As the year 2006 winds slowly down to its indisputable end, we pause a moment to ponder what the advent of a new year might mean, and conclude ... not much.
There are some who will insist that aging is grand, that passing a particular age means entering the golden years - a sort of senior paradise where birds sing, the sun always shines, and the soothing sound of trickling water brings serenity to the fevered brain (at least if you believe the commercials.)
We are not among them.
Although in birth years we have not yet attained the privilege of mingling with those of official senior status, we can with some certainty say that physically, we deserve to stand on a pedestal and proclaim "I’m OLD."
This is the first in what may possibly (although we promise nothing) become an occasional series on the possibilities inherent in the act of aging.
Be forewarned - here are some of the joys of watching oneself fall to pieces:
Projectile sneezing - much of this, we suppose, may be attributed to the fact that we both still smoke, but the truth nevertheless remains that a sternutation (we learned a new word!) is, as they say, semi-autonomous, and often results in a glob of mucus being ejected at truly marvelous speeds, made problematic by the near-certainty that a tissue is seldom at hand, resulting in the question "Where did it go?" As it is of an anonymous color and at best translucent, if not immediately located, it can lie in wait for the unsuspecting to randomly encounter it, leading to language much more colorful than the object itself.
The Push - it is a beneficial physical fact that living beings receive, in the form of a particular pressure, an indication that their bowels are in need of evacuation, and we learn at a very young age that there is a generally precise length of time involved by which we may gauge when the probable becomes the inevitable, and take the necessary steps to forestall accidents. Aging does not alter that span, but the exigencies of decrepit bodies make the trip to the bathroom seem longer than it once was, rendering it much more adventuresome. If one makes it to the goal safely, one sometimes discovers that one has been cozened, and a lengthy wait is sure to ensue. Reading materials are highly recommended.
Sitting with Scissors - It is also inevitable that, with advancing age, one’s joints lose the suppleness of youth, and become increasingly immobile. What was once a simple operation of slipping one’s fingers out of the handle’s apertures becomes an increasingly impossible task, as the holes seem to shrink and the painted metal (if you still possess a pair of those quaint, old-fashioned style of scissors - you know, the kind that quickly lose their tightness and sharpness) to cling to one’s knuckles, resulting in a ballet of twirling scissors, locked joints, and more colorful language.
The Light Fantastic - There comes a time in one’s life when the feet, due to the creeping onset of muscular weakness, become increasingly difficult to raise more than a fraction of an inch off the ground, leading to the astonishing discovery that there are hitherto unsuspected invisible objects littering every inch of our floor space, patiently waiting for us to locate and trip over them. They seem to be especially prevalent on rugs, but can be found occasionally even on bare linoleum.
And we don’t even want to speak about extension cords.
To all of you who choose to spend your valuable time dropping by to say hello, we thank you and wish you health and wealth of spirit in the coming year.
Happy New Year and
Bonnie and Walt