ANOTHER AGING VENTILATION
Elizabeth Willis Barrett…………..March 2014
The other day Brad and I drove separate cars to a detailing shop so Brad could leave his car there to be detailed. There was a slight problem owing to the fact that Brad hadn’t brought the shop’s address or phone number and thought he could just find it. But he couldn’t. It was sort of my fault that he couldn’t find it because there was heavy traffic on Baseline. Because Brad knows how much I hate to turn left when there is even a moderate amount of cars whizzing and honking by, he turned right which was very thoughtful since I was following him. But that put him in unfamiliar territory as far as the detail shop was concerned and he couldn’t remember if it was closer to Broadway or Southern. The lack of knowing made for several turns and backtracking.
Finally I called him (thank goodness, he remembered to bring his phone which isn’t always a given) and said I would just park somewhere and he could tell me where to find him after he knew exactly where he was going. Trying to follow him in tight circles behind the wheel of a potential weapon didn’t seem like a very safe thing in my opinion.
“No,” he said. “It’s here somewhere.”
Finally he did find the detailer after stopping a couple of times and squinting at the road sign to see if it said Broadway or Southern. And, by the way, which comes first—Broadway or Southern? It’s funny how things like that escape your mind at times. Again, I will take some of the responsibility for getting lost. No, I will take a whole bunch of the responsibility, since my left turn phobia made him come at the shop from a different angle. What’s a little more guilt added to the great weight of guilt that I insist on carrying everywhere I go?
When he finally left his car with the attendant and got into mine he was very frustrated.
“I don’t want to be old,” he said. “That’s what an old man does: wanders aimlessly and slowly and shuffle-y looking for things. I don’t want to act like that.”
“Neither do I,” I said as I pawed through my purse, forgetting what the object of the pawing was.
“See,” he said. “That’s what your mother used to do.”
“What?” I asked.
“The rummaging. The rifling through your purse. That’s what your mother used to do.”
He was right. I felt just like her as I pawed with seemingly no purpose. A definite sign of aging. What a pair we are, Brad and me!
The drawbacks of the aging process hit me once in a while and I just have to vent. I feel like Diane Keaton’s character in the movie And So It Goes when she splays her arms and says with an emphatic grimace, “I’m sixty-five. Uuuuuuuuuu!!!”
I do not like growing old. There must be a better way. I know, I should be glad to still be here on this fabulous earth and I should enjoy every minute and relish the now. But aging is a big deterrent to relishing the now.
The other day I found a hair on my chin. A dark hair!!! What was that doing there? I have always been blond. How long had it been growing? How many people saw it before I finally did? What would make a hair grow on a chin that has never had a hair before? Weird things happen as you grow old.
Another sign of my own aging happened when I bent over to pick up something off the carpet. I couldn’t tell what it was and I turned it over and over until I felt my mother slipping into me again. She had done that action often in her old age, turning something over and over in slow motion trying to determine what treasure was indicated by a scrap found on the carpet.
Slow motion is becoming more of a companion to me and not an amiable one. What happened to my drive, my focus, my hitting the deck running? And weight that used to roll off without much trouble has become attached to my middle and it seems to delight in giving me a backache. Arthritic thumbs add to my annoyance.
If age was honored and respected and not snickered at, it would help a little. This might be a good time to move to old-people-loving China. Hopefully, Brad will go with me.