Monday, June 23, 2008
A few years back I penned a humorous book about life and aging. It's called, Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Feel Flush. I'm still amazed by what happens to our bodies as we age, and wanted to share something that might bring you a chuckle despite the reality that aging is not for the faint of heart.
There are columns for everything these days, but none I’ve found answer questions about or warn you about growing old. Even food comes with nutrition information and expiration dates, and many products come with disclaimers. I’m thinking it would have been really nice if God provided stickers for various parts of our bodies with a line or two that prepares us for what’s to come. I don’t necessarily think they should be adhered to the specific body parts... that could get uncomfortable, but just a tidy little book or 3x5 card file we could use for reference. Here’s my take on what God’s disclaimers might look like:
HANDS: Be prepared! Without warning you will develop ugly brown splotches on the backs of your hands. They serve absolutely no purpose except to remind you that you are losing elasticity in your skin, getting wrinkles, and that even if you waste your hard-earned money on a face lift, one glimpse at these puppies will be a dead give away as to your real age. On the bright side, you may find them useful for a game of “connect the dots” if you find yourself needing something to do.
NECK: Around the age of fifty, you may notice slight to excessive changes in your neck. Folds of skin will manifest themselves, giving the appearance that you have one or more chins... or that you are doing an imitation of a Shar Pei puppy. You may wonder what happened to whatever was holding up the now-hanging skin, but I have yet to discover the answer to that-- I’m still researching it. Oh yes, and I do issue a strong warning that wearing turtle necks in the summer can cause heat prostration.
STOMACH MUSCLES: This warning is specific to child-bearing women who will later face removal of the reproductive organs. The abdominal muscles have a limited life span. Removal of any or all of the supporting organs such as the uterus, ovaries, or even the gall bladder etc, will cause weakening and sagging. Most likely, you have already experienced stretch marks from pregnancy, so don’t be alarmed if they tend to become more visible, thin and turn an angrier color of red. At this point, just consider your stomach as a shelf that has lost the hardware to hold it up. But, don’t fear, you won’t have time to worry about how it looks because you’ll develop a constant heat rash that will take most of your time and attention to clear. Women, please don’t feel that I’ve singled you out. I’ve given men the equivalent and call it “jock itch.”
BREASTS: Although women’s breasts are often the focus of attention from the male population, this is just a carry over from the real reason they were created–a viable food source; often men were weaned much too early. Regardless, during youth the epidermis of the female breast will remain taut to provide support for the milk supply as needed. Once past child-bearing age, the firmness will be lost to allow for the space created by the sagging abdomen you have most likely acquired. The breasts will tend to follow the downward trend to re-create the same distance between the tummy and boobs as before. You may have once worn a 38C, you will now require a 38 long!
UNDERARMS: Around fifty-ish, you might want to re-think wearing sleeveless attire. Unfortunately, during creation, a glitch in the plan causes that “neck thing” to also happen to your upper arms. (See above description). Useless wing-like appendages develop and hang loosely, so much so that they have been known to develop a sway that can offset your sense of balance. Although great playthings for grandchildren, and topics of discussion by younger women who are still clueless about the aging process, you must be aware of the danger posed by windy days and holding your arm too close to the open window of a moving vehicle. The residual movement could seriously harm you or someone in the near proximity.
GENERAL ALERTS: I’ve created a subtle reminder of how you may be viewed by others... a pain in the butt, and I call it a hemorrhoid. Certain things that can cause one or more to form in the rectal area can be, but are not limited to: Sitting, bending, stooping, lifting, sneezing, coughing, straining, and sometimes even breathing. Your guess is as good as mine about how to get rid of them, but sitz baths comes to mind. Which raises another question. What is a sitz bath? If you don’t sitz...isn’t it a shower?
And last but certainly not least, SEX DRIVE: Each female comes with different levels of sexual desire, and changes may occur that cause fluctuations in those levels. For example, a woman with little or no sex drive may find an increased appetite for stimulation while a woman with an unsatiable level may suddenly find herself totally disinterested and bored. Unfortunately, I’ve been unsuccessful in matching male to female urge/response ratio, and as the aging process takes place, it isn’t uncommon for the male to develop a sexual need totally opposite to that of his female counterpart. For the disinterested and bored woman, I recommend installing acoustical ceiling tiles in the bedroom so you have something to count, and for the highly charged woman I offer a sincere apology. I believe someone created an appropriate saying for this instance... “you can’t beat a dead horse.”
For more information, I’m usually available most days of the week, except on Sunday, when I rest.