Aging makes a bunch of collateral strikes that one doesn’t expect. That’s assuming you already know that spider veins and age spots are going to decorate your body and those darned skin tags are going to show up in extremely irritating places. (Or maybe it’s just me who gets them underneath my bra elastic.)
Why do ears and noses continue to grow even as hearing and sense of smell decline?
Feet? When I was in college, I wore a size 6. Are my feet growing, too, or have my arches sunk 2 1/2 sizes?
Even as some parts are balding, let’s not even talk about inappropriate hairs that crop up in other places. Last week when we were preparing to drive back to Charlotte, Dearly Beloved pointed to his nose and asked, “Do you want me to tweeze these white nose hairs or would you rather I leave them so you’ll have something to obsess about on the trip home?”
I voted for the pluck. (But thanks for asking.)
No, in the ever-changing period between maturity and over-ripening, I was referring to the noises we find ourselves emitting. It’s hard to know where to start…! I’m not speaking of gas, although more than one friend has confessed how irritating it is to have spent all those years telling their children it is rude to break wind, only to have grandchildren now whispering that Grandma “let one.”
I wonder if T. Boone Pickens is looking into harnessing this. He’s already thinking “natural gas” to run cars. I can see it now. . . a world where senior citizens and 9-year-old boys fuel the country’s transportation needs.
No, I was speaking of noises within my own house. For sometime now, DB and I have realized that we’ve developed some decidedly annoying habits. By the time he pointed mine out to me, it was full-blown and hard to break: I grunt.
I grunt when I sit down and when I stand up. I grunt when I reach for the car door or when I bend over to retrieve something. Not just a soft sigh kind of grunt, either. If you heard Venus Williams in a tie-breaker at Wimbleton and me as I was reaching in the back of a lower cabinet looking for a pot lid, you’d be hard pressed to guess which one of us was exerting the most effort.
DB, on the other hand, is a yawner. In his case. . . well, remember the Dr. Seuss character named Von Vleck, who “is yawning so wide you can look down his neck”? What do you want to know about the view beyond DB’s tonsils? His yawns are not silent; there is a deep breath intake, followed by a lion-worthy roar. Since he is Mr. Proper, it is quite out of character for him to yawn so widely that it exceeds the span of covering hand.
To add to the audio, we have Miss Piggy, the snorter, still trolling the kitchen floor. The sounds would be appropriate on a truffle hunt, perhaps, but are way over-the-top for the Crumb Police. If we toss cereal out for the birds, she will spend hours making sure she finds every single one.
She makes that sound when she has an itch too. With what we spend each month on flea control, we should be spared the neght-neght-neght-neght-neght as she burrows into various parts of her body on a scavenger hunt for itch-causers.
Picture this bedroom scene because I promise it’s the truth: DB is asleep, having dozed off watching a baseball game and I am reading a book. Miss Piggy is soundly asleep in the den at the other end of the house. When I turn off the tv and the light and am just beginning to fall asleep, however, here she comes, clicking down the hall to the bedroom. She climbs into her dog bed and begins the annoying neght-neght-neght hygiene ritual.
I might WELCOME the sound of a buzzing fly or cricket at that point. I can’t yell at her to stop so I climb out of bed and stand over her to whisper ferociously, “STOP THAT!” She will cease and desist immediately, sometimes moving into snoring mode before I barely have time to get re-settled in the bed.
What would Mother Goose have thought of all this noise?
Mr. Lee had a habit, you see. . .
he would yawn and open so wide
That a little bird, in a movement absurd,
built a tiny nest inside.
Mistress Mary, sounding quite scary,
emitted groans and grunts of grand scale
The noises were heard by the small yellow bird
Which thought they came from a whale.
Miss Piggy, the dog in the corner,
so convincingly snorted and sniffed as she’d root
Folks thought her to be the Muppet herself,
Hiding in a cocker spaniel suit.
The Lee household sounded so exotic
As they yawned, grunted, groaned, and roared,
Imagine their surprise when the notice arrived:
A Zoo violation, warned the zoning board.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Son-O-Mine!