Aging Well

by gillis



Why is it that as we grow older and stronger

the road signs point us adrift and make us afraid

saying you never can win,” “watch your back,” “where’s your husband?” 

I don’t like the signs that the signmakers made.

– Dar Williams

The photo above shows the latest tool in my “aging but not yet aged” arsenal. I have purchased these lighted tweezers for those hard to see things that must be eradicated from the surface of my skin. Unfortunately, lighting helps only so much, compromised eyesight and lack of coordination can’t simply be lit away. The tweezers have been most useful for my son, who enjoys shining them in my face and threatening me with them using a Darth Vader voice.

I picked the tweezers up after my last eye examination when it was made clear to me that I am now a candidate for bifocals of some sort, but not really. My eyesight is iffy at very particular distances, both near and far, but not iffy enough to make it worth getting the very expensive progressive lenses. I tried the contact lens version of the bifocals and felt quite ill wearing them. For now, reading glasses on top of contact lenses are working. Except when they’re not. Sometimes the readers don’t quite do it. Often the readers are MIA, which is why I have a large assortment of them scattered throughout the house, both cars, my desk at work, and possibly in a variety of theaters, rest stops, restaurants, hotels, and gymnasiums along the eastern seaboard. I am afraid that I may have single-handedly kept a horrible sweatshop in business with the sheer volume of drugstore reading glasses I have purchased over the past 2-3 years. That’s how long I’ve been playing the vision dance. My arms automatically stretch to their full length when handed a menu. I have also developed RBF, or resting bitch face, from squinting at things for extended periods.

Eyesight is only one area where I’ve noticed aging occurring at a rapid rate. My teeth are now very twingey and sensitive despite my wearing a custom-made, or as I like to think of it, couture, mouth guard to bed each night. The cracks along my molars, much like the cracks in the polar ice caps, are not causing major damage yet, but it’s just a matter of time. It’s a waiting game, maybe a cap will suffice or they’ll have to go in and reconstruct some things from the ground up. Right now it could cause as much damage to the teeth to drill and fill the cracks as it would to wait for them to implode on their own. In the meantime, I chew all meaningful food in the front of my mouth like a turtle because my mouth is a ticking time bomb.

This is just the beginning. I’ve gotten used to the changes like bags under my eyes, sun damage spots, leg veins, and wrinkles -except for the ones near my ears. Those took me by surprise. How the hell did I wrinkle my ears?

I’m so glad that you finally made it here

with the things you know now, that only time could tell

looking back, seeing far, landing right where we are

and oh….you’re aging…oh…and I am aging

oh….aren’t we aging well

– Dar Williams