It’s long been my thought that aging gracefully meant many things. Such as being politely accepting of silver hairs among the brunette, a few lines here, a few creases there, and crow’s feet around the eyes. Added poundage and the effects that gravity has on the human body that can turn us into shape-shifters is another example of things to be borne as the years slip. Then there’s the inability to sit Indian-fashion comfortably (or crisscross applesauce in the newer, more politically-correct vernacular). Or to traverse long distances without aching feet or creaking knees and swollen ankles, and finding that sitting has the same effect as walking. Ouch. If we’ve not yet reached the point of needing prescription spectacles, er, eyeglasses, there are at the very least a few pair of dollar store “cheaters” lying around the house. And last, but certainly not least, are a few added, shall we call them indignities, that must be endured during a medical appointment. And yet we call them the golden years?
There are cosmetic ways to get around some of the aging processes. My gray roots disappear under the magical hands of my favorite hair stylist. And folks have been known to use creams and lotions or even undergo surgery to get rid of those “fine lines and wrinkles.” I figure hey, if the squint worked for Clint Eastwood, why not the rest of us? Loose clothing can camouflage a multitude of sins, as well as second helpings, and if we rid the house of mirrors we can pretend (or not). Orthotic footwear is found on store shelves and in online shopping venues to ease those tired aching feet, along with multitudes of “copper infused” wraps, sleeves and braces that are alleged to add years of service to our joints. I’ve not even mentioned herbal or medicinal “cures,” foot spas, etc. It would fill pages. Failing eyesight and medical tests most 20-year-olds never need to undergo are simply part of the aging process. We know what the opposite of aging is, don’t we? Yes, we do. But.
You knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?
Things from my early life are now considered retro. That stings more than cheaters spread throughout the house like so much confetti. “Scooby-Doo” just reached his 50th birthday for goodness sake! “The Brady Bunch” initially appeared on the tube 50 years ago! I remember thinking Peter Brady was cute. Ewww. That I am old enough to recall events from 50 years past leaves me wondering how in the world that happened. But it did. Seems like yesterday I sat on the couch with three of my four siblings watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I recall my parents being less than happy that Richard Nixon was occupying the White House. My brothers applauded when OJ Simpson became a first-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills (didn’t know yet he’d eventually become a criminal). Stan “The Man” Musial was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame (don’t recall him becoming a criminal). In other sporting news, St. Louis Jazz NBA player “Pistol” Pete Maravich (a family favorite due to his dedication, determination and downright pure shooting ability — gone too soon) scored 66 points before the three-point shot even existed but his team still lost to an opponent I do NOT recall. In other NBA news that year, the Milwaukee Bucks signed player Lew Alcindor (you may know him as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Dastardly and Mutley, Penelope Pitstop and Dudley Do-Right joined my Hanna-Barbera favorites as new Saturday morning cartoon fare. Life was good.
Yes, it was quite a time, half a century ago, yet for reasons yet discovered I am not aging as gracefully as I always imagined I would. Guess that needs some work. But on the plus side, I can still recall what I had for lunch the past few days. How’s that for a silver lining from a golden oldie?