The Perks of Aging?

Remember back when you were a kid and whenever somebody asked you how old you were, you automatically added enough to your age to make you older?  “And how old are you little missy?  “Six and a half!”  “Wow, when was your birthday?”  “October.”  “So, you looking forward to Christmas?” “Yep, I can’t wait!  Only 5 weeks to go!”

Yeah, I was pretty bad at math, even back then.  But seriously, there is this wacky magical dateline in a body’s lifeline that should have big ole neon lights and those traffic cones set up all around it.  You know, that day that you just happily sailed right past not even realizing that you had somehow passed from “wanting to be older” to “wanting to be younger”.  I know there were no warning signs in my life.  Just one day I stopped automatically wanting to make myself older.

Now, I’m not one of those folks that worries all that much about aging.  I figure it’s just a gift to actually have made it this far.  However, I do really miss the perks of youth.  Like getting out of bed and not noticing your joints.  Little things like that.  Talk about crazy – you do all this really stupid hooey as a young person and then spend decades regretting it.  Like alpine skiing.  It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but my knee still remembers that I am not actually a skier.  It seems that my particular body type looks terrible in ski apparel, even when I am actually upright on my skis.

So, anyway, 41 is quickly approaching and I had the thought today that I sure would like to see some perks to this whole aging thing.  You know, like when you’re 14 and dreaming about all the cool things you could do if only you were actually old enough to do it?  Somehow, Metamucil never made it on my dream check list.

Recently, I have had several opportunities to converse with members of the medical profession as I now am a sufferer of eczema.  If you have never had the opportunity to experience eczema, you just have no idea what you are missing.  All the itching, swelling, oozing, fun of it.  Did I mention that I have eczema on my face?  My under-eye area specifically?  In case you are wondering, your under-eye area is not a place on your body where you would actually enjoy having eczema.  In fact, it really rather stinks.

So, anyhoo, come to find out that eczema is an auto-immune disorder type of thingy and I have it on my face because there is something I touch and then transfer to my poor thin little eye area where the whole thing blows up like a patchy balloon.  According to my allergist, for a day of fun, he could cover my back with lots of little irritating substances and then we’d know for sure, or we can just use good ole detective skills and deduce that it is either the daily moisturizer + sunscreen that I have religiously used since high school (the sunscreen part being it allergen and which was added sometime after my high school days) or the hair coloring agents that I have used since I found my first grey hair at 20.

In one fell swoop, that man aged me decades.  No sunscreen?  No hair color?  Do you realize what you are telling me man?  His response, “Women are beautiful at all stages of their lives.  One should embrace the wonder of 40 year old skin and hair and no longer trouble one’s self with the need to look 18.  For sun protection, one could wear large brimmed hats.”  What the hell?  I realize that I’m sitting next to probably Ghandi’s grandson and that aging for men is way different than for women, but does he not know what he has just done?

My hair is going to go from 20-60 years in just under 3 haircuts!.  And there is no way that I can be wearing a large brimmed hat at all times for the rest of my natural life.  I just heard a dermatologist on MSNBC tell the listening audience that we should be wearing a moisturizer with sun screen at all times. Like I wouldn’t look like a dork protecting my delicate eye area from UV rays inside the library or some such place.

Well, I guess the only perk to this current turn of events is that whenever I visit a retirement community, the octogenarians are going to be clamoring to find out what my skin care regiment includes to give me such youthful skin.  Guess I’d better take advantage of that little perk before the wrinkling kicks in with a vengeance.  Which, should be in about 3 years the way I figure it.