by Lonnye Sue Sims Pearson
I don't know when or how it happened, but I've turned into an old woman. I never meant for this to happen. In fact, I swore it never would. But somehow life just happened while I wasn't looking, and there she was one day . . . a gray-haired, wrinkled woman staring from the full length mirror on the closet door, trying without success to locate her butt.
I mean, I don't think of myself as old or even as the less odious middle aged. But there are times when I cannot deny that my reactions to certain situations are that of an old woman. Take movies, for example. I simply cannot watch one that relies on four letter words and gratuitous sex for impact. What happened to the good old days when the innuendo was enough?
Then there is television. Don't even get me started on that monster! I've become quite attached to the weather channel and HGTV lately. And today's music just "ain't got the same soul" it used to have. If it weren't for the economic and political strength of the Baby Boomers, I'd be listening to Emanem or some other equally silly recordings. Thank God for the Oldies but Goodies stations.
Aside from the various entertainment media, old age has crept into my life in less tech-driven ways. Acid reflux, the heartbreak of psoriasis, thinning hair, incontinence, arthritis and poor eyesight have all entered my daily life with a vengeance. I spend more money on pain relievers and acid reducers than I ever did on makeup. And now that I am wearing bifocals . . . well, let's just say that I see more than I need to see at my age.
Some idiot coined the term "golden years" some time ago. Obviously, he was not in the midst of them at the time. I say he because a woman knows the end is near when she has to grunt to roll over in bed.
Men never seem to age as drastically as women. Or maybe, because this has always been a "man’s world," a man retains the confidence instilled in him by the Creator and just doesn't give a darn. Confidence will do that for you. Makes you oblivious to the sags and bags and wrinkles that come with age.
I wish I had known that age would come so quickly--I wouldn’t have been out to lunch somewhere when it knocked on my door and entered without an invitation. I thought I had years to prepare for it. Unfortunately, I was busy cooking, cleaning and rearing children during the prep time.
So now I have to grin and bear the inevitable. At least I still have my own teeth!
Lonnye Sue Sims Pearson, a Mississippi Delta native, now lives in North Carolina, where she teaches English. She writes: "I've never been published, but as an English teacher I have spent lots of years reading other Southerners' writing. I finally decided to gather my memories and put them on paper; then when I am too old to recall anything I’ll have a hardcopy of my memories!"
Readers may contact her at Lonnye Sue’s E-mail.
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