My birthday is a little over a week away. I can just imagine the circus sideshow like atmosphere that’s happening in the microscopic recesses of my almost 48 year old, “not-as-elastic-as-it-used-to- be” skin.
“Step right up Ladies and Germs and take a gander at the crone of the day—the hag who wasn’t one, a scant few years ago. Ladies and Gents, see how she starts to sag right before your very eyes”.
“Hey Mister, I know I’m just nine but I can’t see any old lady starting to…”
“Get away from me kid, ya bother me”.
What??? Do you mean to tell me your skin doesn’t have it’s own W-C Fields sounding carnival barker??
Mine does. My skin even has several families of itinerate farmers working my the lower 40.
I, Laurie Kendrick, will turn the big 4-8 on April 22nd, 2007. On that day, I’ll look up on my calender and the date will LOOM LARGE.
For some reason, the weeks leading up to my birthday have been rife with emotion…they’ve been marred by reality. The reality that IS arthritis, lines and wrinkles that weren’t there a year ago, a new found layer of adipose that wasn’t there LAST WEEK!!!!
I understand now, why grumpy old men and women get that way. It used to bother me, now I think they’ve earned the right to be a little angry. It’s something of a rite of passage.
I guess I’m becoming one of those grumpy old ladies.
Natural progression, right? Each year, we reach a different age. Thirty was a breeze..as was 40. Hell, 45 was too! But 48? Not even a pivotal year on the Hallmark gift suggestion list. Yet here I sit, in the waning hours before the 48th ring in my trunk is fully formed, and I find myself torn between joyously embracing my new AARP card and regretfully discarding my tampons.
Who am I kidding? It’s been years since I employed tampons for their intended use. Beginning in early 2005, dismantled aspects of these tightly bundled cotton marvels have been used in a myriad of household functions. Thanks to one “ultra absorbent” tampon with “comfort glide”, my large art deco vase no longer scratches the surface of my lovely mahogany sideboard.
I keep a box in my bathroom for A) memories and guests and B) as an age deflecting “throw down” in case I ever date a younger guy.
Silly, I know.
And I know I should embrace this time of my life. I should be happy that God gave me another year on his Earth. Oh yeah? Well, tell me that in August, right now I feel old and unaccomplished. I have nothing to show for all the years I’ve lived.
Or have I?? I learned recently that I’m not an artist, but I can draw conclusions.
I was sitting in my Accountant’s office waiting to see him to get my taxes done. He was running late and that initial ten minute wait turned into 25, which then became a 45 minute delay. I was getting bored. I’d already chewed the three peices of gum I found at the bottom of my purse; I balanced my check book, read the active ingredients on my bottle of Zicam Nasal Spray and then learned about the dangers of Reyes Syndrome on the back of my bottle of aspirin …..that’s when I saw “them”.
Liver spots. Age spots. Call them what you will, they all mean the same thing–aging. And I had many of these marcations all over the back of my left hand.
What I did next confounds me. I pulled a pen from my purse and decided to connect the age spots. And when I was done, looking back up at me from the back of my left hand, was a crudely drawn image of the face of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).
Yep, Charlie Rangel.
I shook my head and fought back tears. Had it really come to this!!! Twelve years ago, I did the same thing except I connected young, vibrant hair follicles. I got an image of a young, bright eyed Haley Joel Osment. I do it now, connect age spots and I get Charlie Rangel????? With a mustache, no less. Nice guy, I’m sure…great lawmaker for certain, but come on!!!
Time has indeed been cruel.
At that moment, Bob stuck his head out of his office and told me we were ready to get “taxing”. I gathered my things and stood up. I wasn’t worried about Bob seeing the ink markings on my hand. I was sure he wouldn’t notice the ink or the physical signs of my impending death.
“Hello Laurie. Have a great year?
“Hi Bob. 2006 was OK. This return should be a piece of cake”.
“Hey speaking of cake, don’t you have a birthday coming up soon?”
“Yes”, I said with a long sigh. “Next weekend, I’ll turn 48”.
“Come on now, Laurie; you’re only as old as you think you are. Do you have your W-2’s with you.”
“Here you go.” I pass him the forms.
“Thanks”, he said, then he noticed what I hoped he wouldn’t. “Is that ink all over the back of your hand?”
“Yeah, I was reaching into my purse and I guess my hand brushed up against a pen that wasn’t capped.”
He reached for my hand to examine it closely. “That’s interesting. The combination of ink and all those age spots sure look a lot like Charles Rangel. Weird”.
He then finished up this portion of my humiliation by saying, “I see you’re filing single again this year….”.
Ouch. That double whammy hurt. I then did the only thing I could’ve done. I reached for a pen in the holder on his desk and started connecting age spots, a mole and several freckles on my right hand.
Bob looked at me with a strange expression. “What are you doing, Laurie?”
“I’m depressed about my birthday and finding Charlie Rangel in the age spots on my left hand, so I think it’s only fitting to try and draw Dr. Kevorkian on my right one”.
To add insult to injury, I owe Uncle Sam $438 in taxes.
Spend it well, Representative Rangel…..spend it well.