Feeling Old … Again

You know you’re getting old when you cut your ear shaving – Soon to be identified older male

If you Google You know you’re getting old when … you’ll find dozens of blogs and websites full of one-liners about older folks like; You know you’re getting old when you try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks but find you aren’t wearing any; or, You know you’re getting old when your back goes out more than you do.   But I didn’t find the one-liner at the top of the page online … it happened to me.    As my hair has decided to vacate the top of my head, long white strands appear regularly at random locations on my ears.   Naturally, I can’t see them unless I look in the mirror, and when I shave in the morning (head and face) I usually have my glasses off, so the little suckers can get fairly long.  When we’re going out on a special date, I like to do a little extra grooming so I shave with my glasses on and that’s when I usually spot the ear hairs.  I bought a little electric Safe-Cut ear-hair trimmer with a very bright LED light that is perfect for aural search and destroy missions but it seems to get lost in my bathroom drawer.  Given the choice of rummaging though my drawer to find my Safe-Cut and carefully lopping them off with my razor, I usually opt for the razor.    Last week I took a small chunk out of my upper ear and it bled for over an hour.   That never happened when I was forty … or even fifty.

The other weird thing that’s happened as I navigate my sixties is that even though my eyebrows seem to be thinning, they grow very long hairs that I call streamers.   My close-up vision has gotten poor enough that I can’t see them until they grow beyond my glasses, at which point they’re fairly bizarre.     Sometimes, I know I’ve got a streamer or two because I notice my wife looking at my eyes when she thinks I’m not looking.    I’d like to think it’s just the gaze of love but once or twice she’s said, You have one of those hairs.  Would you like me to pull it for you? So it’s not love, she’s just wishing she had a pair of tweezers.    Tweezing, by the way, seems to be something women take for granted … not me, it hurts like hell.    It’s a true labor of love that I tweeze the streamers … myself … when my wife points them out because I’d probably just let them grow long and prosper*.

I was in Costco the other day and bought The 10-Minute Total Body Workout Breakthrough because I feel like I’ve let my physical conditioning slip more that I thought I ever would.   It’s the kind of book I would have made fun of in my two-marathon a year forties.   But I know I need to start slow.    The routine consists of four minutes of aerobic exercise, three minutes of resistance exercise, 2 minutes of core-strengthening exercises and one minute of stretching every day.  This was week one and the aerobic exercise was chair walking and running.  That’s right, you sit and a chair and move your arms and legs as if you’re running.    Easy.    Except when I tried it, I couldn’t get my legs and arms coordinated.   It’s supposed to be right leg and left arm up then left-right but for some reason, I kept doing left-left and right-right, proving that my life long decision to stay out of aerobics classes was correct.   I was laughing so hard I almost fell off the chair.   I used to run 26.2 miles … now I can’t run in a chair.   Shit.

So, as I approach sixty-six, my body keeps reminding me that am indeed old.   I’ve given up trying to convince it otherwise … it’s a good old body and it’s carried me a long way.    I groom it as best I can … mostly to please my wife … and if wrong-leg chair running will make it last longer, well, I’ll do it.   As it says on a page from a Mary Engelbreit calendar my wife put on the refrigerator door – Getting old seems to be the only available way to live a longer life.   And this old body’s the only vehicle I’ve got.

* known to have been uttered by Mr. Spock in his waning years.

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One Comment on “Feeling Old … Again”

  1. territerri Says:

    Ear hairs aren’t necessarily just for the “aging.” My brother-in-law has had one that grows out of his ear since his thirties. Once his hair stylist asked him if he wanted her to cut it. He responded, “No thanks. I’m trying to grow it out.”

    She replied, “Okay.”

    He had to explain that he was JOKING!

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