  If I was Brian, I’d invest in a bidet.

The nurse entered.  “Are you having any problems Mr. Ham?”

“Anxiety.”

“How often does this occur?”

“Anally – I mean annually.”

“The doctor will be here in a minute.”

She didn’t tell me to remove my clothes.  At my other doctor’s office, I had to disrobe by now – down to my boxers.  I don’t want to undress in front of him.  That’s so personal.

He enters, “I’m going to listen to your heart first.  Take a few deep breaths.”

He’s a big guy.  Athletic.  Look – at –  those – hands!

“Sounds good.  You’ll feel a little pressure on your stomach.”

He’s going for my pelvis.  It’s coming…

“Let’s take a look at your feet.  I see you have several planters warts.”

He didn’t even look down there.  What’s up with that?

Now it’s recommended that caucasian men get a prostate exam at age 50. But I can do one this year  if you’d like.  It’s your call.”

My other doctor started those when I hit 40!  That’s not right.  Why did he do that?  I feel so violated.

“Uh, un, I’m good.  I would not like one of those.  Actually, my prostate is feeling in-credible!  Never felt better.  Healthiest prostate in Raleigh!  Everythings just fine with my prostate.  Got those warts on my feet, but my prostate is dandy, no warts there!  I’m thinking 50 is good.  Yeaaaaa, 50.”

I’m going to sue my former doctor.

It Comes with Age

Posted by Danny

I’m getting older – a  birthday coming up this week.  In ways its difficult to believe I’ll be 46.  But at times it feels like I’m 78.  The changes in my hair are an indicator of my movement toward the AARP.

The most random hairs are popping up in the most unusual places around my being.  These aren’t normal hairs.  These are hairs on steroids!

They’re hanging out of my nose.  They’re poking out of and growing around the outside of my ears, one random piece at a time.  One day I found a rogue brow hanging down into my eye.  I discovered it when I thought I had a piece of dust in my eyeball.  But it was not dirt.  A strand from my eyebrow curled across my lid, through my lash and was resting on my cornea.  His lone brother was growing out of a pore on my left shoulder.   

When one pops up in my nose, I know I have to trim.  I’ve not had luck with my blunt end scissors – they can’t cut butter and the thicker ends won’t easily fit into my nostril.  Sticking a sharp pair of scissors into my nasal passage freaks me out!  I’m afraid a kid is going to run into the room, bump up against me and the blade is going to get shoved up into my cerebrum.

So, I shut and lock the bathroom door and pray that there won’t be an earthquake during my olfactory organ grooming session.

The grays are becoming more and more apparent, especially on my sideburns (the fact that I still think sideburns look cool is yet another indicator of my destiny).

This summer while on the beach, I noticed that about 25% of the hair on my chest weren’t brown – I feel like a silverback gorilla – except in the front.

I’m having to get up 8 minutes early each day to make sure I’m all cleaned up.  It’s like checking for ticks.  In a few years, I’m going to look like Cousin It. 

It’s as if I am taking hair fertilizer.  Do they sneak that in the aspirin I ingest each morning to ensure that I don’t have a stroke?  I guess if my body gets covered with hair I’ll be warmer.  My circulation is slowing down so that could come in handy.

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