I have come to an unfortunate conclusion recently:
I am getting old.
I’m not so happy about that. Until recently, I always told the truth about my age because people seemed so stunned to hear it. “No way!” They’d say. “I would have guessed you were only about thirty-five!”
Oh, Baby, I’d gloat. Tell me more.
I think the downhill slide started when different parts of my body started talking without my permission. My knees pop, my ankles creak, my hip makes a grinding noise. My teeth chatter for no apparent reason, and my jaw clicks when I least expect it. And I’ve started grunting when I bend over; what the hell is that?
Best of all is the snap!crackle!pop! taking place along my spine every time the weather changes. Give me a good thunderstorm and all that metal in there sounds like an Orville Redenbacher orgasm.
Then, at my son’s pre-school Valentine’s Day party, it finally happened.
I’ve been expecting it since the day the Little Guy was born. I know I’m older than most of the mommies in his class. I knew this moment was coming.
I can still hear that voice, sweet and oh-so-nicely offering me a seat beside her at the party: “After all, we Grandmas should stick together.”
There was chocolate nearby, so I let her live.
I can accept that. I can take it. Some women actually are Grandmothers by my age. When it comes to parenthood, I got started late and just couldn’t figure out when to stop, so I really shouldn’t be offended by being mistaken for the Little Guy’s grandmother.
I can deal with a noisy, achy body and gray hairs that grow in faster than I can color them away, and I can even tolerate the little lines that are starting to show up on my face. I can smile politely at people who think I’m a grandmother.
But the worst was yet to come.
About a month ago, one of my dearest friends fell at work and shattered her ankle. Yeah, that’s how she and I do things: I break my neck, she breaks her leg; I get plates and screws, she gets plates and screws and pins. We’ve been competing against each other since we were eight years old, and I don’t see either one of us letting up any time soon
Anyway, I contacted a mutual friend to let him know about her injury. His first question?
“Is she post-menopausal?”
Now, I could have taken that several different ways. He’s a pharmacist, so he was asking from a medical standpoint, concerned about how well she might heal. He’s known her almost as long as I have, so he was trying to figure out just how badly her bones might have broken. Basically, he’s a good guy who was just worried about a friend.
But I didn’t take it that way.
No, I am exactly two weeks older than she is, so I took his question as “are you post-menopausal?”
Like I said, competitive.
Our friend is not allowed to wonder if I am post-menopausal. He is not allowed to even think that I might be. He knows damn well exactly how old I am, and that I am definitely not old enough for menopause.
She is not post-menopausal because I am not post-menopausal, and we are both still young and vibrant NON- MENOPAUSAL women.
Who just happen to have lots of metal replacement parts that have nothing to do with age or hormone levels.
We are not old.
Now give me a moment to find my bifocals so I can proofread this.