Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Of cavities and old-lady glasses

At my (yearly) eye exam today I was informed oh-so-delicately that I am in need of bifocals. I suppose I knew this day was coming; still, it smarts a bit on the inside to digest what this really means: half glasses on a beaded string. Won't I just be the marmy schoolteacher? Next thing you know I'll have to buy five pairs, like my Uncle Terry: one for every important room, including the car, which isn't exactly a room, per se, but you know what I mean.
I think it's true that the body starts to decay -- I mean, fall apart -- once forty hits. I clearly remember my dentist telling me that very thing back when I was eleven years old, sitting in his uncomfortable green plastic chair, having eleven cavities filled. Yep, that's right: ELEVEN cavities. (After all the smoke and drilling, the dentist went into the waiting room and yelled at my mother, and then I got yelled at in the car during the entire ride home, which would have been fifteen minutes, only Mom stopped at Zarda Ice Cream to get herself a rootbeer float, to deal with her "nerves." Of course, I got nothing, what with my ELEVEN cavities and all.)
But anyway, the dentist, Dr. Cox, told me these words, exactly: "You'd better take good care of your teeth now, Young Lady, because once you turn forty everything starts to go downhill." He then cited several health concerns that appeared following his fortieth birthday, chief among them a predisposition to "throw his back out," which meant nothing to me because I was, after all, eleven years old and limber in every way possible.
So, to recognize all that ails me now that I am in my 42nd year, prepare to be either impressed or distressed. I present, then, a list of my bodily decay:
1) need of bifocals
2) propensity to "throw back out"
3) new fat roll (upper abdomen)
4) breast sagginess
5) gray hair, kinky and stand-straight-up at the hairline
6) parentheses wrinkles around the mouth
7) need to have fourth crown put on (related, I'm quite certain, to those eleven cavities all those years back)
8) random heart palpitations (although, I'm glad to report, since I started taking a magnesium supplement those have gone away ... )
9) complete inability to understand the lyrics to 75 percent of the songs kids listen to these days
10) acute awareness of my bowel's performance and knowledge of every bathroom location within a thirty mile radius
11) forgetfulness, especially when it comes to words ... so, so many words these days are "on the tip of my tongue"
I'm sure this list could grow, but my bladder is beckoning. That and I need to go walk the dog ... she's over forty too.

1 comment:

Bee said...

I am impressed by your honesty, and distressed about my own post 40 signs and symptoms. I have definitely noticed a slowing of the metabolism, which has led directly to a widening of the bootie.

Also, having been Lasiked myself (in 2002), I am starting to be aware of some vision slippage. I once read that everyone's vision declines at or around the age of 43. That must be it!

Your humor reminds me of Erma Bombeck -- an early favorite of mine.