Like a Fine Whine

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.

But still.

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.