It ain’t pretty to watch youth turn into old age, is it? The plusses are the wisdom one gains living life with its trials and tribulations. The negative is all that pretty wastes away. And we’re all pretty until we’re not. I don’t mean to sound morbid. I am just trying to be realistic because I sure didn’t think it was going to happen to me. No, sir.
I remember visiting the ladies restroom in downtown Atlanta’s Rich’s Department store when I was about 10 years old. Never had I seen so many women in sleeveless dresses with droopy upper arms. How embarrassing for them! I remember thinking to myself, “When I get old, that’s not going to happen to me. No, sir.”
I’ve only had four fillings in my lifetime and never wore braces. Oh, I wanted to wear braces because everyone else did. My teeth were so straight with no problems that as a young adult I remember my dentist telling me, “You are not helping me pay for this dental office.” I figured extreme services were not in my future. No, sir.
In my 30s and never having worn glasses, I was selling real estate for a regional developer. I wanted to appear older and wiser than my years suggested, so I made an appointment with my friendly ophthalmologist. He gave me non-prescription glasses to wear to make me look smart. How dumb was that? I thought I’d never have to wear real prescriptions with my 20/20 vision. No, sir.
Then my 40s appeared. Guess what? It was the beginning of the end. Glasses. I bought mine at the pharmacy. What is the lowest level? 125? I started there, but I didn’t stay there. Readers and I have a long history now. Yes, sir.
Here came the 50s. In the early part of that decade, while eating deviled crab at a local restaurant and taking that first scrumptious bite, part of a broken crab shell was in my forkful. I felt a crack! to a back molar and a horrific shooting pain through my tooth. One of my few fillings came in contact with agony which seared through my right molar’s nerve. A year and a half later, the left mirror image molar cracked and broke. I had lived until almost 60 years and had never fractured any part of my body until now. Now I was dealing with my first real dental catastrophe and the expensive fallout – years of dealing with two dental implants. Yes, sir.
I remember reading Nora Ephron’s “I Feel Bad About My Neck” while still in my 50s, and thought, “What the heck is she talking about? Neck?” I wasn’t paying attention to necks because I remembered Rich’s and those bird-flapping-arm women. Neither had happened. But then – you guessed it. Here came that neck and a few years later the arms. Yes, sir.
I was falling apart. I had nothing left to be proud of. Oh, wait. I remember getting compliments on my feet. People would tell me how patrician, slender, and pretty they were. And I’d show them off wearing the prettiest of toenail polish and open toed shoes, sandals, or flip flops. My pride and joy. I saw myself in my 60s not looking like the girl of my youth. But my feet! Those toes! I still had those! I would lie in bed and raise my legs to enjoy my pretty, slim, complimented feet because that’s all I had left!
And then God gave me a wake-up call. One day soon after while in a hurry, I clumsily ran into my laundry room door and broke my second and longest toe. And there it went…my last hold-out of anything pretty left on this ‘ole body of mine. Yes, sir.