Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dreading Fifty

True confession time.  Turning fifty is bugging me.  It's different from when turning thirty bugged me, but similar.  I've got a sense that there's something I've forgotten to do.  Or I'm forgetting to do.  The "I've got things to do" feeling is the similar part from when I turned thirty.

OK, and when I was thirty, there were other thirty-year-olds who were also in the process of remembering not to forget to do things.  This time around, I seem to be surrounded by forty-somethings who have actually, honest-to-God Done Something (cough-JK Rowling-cough).

The other, bigger difference is that I'm beginning to notice the aging process; cue Rod Stewart singing, "The sun when it's shining on your face really shows your age."  Over the last couple of years, the skin on the back of my hands has gotten more drawn, thinner, and more wrinkly.  My fingertips are beginning to get the lines on them that I remember my Grandmother's having.  My hands have always reminded me of hers, and every month they seem to be a closer match.

We wont discuss the turkey wattle that is threatening to appear beneath my chin.  I try to amuse myself by saying, "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!" when I see it lurking... but I can envision the day when the joke is going to be stale.  Hopefully, that will be when I'm sixty or seventy, and not next week.

And then there's the dull ache in the joints.  I don't mind feeling when the humidity changes too much, although it's annoying when my feet wake me up at 3:45AM because the balls of my big toes anticipate sudden spring rains.

Add onto this the "playing it forward" thing.  I keep getting bushwhacked by things I did just yesterday, like watch the first Star Wars movie, then realizing it was thirty-five years ago, and finding myself surrounded by twenty-year-olds.  So it feels like 2044 (when I'll be eighty) is going to be tomorrow.

It doesn't help when Mark does his Old Man Routine, a joke monologue filled with bowel movements, forgetfulness, and false teeth, and which makes me feel uncomfortable.  And feel unsexy.  Very unsexy.  I'm not sure which is worse:  Old Man Routine Sex (Hey Sonny, I learned this trick during the Clinton Administration), Being Too Old to Safely Have Sex (Oh, God; that'd be horrible:  "Well, he was having birthday sex when his heart gave out..."), or Completely Losing One's Sex Drive (What do you mean there are people who don't want sex?).  

Getting older reminds me of this one time Mark and I went into a gay bar in Portland.  Besides the cute servers in underwear, what I remember most about the place was an American Gothic eighty year old, sitting with his hands clasped in his lap, looking like a train engineer in his blue-and-white striped overalls and flannel shirt, gazing at the Very Young and Oiled Male Dancer in a Thong Bulging with Dollar Tips.  I don't know what angel the oldster was wrestling with:  desire, shame, temptation, regret, sadness, remembrance, or resignation.  But I remember thinking, "Ooh; don't be that guy."

Remember (cue the Harry Potter Music):  the happiest man on Earth would gaze at the Very Young Oiled Male Dancer and only see himself.

And they say Capricorns are supposed to age well...
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