“I FEEL A DRAFT!” And Other Charms of Aging

June 27, 2008 at 11:49 am 10 comments

In the final, dwindling weeks before my 30th birthday nearly two years ago, my mother took sick pleasure in reminding me – over and over again – how difficult it was for her to handle turning 30. “I took it really hard,” she said, in a tone usually reserved for funeral homes/cemeteries/script readings for Telemundo novelas.”It took me months to get over it. I felt so old. I couldn’t believe I was thirty.”

“Treinta? NO! NO! No puedo ser tan viejo!”

[By the way, doing a Google image search on Telemundo novelas brings up a WHOLE LOTTA shirtless men. I’m just sayin’.]

So, with my mother’s constant grim-reapering, I was kind of freaked out about turning thirty. It’s not that I was dreading it, I was just afraid that I would experience the crushing after-effects that my mother did, and would spend several months railing against the fact that I was getting older.

No one likes an Ungraceful Ager.

But you know what? It never happened. My birthday came and went, and everything was copasetic. In fact, I noticed that things actually improved after I turned thirty. It was like a switch flipped, and suddenly I was much more relaxed about things (I hear Brad laughing), I stopped caring so much about what other people think, and I felt infinitely more comfortable in my own skin. Reading over that last sentence, I guess what I’m trying to say is: Being thirty is like being really, really, beautifully high.

Clearly thirty years old…and trippin’ his nuts off.

Of course, there have been other things I’ve noticed since turning thirty. Like how motherfucking stiff I am after riding in the car for a few hours, how easily I can get hungover (and heartburn) from a measly couple of Jack & cokes, how I’m rarely awake after 11pm on a weeknight – all those little changes that start when you’re still young and get continually more exaggerated with each passing year, and then before you know it you’re 85 years old, slathered in Ben Gay, and taking your dinners of diluted broth while watching The Wheel at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I’d like to solve the puzzle…but can someone change my corn pads first?

Unfortunately, there is one particular problem of mine that has already advanced to geriatric proportions. It’s actually been an issue since I was merely in my free-wheeling, binge-drinking early twenties, and since entering my thirties, it has only gotten worse. Internet, I am always, always, ALWAYS FUCKING COLD.

I have often wished I could wear this to work.

Yes, I am always cold. At home, at work, in the car, at the movies, in the mall, in the airport, on the plane, at the library, at the store, in the sauna, at the bonfire, in the ninth circle of hell: I’M COLD. I am forced to layer my clothing 12 months out of the year, I rarely have feeling in my fingertips, and DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME about the summertime, when every building on the face of the planet cranks the A/C sky-high, and I have to tote a sweater and a stiff neck with me until they finally turn that shit off in November.

And then there was the time I entered the frozen foods aisle without a down-filled jacket.

I know I’m not the only one who suffers from the full-body permafrost; my sister is pretty much the same way. In fact, I know a lot of women who have the same complaints as I do – except for women going through The Menopause. Like the one in my yoga class who bitched at the instructor to OPEN THE WINDOWS even though it was THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY and not all of us had the buffer of flaring hormones to protect our toes from going numb, but hey, feeling my body stiffen from the frigid breeze really added an extra level of relaxation, so thanks, Lava Woman, I owe you one.

Was also denied a bank loan.

As you can tell, I get pretty pissy when it comes to the issue of having goosebumps for 99% of my day. It just seems like the world is made for people whose internal temperature rivals that of an overcooked Hot Pocket. And the older I get, the crankier (and colder) I get. It really hit home a few weeks ago when Brad & I were at a restaurant, and the hostess seated us at a table close to an air vent. As we sat down and felt the slight draft of cool air, Brad said to me, “Is that going to bother you? Do you want to move?” And Internet, of course I wanted to move, and I was just about to tell Brad as much until I remembered the many, many, MANY times this very scene – right down to the questions Brad asked me – was played out for me in restaurants across the country. Except the Perpetually Cold One? Was my 72-year old grandma.

Has a constant room temperature of 82 degrees, closes at 6:30, and makes a FABULOUS prune-tini!

Now, I loved my grandma. Adored her. Am proud to have lots of things in common with her. But I would not like to be mimicking her more…age-induced traits before my time.

The more I think about it, the more I really am just a crotchety old hag waiting to happen. I’m always cold, my stomach is always rebelling against something or another, and when I complain, it’s mostly about constipation or why those damn teenagers can’t turn their music down when I’m trying to nap.

Come on, Brad, you know you want to HIT THISSSS

Actually, maybe the reason I feel so comfortable now that I’m getting older is that I’m just an old person waiting to happen. The arthritic old bag inside me is just fighting (…weakly) to get out! She longs for the day where she can act outwardly cranky and unreasonable in public and people won’t hold her accountable because they’ll think she’s too old to help herself! She pines for those lazy mornings sitting at her local McDonald’s and sipping her Senior-Discounted 25-cent cup of coffee! She looks forward to forcing small children to kiss her on the cheek that is also inhabited by an unusually hairy mole!

So let us embrace aging, Internet. Sure, it’ll suck when you have to rely on your snotty grandson to drive you to the store for your no-salt potato chips and sugar-free hard candies, but on the upside, he can’t make a fuss if you shit in his car.

AGING! It’s…mostly better than being dead.

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Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Husband of Said Turkey  |  June 27, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    It’s OK, baby. I’ll start mowing the lawn in shorts, black socks and sandals if that will make you feel any better.

    Also, the hair growing in my ears is at about an 8 on the scale of “Bare” to “Teen Wolf.” We all have our aging issues. 😉

    Reply
  • 2. Allyson  |  June 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Air conditioning is evil. I too am almost always cold, even in the summer, and I live in a desert. This should not be so, and I blame air conditioning.

    I recently discovered a way to put an end to the Antarctica-in-November stream of air that pours directly on to my head from the overhead vent above my desk: refrigerator magnets. The vent covers are metal, and they make a lovely new home for all those crappy refigerator magnets that come stuck to the back of phone books. (My co-workers thought I was a little batty for asking to see their phone books and then pulling the magnets off the back of the books, but they didn’t question). As an added perk, if anyone ever needs the number for an emergency plumber, all I have to do is look up. The maintenance department hasn’t noticed that I totally blocked my AC vent, so I have no idea whether this trick will be popular with the powers that be.

    p.s. Great blog, too.

    Reply
  • 3. jiveturkey  |  June 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Allyson, that is brilliant. BRILLIANT, I say! And I’m not just saying that because you paid me a compliment.

    Reply
  • 4. kristin  |  June 27, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I can’t sympathize with you on this, because I am always hot. I would probably fight you for control of the thermostat. But my mom is one of the always cold; she wears long johns in Tucson, Arizona. Now THAT’S some low body temperature.

    And I can pretty much guarantee that if you were ever to visit my house in the winter, you would need to wear a snowsuit inside.

    Reply
  • 5. MLE  |  June 27, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    One of the downsides of working with all women who are in their 50s or older is that I get comments all the time about how young I am, how great it must be, how much it sucks to feel your body slowing down, etc. Sometimes I want to yell at these women hey, I lost all the cartiledge in my hips by the time I was 18 and so I know first-hand what getting old feels like. I got to feel it way before you did, lady.

    I feel you on the cold thing, though there isn’t enough AC in my life (we don’t have it at home or in the car and my work building is old so the heating/cooling system doesn’t work well) for summer to suck that much.

    Reply
  • 6. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  June 27, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Like Kristin, I am almost always burning up hot (ever since my fainting incident back in January) and one of my fellow 32-ish year-old co-workers is always cold. We have this silent thermostat war going on here. And poor Husband of CFOST…he shivers in our house.

    Reply
  • 7. The ConstantC (cousin of Kristen)  |  July 1, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I am always cold too. But in my case, it’s my grandFATHER I take after. We’d call a really hot summer “a two-flannel summer” ’cause he’d get down to wearing two flanne shirts at a time. And in the winter he’d sit in his armchair in insulated coveralls. It just doesn’t get any sexier than that.

    Sadly, my husband has made no offers to mow the lawn in shorts, black socks and sandals. I suspect it’s a slightly different look on an Asian, though (which my husband is, and Brad may not be…)

    Reply
  • 8. The ConstantC (cousin of Kristen)  |  July 1, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Oh. That winking yellow thing is totally a typo-man!

    Reply
  • 9. Carrie  |  July 1, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I’ve always wanted one of those blanket things with the arm holes and mittens. I don’t necessarily want to read with it, I’d just like to wear it around town or at work, maybe. Much better than a sweater!

    Also, this year I’m trying something different so I don’t get cold at the office: I’m attempting to keep my winter layer of blubber for insulation. So far it’s working perfectly!

    Reply
  • 10. jiveturkey  |  July 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I totally forgot to mention anything about my poor, long-suffering spouse in this post. He is almost always warm, but is most noble about leaving the A/C off until the bedroom gets roughly the same temperature as a brick oven. At that point, I consent and turn on the A/C, thus becoming the long-suffering spouse wearing a thermal shirt indoors in July.

    Oh, and ConstantC: Let’s you and I try to convince the world that insulated coveralls are the new Sexy. I think we can do it. And even if we can’t, at least we’ll be warm, so fuck it.

    Reply

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