There is no instruction book for aging. The label on an aspirin bottle is infinitely more informative. As if losing your hearing and sight weren’t enough, your brain does odd things. Yesterday, I went into the garage three, separate times. Each time, I brought an item to put in the recycling bin but I knew that wasn’t why I was there. On my final trip, I just stood by the bin holding an empty, plastic bottle, wondering why I was there. Just then, the garbage truck passed by outside and I remembered: It was recycling day and I just missed my pickup.
It gets worse. I purchased a pair of yoga pants with four pockets! I LOVE pockets. After washing & drying them for the first time, I put them on and was horrified to discover that all of my pockets were gone! I ran my hands up and down my legs several times and sure enough, not one pocket was left. In that moment, I convinced myself they must have been made of such cheap material that the washing and drying action had simply knocked them all off. It wasn’t until an hour or so later, while peeing, that I realized I’d actually put my pants on inside out!!
Oh, there’s more. I downloaded Apple Pay on my phone to imitate my 20-something daughter. Boy, did I feel cool. At the dentist office, I whisked out my phone to pay. I held it against the keypad but nothing happened. Finally, the receptionist said, “Helen, you have to get closer.” So, there in a waiting room packed with people, yours truly stuck her FACE against the pad. As everyone begin to giggle, I realized something profound: Aging is simply a return to childhood.
So, my petals may be falling, but my sense of humor is still intact. I recently bought toilet paper on sale at CVS. As I scurried off, the cashier said, “Hey, you forgot your receipt!” “I don’t need it,” I replied. “But what if you want to return it?” she countered. “Darlin’, it’s toilet paper. Trust me. You don’t want me returning it.” So, while my skin plays the accordion and folds in upon itself and my thoughts boomerang, color me young…again. If you’re feeling nostalgic for your youth, read “Fern Hill,” by Dylan Thomas. If it doesn’t make you cry, you simply haven’t lived long enough.