As winter finally, hopefully, possibly, miraculously turns to spring, it is time for another edition of “you know you are getting old when…”
Spring has brought this topic up again because with the nice weather comes people walking outside, which means I have to see them and be as friendly as I can. Last week, I crossed the Teaneck/Bergenfield border in order to visit a good friend who was visiting her friend for the weekend. Crossing the border is an experience. You don’t need a passport — but it seems you do need an AARP card.
Every person we passed was pregnant. Or pushing a stroller. Or pregnant and pushing a stroller. Or on her way to the mikvah (ok, I am kidding about that one, unless women have started going to the mikvah during the day and I just don’t know about it). The point is, with every person we passed, my friend asked, “Do you know that person?”
And then it hit me. I no longer know anyone who has viable ovaries! I mean, they have ovaries, most of them, but they no longer have the ability to produce actual children.
A few years ago, I had surgery that rendered my uterus useless (ya think Dr. Seuss has a book called “The Useless Uterus”?) Anyway, I have been included in a strong group of women who are past their childbearing abilities. Which is fine — but seeing all these women with their fertility powers exposed made me realize that I am closer in age to their mothers than I am to them! When did that happen????? Their husbands are closer in age to my sons!! When did that happen??? They don’t need to take off their glasses to read! When did that happen??? Sorry, I am getting a little carried away.
You know you are getting old, and forgive me if I have used this example before, but you know you are getting old when you walk by the baseball fields and you no longer have a child playing on them AND you cannot even see who is playing on them. I think that last year I could almost make out familiar shapes of parents I might know, but this year I cannot do even that. Yes, I have been to my wonderful eye doctor, and no, he didn’t force me to get bifocals yet. Yes, I know I need them. But that still won’t help me see the parents watching their kids play little league.
You know you are getting old when you can’t decide whether you need a jacket or not, and by the time you decide you have to go to the bathroom, and when you are finished you can’t remember if you decided if you needed a jacket or not. And then you cannot remember where you were going when you started deciding if you needed a jacket.
You know you are getting old when, for the life of you, you cannot remember someone’s name. And then you ask your spouse — in my case that would be husband #1 — and he cannot remember that person’s name either. And then you are just so happy that you both are losing your minds at the same time! And then you start discussing which of your kids will take care of you when you both forget how to use a fork. And then you can’t remember why you started discussing something so depressing.
You know you are getting old when your friend’s kid comes for the weekend and he is old enough to drink alcohol and you think to yourself, “Hey, wait a second, wasn’t I just drinking with his mother?” Of course, you don’t give him alcohol because even though he is 21, you and your friend aren’t old enough to have a kid that age so it’s just grape juice for him!
You know you are getting old when you write a whole column about getting old… and all of your kids shave… and all of your kids drive… and you preheat your oven and can’t understand why it smells like something is burning and you open it and realize you left something in it the day before. Oops…….
Banji Ganchrow is happy that she is getting older and she is looking forward to the first of three gel injections in her knee. Another “you know you are getting older when……”