I apologize for the fact that I’m late in delivering this new post. That is, if anyone even noticed that I’m a few days past my deadline. Five to be exact, if you happen to mark your calendar. Which I highly doubt. But that’s okay. I don’t mind my usual timeliness being taken for granted.
In case you’re interested, I do have a good excuse. No, it’s not the dog ate my homework, or in this case, my essay. It’s better than that.
One week ago I had an encounter with an orthopedic surgeon. And while I was under, and totally helpless, he performed a total replacement of my left shoulder.
At first, I wasn’t sure why my mind wandered to this particular topic. It might have been the sense of torture brought on by endless exposure to political gurus.
Or perhaps it was the stomach ache which followed an uncontrollable fit of laughter. The latter occurred as I was perusing the latest issue of The New York Times Style Magazine, wondering, as I always do, who wears these things? And why?
No doubt my priorities are all screwed up. There’s so much going on in the world that cries out for serious attention and consideration, and here I sit, obsessing about Viagra commercials.
Gun violence, Brexit, terrorist explosions, to say nothing of the upcoming political conventions during which two flawed candidates will be nominated to run for the highest office in the universe. It’s absolutely terrifying. In fact, I should be focusing on which country I would migrate to, if the flawed candidate with the orange face and comb-over should happen to win. But I’m not naming names here.
By any chance, do you to remember an old movie called The Enchanted Cottage starring Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire? It was released a long time ago, 1945 to be exact. If you don’t remember it, please don’t lie and tell me it’s because you weren’t born yet. I happen to know how old you are!
Anyway, in this film, Robert Young plays a disfigured war veteran and Dorothy McGuire plays a homely maid. The two marry, and as time passes, fall more deeply in love. Within the confines of the cottage in which they live, they begin to appear beautiful to each other.
Well, apparently, I had been happily living in an enchanted cottage of my own. At least until the other day, when a terrorist disguised as an eye doctor blew the whole thing to smithereens!
Has this ever happened to you?
You’re in a restaurant. In your line of vision is another table with, let’s say, three couples. You unconsciously absorb the physical details of the six well-dressed people who are about to eat their appetizers. You notice the gray hair on the partially bald men, the obviously chemically-treated hair of the women, the flashlights on the I-phones to help illuminate the menu when reading glasses aren’t enough. And yes, those are hearing aids snugly tucked behind at least three pairs of ears.
And your conclusion? Boy, there’s sure a lot of old people in this place!
Overheard at Saks:
Shopper No. 1:“Ooh, that’s such an adorable dress.”
Shopper No. 2: “So why don’t you try it on?
Shopper No. 1: “Are you crazy? It’s sleeveless!
As we approach the warmer weather, I am convinced that this scene will be replayed over and over again in boutiques and department stores across the country. I don’t know if this fixation transcends continents, but American women of a certain age have a thing about their arms.
Typically, it is not the entire arm. The arm between the elbow and the wrist may be entirely acceptable. It is the area that lies between the shoulder and the elbow, otherwise known as the upper arm, that is the offending body part.
Honestly, did I really need another reminder that I was old?
I thought I paid my dues this year with a few more wrinkles, deeper frown lines, a couple of extra sun spots, and a pair of eyeglasses that I was now required to use when driving. Oh, and the addition to my never-again list of a few more foods which now give me indigestion.
So, did I have to suffer yet another indignity of aging, in front of a complete stranger, no less?
No, I didn’t lose bladder control. I lost my fingerprints!
Let me explain how this came to light.
My husband and I had applied for the Global Entry pass that is supposed to make air travel a little easier. If you have this card, you can bypass the lines at security and immigration by checking yourself in or out using a special kiosk. Whether this method is preferable to being escorted in a wheelchair remains to be seen.
I am about to brag. If you don’t want to listen to me bragging, you have my permission to stop reading right now. I generally hate it when people brag, so I wouldn’t blame you in the least. Bragging is obnoxious. If it isn’t one of the seven deadly sins, it should be. I much prefer self-deprecation.
But there are those exceptional occasions when a little bragging is warranted, even called for. And, in the first half of my eighth decade, I have arrived at one of those occasions, so here goes. In spite of a declining metabolism that may have reached its nadir years ago, I have achieved weight loss!
I won’t relate the actual number of pounds, but considering my starting point, the amount is not insignificant. And yes, I stand before you, in my slim jeans pulled from the back of the closet, very proud of myself!
I have mixed feelings about formal occasions. On one hand, it’s an opportunity to release my inner child and play dress-up. On the other hand, my outer “mature” adult cringes as it contemplates the possible necessity of Spanx or other constricting undergarments. Even the idea of panty hose makes me shudder.
So when the invitation came to attend a charity ball as the guest of the honoree, my inclination was to say no, thank you very much for asking, and send a donation. My life would be no less rich for having missed one more mass-produced meal and some boring speeches. And I could lounge comfortably at home in my finest Russell athletic wear, sans undergarments if I so chose.
But there was a personal connection to the guest of honor, so we accepted. Besides, the venue was enticing. The affair was to be held on the USS Intrepid, the former WW II air craft carrier now a sea, air and space museum, located on Manhattan’s west side. If not entertaining, the evening at least held the prospect of being educational.
The sun is shining. The air is comfortably dry, definitely a good hair day. A slight breeze is blowing. Even before I step outside I can see nature’s glory through the windows and I smile. Then I frown. I frown because I suddenly recall the promise I made to myself early this morning just before I rose from my bed. I would go to the gym today. Instantly, the day grows dark!
It’s sad but true. I have become such a gym-o-phobe that even the prospect of donning a sports bra can wreck my entire day. But perhaps “phobe” is not an accurate suffix to explain my response to this house of dumbbells. I don’t exactly fear the gym; I out-and-out hate it!
This attitude represents a serious and almost unrecognizable change from my former self. There was a time in my life, extending over many years, that going to the gym was an integral part of my schedule. At least three times a week, there I was, the cardio fitness queen, pounding away on the treadmill and Stair Master. With the fierceness of a warrior, I fought against flab, torturing my individual body parts on machinery that looked like it might have been designed by Torquemada for the Spanish Inquisition.
It’s Monday morning, and I have declared that I am going on a diet. Again. My weight is starting to climb. Again. I’m sure if I try hard enough, I can identify more evil food items that must never again pass my lips – foods that will join the cadre of those already banished, like pizza, ice cream, deli sandwiches, salty chips, and (sob!) Oreo cookies.
Off and on, throughout the years, I have lived on a steady diet of diets. That’s what happens when, at some very impressionable age, your baby fat doesn’t melt and the boy next door teases you about being chubby. And your doctor (not a pediatrician, because once there was such a thing as a family doctor) is telling you that you are pretty enough to be Miss America but you have to lose some weight. That’s what happens when your friends have developed waistlines and are wearing skirts with extra-wide leather belts purchased at the trendy shop in Greenwich Village where everyone went. Everyone except you because you would prefer not to call attention to your middle.