Ok, for the ladies… do you ever wish your mom sat you down to let you know about all of the terrible things that would happen to your body as you got older? I mean, my mom and her friends would joke and say things like, “You just wait, you’ll see.” However, no one gave me any definitive information about what in the world they were talking about.
Maybe it feels all so confusing to me because, honestly, I still feel like I’m 25. I’m not lying. Despite some weird aches and pains (which I’ll get into later), I feel young. I feel pretty vibrant. I feel pretty great. Yet, I see a picture of myself or catch myself at a bad angle and I’m thinking, “Why doesn’t anyone ever tell me how badly I look?!”
I have some good genes, don’t get me wrong. The bad ones, however… blech! They are expensive to deal with! I started getting gray hair when I was 22 (that was when I started dating my husband. Coincidence? I think not.).
I would pull those suckers out as soon as I saw them. When my middle-aged girlfriends (yes, ladies, 40 is middle-aged) tell me they found a gray hair recently… I mean. I’m a nice person. I don’t get my feathers ruffled too easily. However, when someone talks about dealing with their first gray hair I want to scream. I’ve been dealing with mine for almost 20 years. Yes, that’s right. 20 years of plucking or coloring my gray hair.
My bad complexion I’m afraid I got from my dad’s side of the family. So, I have acne scars that make me mad but throw in the wrinkles I recently noticed under my eyes and my forehead lines… Give me a break! Seriously with this!
And the wrinkles… wrinkles are EVERYWHERE. I first noticed my fingers were looking a little older (I look down and I see my aunt’s hands) but it doesn’t stop at fingers.
Just yesterday I saw a pretty bright spider vein on my thigh, something I had hoped to avoid but apparently not. Spider veins are on the menu now. Fantastic.
The money it would take to remedy all of these issues would be ridiculous and I’ve always been a fan of ladies who grow old “naturally”… until I am one such lady. Every time I hit a milestone birthday I think I’m going to quit coloring my hair, and I consult my older girlfriends. I’m always met with a resounding “No!” so I keep following their lead. My mom is in her 70’s, and has less and less hair to deal with, and still refuses to go natural.
And talking about hair loss and hair gain… I used to go a few days without shaving my legs. Unless my husband doesn’t mind cuddling up to Sasquatch I HAVE TO shave my legs every day now. Every. Single. Day. I suppose I could resort to shaving my mustache at this point too, but I cannot commit to that. I have given up on the expense of having it waxed monthly so I Nair it on my own but I should’ve had it lasered, I’m telling you.
When I first started noticing dark hair on my elbows and triceps, I knew I was heading into middle age. I have had to add shaving of my elbows and triceps to the leg shaving days because it disgusts me. Frankly, it’s one of the most unlady-like things I can possibly think of on my body that I dislike.
Onto aches and pains… I had a busted disk and a bulging disk in my low back after I had my son (who I gained too much weight with, but no one is pointing fingers here. Damn you, Hostess donettes!). So, the low back problems come and go. I can usually tell if there’s a problem when I look in the mirror and see one hip going too far in one direction. It looks ridiculous. This year I added plantar fasciitis to the menu and my ankles sometimes lock up on me as well. I’m afraid one day I’m going to break my foot just by walking on it. Seriously…
Years ago I started having chest pains but two stress tests later, in the course of a few years, I was reassured I don’t have a heart problem. Turns out, I have a hiatal hernia found thanks to my mandated colonoscopy. Since I was turning 40 and had so many GI issues, the doctor wanted me to turn in my ticket for that carnival ride. Let me tell you, the only thing I was looking forward to was the propofol. I’m being honest here. My dad talks about how he wakes up from those things feeling like a million bucks and it’s no wonder Michael Jackson was abusing it. So, here I was just avoiding the reality of what was actually happening to me that day and looking forward to waking up in the recovery room (after I TRULY suffered through the prep). You know what happened? I woke up crying. I had a bad dream during the procedure and I woke up so very sad. Seriously sad. My heart hurt. Tears were sliding down my face and my husband was worried that I was physically injured and I assured him, nope. I told him the propofol failed me. I was with both my dad and my husband in their recovery rooms from this. Guess what… they woke up smiling.
Oh, and I’m due for my mammogram. What fun. It will be my third. I’m not looking forward to it. In my last well women’s exam she reminded me that I could still get pregnant at 40. Talk about a carnival ride. I hope I don’t buy that ticket.