August 10, 2014


         In eight days, I will be turning 60.  Though not so different from 59, things change when 60 rolls around.
“What are you thinking about, honey?” my husband, Stij asks.
“Ohhhhkay.  Are you going to make lunch sometime soon?”
“What for?  We eat the food, it turns to shit and goes down the toilet, just like everything else.”
“Have you been watching 21 Grams again?”
“Nope.  Million Dollar Baby.”
Stij casts about for something to cheer me up.  “I know.  Let’s go out for lunch.  How about it?”
“Oh, outside?  Into the smog and the dust and the filth?”
“Exactly when was it that you morphed into Dostoyevsky?” he asks.
“It’s more of a Kafka thing.”
“Shall I get the bug spray?”
“Very funny.”
“Is the idea of pushing 60 bothering you?”
“No, it’s the companion idea of pushing up daisies that bothers me.”
Stij sighs loud enough to be heard on the fifty yard line of the nearest football field.  “Okay, Sylvia Plath, let’s examine the issue.  Sixty is not that old.”
“I can prove to you that it is.”
“How?” he asked foolishly.
“Come with me.”  We walked together to the bathroom, and, with difficulty, I pulled open a drawer.  “Ta da!”
The drawer was crammed full of tubes of various sizes.  “I didn’t even know the word ‘ointment’ until last week, and have come to the conclusion that the more ointments you have, the older you are.  At this rate, by next year we’re going to have to build on a spare room for this stuff.”
“Okay, I’ll grant you that point.”
“Oh, I have more.”
“Lead on.”
I opened the lower door of the vanity.
So!  That’s all makeup in there!”
“Let me put it this way: when I was 25 all my makeup would fit in a small makeup bag.”
“You couldn’t fit this in a mail bag!”
“Okay, another point granted.”
“There’s more.”
“What time do we go to bed at night?”
“Around eight, but that’s so we can read for a few hours.”
“We are both asleep over our books at 8:05, so that’s a pants on fire situation there, sweetie.”
“All right, you’ve made your point.  But I have a few for you that might put things back into perspective.  Number one, I love you, no matter what age you are.  Number two, any day you wake up is a good day.  Number three, getting old is always better than the alternative.  And finally, though you can’t do everything you used to be able to do, and there is more behind you than in front of you, be grateful and focus on doing what you are still able to do and enjoy that.  Slowing down a bit isn’t necessarily a horrible thing.  If you were still keeping up the same pace you lived at when you were 25, you’d be dead in a week.”
“Hey, you’re talking like I’m ancient!  While it’s true that I don’t skydive anymore and I sold my motorcycle, I can still do pretty much everything I used to.”
“See?  I knew you’d figure that out.”
So, dear readers, I will be turning 60 in eight days.  But I will be living 25 . . . just in slow motion.

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