It happened last year. I became an old person. The number doesn’t matter because, as the saying goes, you’re only as old as you feel. Well, I feel old. It started then, and now a few weeks past my birthday, I can say the trend is continuing. I’m officially on the downward side of the hill of life. Are you as depressed as I am yet? Continue reading…you’ll get there.
It started with vegetables. I am not a veggie lady. Never have been. I mean, raw vegetables dipped in ranch dressing or hummus or melted butter or cheese or anything to cover the taste but leave the crunch, I’ll eat those. Who wouldn’t? On the other hand, mix them into perfectly good dishes and no thank you. Meat. Rice. Bread. Dessert. These are actual foods. Bok choy, kale, brussel sprouts, peas, lima beans, peppers of any color (I’m not racist), water chestnuts…I have to stop. You get the idea. Those are weeds that someone decided to eat, and now we’re all screwed. Last year, to the Man’s complete surprise and pure joy, I started eating them…voluntarily. I cook with them whole and in pieces. I puree them and add them to sauces. Every dish has to have a vegetable. Even onions. Sautéed onions are now a regular part of most meals in our home. Ugh. OLD! Kids can be picky about eating. Nobody judges a toddler who won’t touch a piece of squash. I can tell you from years of experience that no one thinks it’s cute when a grown-up refuses to eat a dish that has too much green in it.
I wear sensible shoes. Multiple pairs. I had the cutest jellies, one pair in bright red and another in smoky grey. Adorable and went with everything. But at the end of the day my feet hurt like someone had taken a spiked bat to them. Actually, most of my shoes, when worn for long periods, would cause me to limp by the time the kids were in bed. The Man forced a pair of shoes on me that looked good enough but were described by the salesclerk as “comfortable, durable, long-lasting.” Kill.me.now. Granted, my feet feel like they are surrounded by clouds, and I haven’t been caught hobbling around at the end of the day. Doesn’t matter. All I hear with every soft step is old, old, old.
In related news, I ache. My bones actually feel sore at the end of the day when my old ass crawls into bed and first thing in the morning when my weary body has to get revved up for a new day. I don’t do anything spectacularly tiring or tremendously physical. Chasing after three kids is hardly relaxing, but it’s not a marathon or even a 5K. Even still, this back, these legs, those shoulders are all letting me know the end is near. (If you’re even thinking of suggesting I exercise, then you don’t know me at all, dear reader.) OLD!
I was called ma’am. Is that not the worst thing ever? Now, the little shit who did it was handing me my change after I paid him for a stroller I rented in the mall while out shopping with the kids, but that’s no excuse. Can’t every person the world over just agree that unless you see a nursing home address on her license or denture cream oozing out of her mouth, you should call every lady “miss” until forever? So old.
I did that thing where you are trying to read a piece of paper and you pull it closer and then farther away because it doesn’t seem in focus. You know why people do that? Because their eyes don’t work. You know why? Because they are old! I caught myself doing it, crumpled up the paper, and threw it away immediately. Damn you, fine print! I don’t need whatever important safety information you claim to have about the baby’s new car seat.
The last time my girlfriend and I were trying to find a place to hang out for a night without the men or the babies, we both agreed we wanted to go somewhere that didn’t require looking good and wasn’t too loud. Those were the actual requirements. Sounds perfect, right? What is happening?! It gets worse. The Man and I considered cancelling plans to go out because we weren’t able to leave the house until 8:30pm and that seemed too late. We rallied…but just barely. We did end up at a bar with friends where there were lots of college kids listening to music…but we had no idea what was going on around us. For all I know, I was in the presence of the next big thing, and all I could think was, “I sure hope I don’t spill anything sugary on my bag.”
I’m hanging on to hope! I won’t eat mushrooms. I will cook with them, but those fungi are safe from harm on my plate. I think they taste like eyeballs (or what I imagine eyeballs would taste like) and smell like bad. My hair hasn’t started to grey, and my mom still disapproves of my taste in clothes. These are important markers, people! I still understand most technology, and I have never made a cultural reference that my babysitter didn’t understand. Thank God.
It’s happening though. Slowly but surely. Soon I’ll be adding too much salt to my food because my taste buds have given up. I’ll talk about how things were better in “my day.” I won’t know who anyone in Us Weekly is. I can only pray that being around all these babies will keep me current…at least until I’m too old to care anymore anyway.