Reminders that I am not as young as I used to be
By Minna Jacobs
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
The subject of “old” comes up now and then and I begin to wonder what “old” really is. Is it like one day you are on this side of “old” and the next, because of a thing called a birthday, you’re on the other side? I don’t think so; getting to be old is more subtle than that, in fact it kinda sneaks up on you day by day, year by year.
One day you look in a mirror (don’t do that as soon as you get out of bed, if you can help it) and your mother looks back at you. Of course you have known for quite a while that you “ain’t what you used to be,” but to actually see it as a reflection in a mirror somehow drives it home with a more powerful force. No wonder it takes me longer to get my face in good enough shape to be seen in public. But if you’ve seen me lately you have probably noticed that I have sorta given up because too much makeup results in the emphasizing of any lines or wrinkles. Nowadays, what you see is what you get! The real me — the, dare I say it, the “old” one.
Those nasty reminders of the passing of time are all around you, especially on TV where you are constantly bombarded by beautiful women telling (lying) to you by inferring that if you use this cream or that lotion, you can look like your old (I mean young) again.
Somewhere along the line, I caught on to the fact that my feet and I are much more comfortable in low-heeled footwear. No more teetering on gorgeous, stylish, fashionable spike heels of my long-gone yesterdays. Oh, how pretty they were, while being so uncomfortable at the same time.
It’s rather weird, but my most memorable reminder that I am not as young as I used to be came via a salesperson in, of all places, a shoe store. After watching me try on an expensive and very classy pair of flats, this helpful seller of shoes, who wasn’t too far behind me in age (judging by her lines) advised me that I would be much better off buying shoes with a better tread on them — so I wouldn’t fall on the ice when winter came. She meant well (perhaps from experience), so the next time you look at my feet you will notice my shoes have a very serviceable sole.
Gee, even my fingernails look different! No longer painted the blood red I used to be so fond of many moons ago. Now, if I happen to polish my nails you will see they are a delicate nearly-pink. Right or wrong, I am under the impression that pink won’t call attention to all those age spots on my hands.
Oh well, I saw Neil Diamond on TV concert one evening and though he has quite a few years before he catches up with me age-wise, I noticed a little thickening around his middle that his blue shirt couldn’t quite hide, and yes, he had a slightly receding hairline. See, rich or poor, famous or infamous, old creeps up on the best of us if we live long enough. And I have lived long enough that I now allowed two of my great-grandchildren blow out the candle on my latest birthday cake.
Now that’s “old!”