Tuesday, 25 September 2012

An Attempt at Aging Gracefully

Getting completely off topic -

Turning 40 last month hit me pretty hard. I wasn't ready for 40....I'm still not ready. Getting older is fucked up. The changes to my perspective - my attitude toward many things, has relaxed and is a nice reprieve after years of drama and emotional roller coasters.  Things that at some point mattered a lot just no longer count.  I shrug more and more the older I get.  This part pleases me.

It is the changes to my physical self that I can't come to terms with.  I haven't broken in the 40 year old bod yet. Or maybe that is the problem....it is broken in. I am not use to it.  I am not fully aware of it and it's newer limitations. So unaware of it that every time I catch a view of myself in a full length mirror I glace behind me for the frumpy pudge pot reflected back. I have the other form of a body dismorphic, where I think I have the body of a 25 year old and then am genuinely surprised when I see myself and I don't.  I will volunteer it for activities that are better done by younger bodies or at least ones in better shape.  This minds view will think I can squeeze her through spaces far to small, I am terribly clumsy and not even the littlest bit graceful anymore but drunk cartwheels seemed like a good idea at the time.

Or what about all the weird hairs that show up where no hairs ever were before.  And where there was hair, some of them have changed in texture or colour or girth. Where there was a hair now grows something that resembles a 5 year old sapling that may or may not be the colour of the other trees in the forest.

Before babies I would go to some lengths to keep 'down there' trim and contained.  While pregnant I couldn't see 'down there' so I figured I got a 'get out of jail free card'.  I relied on the laser hair removal I had had done a couple of years previous.  Feeling safe, I commented to my husband one night as I lay in the tub that I could just barely see my pubes over my pregnant belly.  He snorted "heh babe, that's just the canopy of the forest"...... from the wideness of his eyes I knew something was amiss.  Once I had some privacy I checked with a hand mirror to see that thankfully the previous hair removal had held up, but everything around the area of focused lasers had decided to 'become pube' too.  Like the Sneetches with stars on their tummies, areas where pubes generally don't grow had jumped on the pube bandwagon and gone through the 'pube on machine'.  Now my polite little 'keep it in your swim suit triangle' was followed by an angry chevron....an army invading the motherland.....the Orcs on Helm's Deep (the geek in me is totally giving myself high fives for that one).  Fucking pregnancy hormones had given me pubic hair biker shorts!! Luckily it was mostly temporary and my ability to grow a merkin for everyone was short lived but it got me thinking.....what part of evolution decided that this was needed? Back in the 'olden days' was it necessary to guarantee that my vagina was kept warm? or was it to hide it from other possible mates?  A camo'd fox hole....

Not just during pregnancy (although that is really fucking weird) but as we age, why does the content, size, weight, texture and colour of our hair have to change?  How does it benefit humanity?  Was there some sort of cavemen benefit for older men to grow Bert (pal to Ernie) wigs in their ears and nostrils? Does it make evolutionary sense that the hair on your head thins and turns white while the hair on your face thickens.  Or the hair that slowly creeps up from men's chests creating a pude ascot. Did older cavemen get cold necks?

I remember very clearly the very first weird chin hair I found.  It wasn't a whisker but a long wispy hair.  It was almost like one of the finer hairs off my head had rebelled and was heading south.  I was in my early 30s and working at a fine dining restaurant.  I was in the back chatting with a fellow staffer when I scratch my chin only to find this strange long hair.  There was a moment of trying to brush it away before I got a hold of it.  My co-worker discovered this hair at the same moment I did.  As I felt it, she saw it.  The skin pulled up as I pulled on the hair.  Everything went into slow motion. At first I felt embarrassed, then shame, then mortified, then panic.  But the look of shock and revoltion on my co workers face....well that made me defensive.  I suddenly found myself defending my new found hair. In an attempt to regain my self respect I idiotically named it 'chinny'.  Coworker would have none of it. She 'ewwww'ed and 'so gross'ed me into shamelessly defending my new friend chinny.  I went so far as to decorate him with a jaunty bead for the next nights dinner service where she screamed and yanked him out - bead and all.  I have had many friends named 'chinny' since, all suffered the same fate as their name sake.

Why the crazy long eyebrow hairs? Did I, in previous lives use them to test wind speeds? or like a cat uses their whiskers to check if their body will fit through an opening?............... oh wait a minute...............that explains everything!!.  If that is their use I shouldn't be so mad every time I have to pull one out. I will accept it as part of my evolutionary fate - not the hairs but getting stuck in small spaces.

I am at that age where it is just the start of all the fuckery too.  I have tons more to look forward to and I doubt I will do any of it very gracefully.

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