Ever notice how people who say, “Don’t worry about it! Age is just a number anyway.” are usually not a day over 28 years old and if they are, they are usually a middle-aged guy trying to date someone under the age of 28? Age is not just a number. The proof is in my aching muscles and constantly complaining back. The proof is in my decreasing elasticity and inability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Oh wait, that just means I’m probably not a super hero. Anyway, my point is, this body will not let me pretend that I am still young. It laughs at me when I try to be ageless and forces me to pull a muscle or break off one of my dry, brittle finger nails. Which totally just happened as I was writing this by the way. See, my body even knows when I am just thinking about pretending to be young again.
Seriously, the fact that I cannot stay up past midnight and be functional the next day is not imagined. Neither is the fact that my hair is thinner than it used to be and nor, sadly, is my inability to lose that annoying belly fat no matter how many crunches, laps around the couch, or squats I force myself to do. I also have wrinkles and spots that don’t fade. My teeth are not quite like they used to be. I mean, I still have them, but they are not exactly gleaming anymore. Not to mention, I am more tired than I have ever been and less able to sleep than I used to be. Sweet sleep…the elixer of youth. I miss you so. I’d remember you better if I wasn’t so old and still had all of my memories.
Age is not just a number. It is real. I can feel it creeping in slowly and quietly and permanently. It’s really starting to sink in now. I am not getting any younger. There is nothing I can do to stop it either. I mean, at some point you suddenly realize that the dull ache in your joints is probably as good as it is going to get from now on and that all of the wrinkle cream in the world is not going to restore your face to what it once was. Unless, of course, you want to look like Joan Rivers. I’d rather look older than like the newest version of Barbie. Have you seen what they have transformed Rainbow Bright into? Just picture that, but older and creepier. Anyway, sooner or later you realize that sitting on the floor for more than five minutes and getting stiff is just your new normal. Wearing glasses and turning the TV up a notch or two becomes second nature. I mean, even my toes are becoming permanently squished together by some old(er)-age magic. My feet look like aliens attached to my legs. I don’t need funny slippers as a fashion accessory…I’ve got my feet for that.
So when my feet hurt a little too much, and my back is sore from picking up a three-year old kid too much the day before, and my knees hurt for no apparent reason, don’t tell me age is just a number. I won’t believe you. I’ll just know you are too young to understand what I am talking about or just trying to make me feel better. It’s not going to work. Unfortunately, no matter what my mind chooses to believe my body continues to serve up the proof that age is not just a number. All I can say is getting older beats the alternative. Chocolate helps too.