Friday, 5 May 2017

"Old Age Ain't No Place for Sissies" Bette Davis

A post I just revisited and realized happily the signs are not particularly any worse today than several years back when I wrote it.  


The signs are there and they are gathering.

It's not that my face is growing more wrinkles, it is more that the texture itself is changing.  In certain lights, my face, neck and the backs of my hands show all the cross-hatching that skin achieves if it lasts long enough.  All the topical applications in the world won't change this particular aspect of human bodily frailty.  Errant hairs, certain body murmurings, an unsteadiness at times...all tiny reminders cropping up it seems right out of the blue.

 When did they start to make the print in telephone books and on menus so small?  When did I acquire such trepidation climbing on the top step of the 3-step stool?  When did driving at night seem to be more of a challenge?  Car headlights have definitely gotten brighter and more glary.

I remember my grandfather coming home from the hospital and asking seriously, since when are they allowing teenagers to be doctors.  I laughed at the time, but now I get it.  Suddenly it seems like kids are everywhere managing things, running the world, and of course, not doing it very well. 

Dylan Thomas wrote about how old age should burn and rave at close of day.  But no, I'm not burning or raving feeling overwhelmingly lucky to be getting there (!) as I do. I'm not even particularly vain, but I am attempting the usual countermeasures, hopeful that something will prove a neutralizer to time, I guess.

  Slathering on the retinol creams and standing on one leg when I brush my teeth to improve my balance, staying off step stools, limiting night driving, using a magnifying glass to read pill bottles...and oh yes, one more biggie, never ever looking at my face in the car mirror in bright sunlight; that is a real downer.

I watched All About Eve on Netflix the other night and was interested to see how Bette Davis' performance stood up; she really was good and I remembered her famous saying about aging.  I think she got that right too.