“Do you need longer arms?” my friend jokingly asked me one night over dinner. I was squinting my eyes and slowly stretching my left arm away from me as I struggled to read the label on the back of a Brown Brothers Cienna bottle of wine. (And no, I wasn’t drunk!) We told each other more jokes and instances of reading fuzzy small letters on books and restaurant menus and blurry road signs that night.
An almost perfect example of the joys of getting old, I’d say. Not! Let me talk about these annoying subtle physical changes that slowly creep into my aging body whilst my body is still in the process of denial that are a bit of a challenge to accept. It is that point when my brains won’t reconcile with my body. My brains think and hope that I am still young and my body tells me that I am getting old. If I don’t believe what my body tells me, it will adamantly continue to give me plenty of aging symptoms that I couldn’t deny. The examples of symptoms are:
Number one: Strands of grey hair – If I continue to pull out these strands of grey hair on my head, I’d have a bald spot in the middle of my left temple by now. My visits to my hairdresser to put my grey-coloured strands in disguise of caramel (or sometimes red or chestnut) had become more frequent than my visit to the gym or Zumba class. I see my hairdresser quite frequently that I now know the insignificant details of my hairdresser’s interesting personal life. Lucky for us girls, we don’t have to worry about going bald, getting bald spots or denying bald spots by a comb over. And should that become an issue, that’s what hairpieces and hair extensions are for. Just ask Posh Spice.
Number two: Deteriorating eyesight – Unless I visit an optometrist again and request a more appropriate prescription for a pair of stylish Chanel eyeglasses for my long-sightedness and deteriorating eyesight, I will continue to find the need for longer arms when reading books, magazines and restaurant menus. My current vision would resemble someone watching an analogue television as opposed to digital television in which the amazing clarity shows the caking foundation of female celebrities on The Ellen Show.
Number three: Aches and pains and groans – Waking up with stiff necks, longer recovery period from muscle strains (and hangover) and becoming first-name basis with the massage therapists, local doctors and chiropractors.
Number Four: Slower metabolism – I eat the same amount of food and do the same amount of physical activities but the kilos just keeps piling up at the rate of half a kilo per year. I have to go running twice as hard and twice as long. Regardless, that last two kilos is determined to keep me company like a twelve noon shadow that I could never get rid of.
Shall I keep going? There are more symptoms and I could go on forever but I don’t really want to spiral down into a depressive mood if I continue to enumerate more symptoms further. (Disclaimer: Rhetorical statement only. No need for intervention.)
I have also noticed that the topics of conversations with girlfriends on travelling the world, passion for fashion, bastard Bosses, bitchy work colleagues and the struggles on house renovations over dinner were suddenly replaced with open and shameless desires of having cosmetic surgery, boob jobs, tummy tucks, liposuction, botox (how often one must get it, where to get, when to get it, where it’s been injected, where it can be injected and more importantly, where to get it cheap and the rest) and the best product out there in the retail universe for wrinkles (including fine lines, laugh lines, crow feet, puffy eyes, eye bags and dark circles under the eyes), that is, if one prefers to avoid using botox so as not to end up looking like a Madame Tussauds wax mannequin.
I am starting to develop a phobia that one day; I will wake up looking like a wrinkled bulldog. After two kids, my market value is essentially lower than any woman with no kids. I have practically gone past my use-by-date. I hear comments from people saying I look good for my age. Why can’t people just stop at “You look good!” I’ve been called a ‘hot momma’. Why can’t I just be plain ‘hot’? I always catch myself telling stories to my kids starting with words like “When I was young…” I am now consciously making an effort to avoid retail stores that I will somehow end up dressing up like my 14-year-old daughter and teenage nieces. Having said all these, my vanity will keep me hanging on to my youth for whatever is left of it. If the truth be known, I won’t resort to any invasive surgery (and it is a personal choice so I am not judging those who would). I will continue to have faith in the power of Lancome skincare researchers, maintain my health through good diet and regular exercise. The only art of getting old is accepting it gracefully. It may be incredibly difficult in the beginning but not terribly impossible. Giving birth seems to be an easier undertaking than accepting the symptoms of old age.
But really, what choice have I got? Time will continue to pass. There will be more birthdays to come and more candles on my birthday cake, more grey hair to appear, more kilos to gain and more lines on my face to hide. Besides, getting old is just a state of mind. And I agree; only aging people say that. Life begins at whatever age we are. I will continue to enjoy life with wrinkles on my face and stretch marks on my belly. I will constantly look at all my laugh lines whilst wearing my tortoise shell-framed thick eyeglasses to remember the invaluable happy times in my life.
Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are not my own pictures.