As I sit on a cemetery of rolled socks on my bed I wonder why I get up each morning. At almost 70 my legs and my knees are bad from various falls and I am a klutz. Each morning I try to put a pair of socks on and I fail. Either the knees won’t bend or somehow a sock gets pulled on and it either feels weird like the top of the sock is on my heel and I just give up. At the end of the week the rolled socks are put back in the drawer until I have to go outside which is rare these days.
Today was the day to get groceries and it is -16 C outside and socks are a must. I yell, I cry, one knee will not bend but I can’t give up. Not today. A close friend died a few weeks ago and I must take something to the family. I heard they were receiving a lot of food so I decided beverages were the way to go. Going anywhere I need my husband Steve to help me as the great white outdoors has become a challenge to me. I have no idea what happens when I venture outside the house. Suddenly the smooth and straight home floors turn into a Vesuvius Volcano erupting and each bump in the outside world is conducive to tripping over. One way to find out that you’re old is to fall down: if they laugh at you –you are still young. If they start to panic like they do when I trip and fall you’re in the old age bracket. I usually lay there and think: ‘oh great, is this what we are doing now?’
Last week I had already bought the beverages for the family and left them in the back seat. Anyone clever would know that even in a garage those cans are going to freeze. Each day I listened to the weather and never once did I think about canned drinks sitting on the back seat. Until– Thursday when my husband phoned me from work to say there had been an explosion in the back seat. He said it looked like glass shards everywhere, when in reality the cans had exploded and it was ice.
Socks on, ready for the world, I suddenly sneeze and I will not go into details, but pants must now be changed. How did I ever get here? I can laugh, cough, sneeze and pee at the same time. In my mind I consider myself the closest to Moira Rose on Schitt’s Creek you will ever see. Wigs hanging in the hat room, jewellery to rival any Bollywood wedding, but I have never once seen Moira go through this. Maybe I rival Phyllis Diller more than Moira and no one has the heart to tell me. I am still at that delusional age where I think everyone that I went to High School with looks older than me. Just like the COVID grey hair coming through the once red hair are now called my wisdom highlights.
My husband asked me if my socks are okay because he has heard all about my predicament in stereo for a long time. He gently asks if he can fix them and I just shake my head and say no. I softly say to him, ‘This my train wreck and this isn’t your station!’
People look at me and are flabbergasted I will be 70 this July. Unfortunately when they hear me stand up and hear the sound effects I make they catch on pretty quickly. I guess I just thought getting old would take a little longer. How fast it happened is still a bit of a surprise. Now the night time leg cramps come and you think to yourself: ‘This is it, this is how it ends!’
I remember the nights of dancing all night– and tap dancing at various Rocky Horror Picture Shows. Those days may be gone, but it’s how you take it. My mind is still functioning and so is my fashion wardrobe. I am still young at heart, but slightly older in some places. I am never going to change and one day I want to be that little old lady that puts vodka in the IV bags at the retirement home. So yes I have my complaints, but I would rather make people laugh about them, because we are all in this together. So next time you are slow at moving and things fall apart, remember that ageing gracefully is an art– but ageing disgracefully is a total blast!