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Holding It All Together-What They Don’t Tell You

By Amy McCollom
I didn’t know, until I found out, so I’m just going to tell you, in case you didn’t know. 

I’m just gonna tell ya that when you get old, your face slides off. I bent over to blow dry the underside of my hair, and something slid down over my eyes until I couldn’t see what I was doing? Was it my shirt, or a scarf, or a towel? No! It was my face! The skin of my face had gotten baggy without me knowing it, and it just slid right down over my eyes! I didn’t know it could do that. I stood back up, and thankfully it went back to where it had been. But it was still loose.

I didn’t know if I should call a doctor or a beauty salon. I mean, no one told me I’d have a problem like that when I got old, or who to call if it happened. I stood there looking in the mirror while moving my face skin all round with my hands. It felt like oily Play-Doh inside of a Zip-Loc baggie full of pudding. 

I wish I was a fox, a real fox. I do a little bit of amateur taxidermy and I found a road-kill fox one time with a beautiful coat, so me and my big ideas, I took it home to skin it out. Most animal skin comes loose pretty easily, except when I got to the head, this fox had really tight face skin. I pulled and tugged until my hands hurt, but the skin was adhered so tight to the skull it wouldn’t budge. I even tried to pull it loose with vice grips, but all it did was tear it, leaving ugly holes in the fur, so I finally gave up. I hate giving up on anything, but I didn’t have much choice. 

Another problem old age has given me is weakness. When my 20 lb. dog was able to drag me down the sidewalk, I knew something was up. Then my arms started giving out while lifting a freshly baked cake out of the oven. I used to be able to move any piece of furniture in the whole house; but now a wooden dining room chair can get the best of me. My muscles are weak but my mind is willing. I don’t like asking for help, so this makes me sad, and a bit angry.

I’m not the hoot-owl I used to be either. I mean that in the entire sense of the word. I can’t stay up until all hours of the night, my eyesight is getting poorer every day, and it’s getting really hard to hear things. If I was a horse, I would have been made into glue a long time ago. I limp, can’t carry much, I run into things, I can’t hurdle, and I don’t come when I’m called. If it wasn’t for my charm and good looks, I probably wouldn’t be worth keeping around at all!

As much as I’m trying to be nice, I have found myself falling into a grumpy mood more and more times lately. Thankfully my family heed my warning and give me some space when I’m feeling rather burly, otherwise fur might fly. I have gotten moody in this old age. That’s not really like me. I’m usually the one calming everyone else down. 

Tired. I’ve also become really sleepy lately. If I don’t get my afternoon nap each day, I am one angry bear in the afternoon. Now I know why my dad always nodded off in his recliner. Maybe I’m turning into a house cat. After I got spayed, it’s been nothing but weight gain and napping on the sofa.

I am getting shorter too. As if 5 feet isn’t short enough, depending on how I style my hair, I could gain or lose a half inch to my height. You would think getting shorter would mean there is less Amy, and that would make me lighter, but science doesn’t work that way with old people. Apparently when old people get shorter, it just compacts down tighter, like some sort of eco-magnetic field, or something something something. I can’t explain it, I’m not a physio-scientist. I just know it doesn’t make sense, so there.

So the long and the short of it, what people aren’t telling us is that when you get old, you turn into a tired, limpy, weak, compact chubby, grumpy, half-blind, half-deaf curmudgeon whose face moves loosely on their skull as if it’s floating around in a bag of pudding. But our dogs and grandchildren still love us, and at our age, that’s all that really matters. Just agree with me and tell me I’m pretty. I’ve had a rough week.

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