When I hit age 34, I remember thinking, “Crap. I’m older than Jesus.” That was when reality set in that I was never going to get or look any younger than I do right now. At 40, I’m living in the land of skin tags and aching backs. Singers I rocked out to are dying or look like they should be dead. I see people sometimes and think, Oh, they look about my age, but then I find out they’re 10 years younger than me. So, I’m either in complete denial or just haven’t looked in the mirror in the last decade.
My denial reminds me of a time when I was a teenager. I saw a man at the mall who had a mole on his chin with a bunch of hairs growing out of it. He wore those hairs like a trophy cup with a bunch of flowers popping out. I thought, Gosh, can’t he cut that? Or mow it?I had to turn away before I threw up.
Fast forward 25 years. I looked in the mirror last month and to my surprise, found a barbed wire growing out of a mole on the side of my neck. But unlike that man at the mall, I didn’t see a trophy, I saw Frankenstein. I wanted to throw up. As I bent over to heave, I found, on my arm, two more barbed wires and a thick black forest surrounding a rather large freckle. I am Frankenstein! When did I go from perky, bouncy, Barbie to saggy, achey Saskwatch?!
I examined the freckle more closely and thought, I’ve got cancer. I know I’ve got cancer. Doesn’t everybody get it? Aren’t the stats something like one out of every one person gets it? So I made an appointment with my dermatologist. He told me that the “freckle” on my arm was just a sign of aging. “You’re getting old.” He said. Thanks. Well, at least it’s not cancer. Then he said he could take it right off with a little liquid nitrogen. “Because if you left it there it could eventually turn into cancer. But it’s the ‘good cancer’, so you can just leave it if you want”.
I said, “Take it off! Get it off my arm! Diiiie suckerrrr!”
He left to get the nitrogen and I picked up People magazine. There was a picture of George Clooney in it. Instead of admiring his good looks, I wanted to punch him in the face. The doctor came back and dipped a long cotton swab into a cloud-emitting amber bottle and then dabbed it on my “freckle”. I swear that man started a small fire on my arm. I saw flames and smoke! The result was a blister the size of a pencil eraser reminding me of and old witches’ wart. It was disgusting. But, I decided instead of lancing the hideous snow globe right away, I would save it for the kids to see…because we homeschool like that.
The doctor also zapped some oil glands off my face while I gazed at a Botox poster. I contemplated how easy it would be to get Botox. Everybody’s doing it, right? How can it be considered vain when it’s so easy? It’s like whitening your teeth. Soon they’ll sell Botox in at-home kits. I can’t wait. I hope it’s before I turn 50.
Yesterday, my friend Ted, referred to himself as middle aged. He’s a month younger than me. I said, you can’t say that. He said, “I couldn’t be more OK with the middle aged moniker.” You know why he said that…because men age like fine wine, while women age like lettuce. We start out crisp and fresh, then slowly begin to wilt, droop, and become saggy and eventually rot. And the next thing you know rats are nibbling on our toes.
After all that I need to remind myself that getting older and wilting is inevitable. I need to be ok with that. There’s some comfort in seeing my friend Ted, who I’ve known since college, being okay with the middle aged status and knowing he’s in the same boat as me. Actually, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all getting older. I’ll just try to focus on the body that God has waiting for me in Heaven. I can’t wait to rock Heaven with my new bod.