It’s birthday week around here. Time to do an assessment of the old girl.
No, it isn’t MY birthday–it would be much too depressing to count wrinkles on my own birthday. Today is Dearly Beloved’s natal day and I must say, the man should be proud of the way he’s holding up. Several years ago he had a major health problem that aged him prematurely– almost killed him–before he sought a doctor for his symptoms. (Don’t get me started on that!) Now that it’s under control, it’s like living with Benjamin Button. No kidding.
A few weeks ago, one of the neighbor widows told him he looked like Brad Pitt.
We don’t need that kind of talk around here. He is not a modest man; he often reminds me that he’s suave and debonair. . . only he pronounces them swave and deboner, so I’ll think he’s not serious. His other reminder, that he would like to be known as The Studmeister? He’s serious.
Since my birthday isn’t until January, I always enjoy the three-month period after his when I am his much younger wife–TWO years younger than he. Then the calendar rolls over and so do I. But for the next 90+ days, no matter what I see in the mirror, I’m two years younger than DB, so I MUST be simply having an “off day.”
DB stayed at the beach house-not-on-the-beach while I was in Atlanta last week and I’ve got to say, the man came back lookin’ good. He’s much more health conscious than I am–meaning he exercises and is careful about what he eats. The weather was perfect for him to spend hours walking shirtless on the beach, and as a result he is tanned and–dare I say it–buff.
So I looked in the mirror this morning and before I even focused, I realized I need to ramp up my equipment a notch. It’s time to trade the magnifying mirror in for a lighted magnifying mirror. That’s harsh. I’m not obsessing over every wrinkle, but if I have chin hairs long enough to French braid, I need to know.
Even without a lighted mirror, I can see that my latest new wrinkle is worsening. It’s a crease that looks like a scar and runs from my upper lip and disappears somewhere in the big cheek crease beside my right nostril. I think it is caused by the way I sleep–on my right side–so that I can spoon with the Birthday Boy, but most folks would doubtless guess “hard smoker for half a century” or “knife fight in Kentucky roadhouse.” (wrong on both counts, thank you very much!)
I may be at the crossroad where the outward signs of aging take a back burner to the physical stuff; some days I feel downright creaky. For the most part, I temper concerns about my growing crop of brown spots by mentally categorizing them as “freckles.” The starbursts at the corners of my eyes are “laugh lines” instead of crows’ feet.
Yet, there are realities that I simply accept:
The only way I’ll have a perky bustline again is to don an industrial strength bra while standing on my head.
Mine will probably always be a harvest moon.
My stomach has a ruffle.
Dryness is everywhere—head to toe. I don’t know why I don’t need heel lifts, so much dead skin has gone into the PED EGG doodad. I can write my name on my legs with my fingernail. I have the heartbreak of psoriasis. My hair gulps conditioner. It’s amazing how much of me requires lubrication.
Dearly Beloved, on the other hand, throws on a little sunscreen and that’s it. (More proof that God is, indeed, a man.)
Hey, I’m not going to worry about any of that for now.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEARLY BELOVED! I’m two years younger than you.