Old woman pouring tea, unknown artist, 19th ce...

Image by Black Country Museums via Flickr

Health, my own, dominates at the moment. Since late last year, it has been one thing on the heels of another. Despite my visible skin-crawling anxiety about dealing with the health profession, I’ve spent numerous hours trekking from one appointment to another.

The good news is that I am not officially allergic to anything, which should have me dancing about like Snoopy after sending the Red Baron into a death spiral. However, the allergist does concede that what I experience – hives, swollen itchy eyes, wheezing and sneezing – are allergic reactions.

To what?

Good fucking question.

But more good news is that though my system reacts, I am not at risk of anaphylactic shock and my body is just as likely to ignore a past trigger as it is to go haywire. Possibly it’s something to do with the planet alignments or moon phases.

Also, along the good vein is the apparent revival of my thyroid. I’ve gone from hypo to heading toward hyper. Woo hoo.

But the flip side, I am creaky. Tweaked here and there to the point that I am off to see the physio next week.


the aging thing is on the warpath again.

Hormones. Malfunctioning. Tests. Doctors.

Probably it’s nothing. Usually, it’s nothing. Unless, it’s something, but that is rare absent a family history.

Let me pause to thank the bio-parents once again for not bothering to look me up as an adult to clue me into any medical history that may have cropped up in their lives in the last 47 years that I might need to know.

Rob let my latest testing procedure slip into a conversation with the older girls tonight. He didn’t note the alarm, but I did.

“It’s just the whole change thing,” I assured them. “It would be easier if I had a biological mother to run things by and ask if such and such was normal or ask how things played out for her.  It would save me a lot of worry and the doctors a lot of hunt and poke. But the odds are it’s just aging and running down.”


I can’t quite dismiss the “probably”, and it’s not like my doctor was worried, but she doesn’t know me well enough – yet – to know that I can worry in Technicolor 3-D with THX surround sound without taxing my vividly overactive imagination the slightest bit.

The getting old thing wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for my innate ability to worry about it.

birthday cake

Image by freakgirl via Flickr

A friend turns fifty today. It’s one of those “milestone” birthdays of which are scare once a person passes the infamous twenty-one. Passing from one decade to another though ceases to be momentous after a certain point because, in my opinion, many of us peak in terms of knowledge base and ability to add to existing skill sets.

My friend is not one of the stunted folk, which isn’t a surprise in a earth sign. In fact, I’ve only known one earth sign in my life who was a tool and my assessment is based on his rather twisted personality rather than a lack of innate intelligence.

Being female, however, this friend rather lamented the run up to her inaugral year in a new decade. The AARP didn’t help with it’s welcome wagon membership privileges either. Fifty is harder on women than men though my own darling husband is hurumphing and grim-faced about his own fiftieth later this year. He, at least, has the decidedly unfair advantage of the myth that men improve with age while women merely get old.

There is nothing “mere” about what happens to women as they get older nor is it appreciably different than what happens to men, but in a society that worships youth in the female form and exhorts women to look to 12 year old actresses as beauty standards, it’s understandable that many women dread and even fight aging with everything in their arsenal.

Being of a certain age myself, I am torn between grace and battle. My hair has been graying since my late twenties – it happens with redheads – but I’ve hidden it with highlights because I am blessed with that pure white replacement rather than the steely variety, but there isn’t enough of it to allow it dominance. Blonde simply lightens me in a way whitening red does not.

For the moment, I do nothing, but I think about doing something and that is maddening. Because why should I think about doing something anyway?

Not long ago I ran across an article bemoaning the fact that Elle Fanning is the new fashion “it” girl, the one designers love and hype as the “perfect female form”.

She’s twelve. And who wasn’t sparkly and full of feminine promise at that age?

Of course it’s her rack that attracts both filmmakers and haute couture pimps alike. She’s coltish with a ballerina body type, blond and fair. She’s the fantasy. The idea that for some reason maturity ruins females. Roundness and hair in the wrong places, and oozing once a month render us worthless. Not to mention that it is the beginning of the end. Age will take us and if it takes us – it can take men too.

Maybe that’s the real appeal. Men look at scandalously young females and see themselves in a way that defies the mirrors they ignore.

But why should my friend lament fifty? Why should anyone?

It’s not like many of us would willingly relive twelve. No one but the most stunted long to be teenagers again in any way. And, for one, resent the suggestion that I should emulate a 12 year old. It’s insulting and not just a little creepy.

In mythology, women travel from maiden to crone, but crone is powerful. The form she takes is of her choosing really, and that is the beauty of aging. Choice. And the wisdom, experience  and means to make ones that suit us. Let a 12 year old claim that.

At twelve, females are objects. Too young to know that, they smile and accept inappropriate and dangerous to them ideas and attention. At 50, not so much.

Happy Birthday then to my fabously fifty friend, who is wise and wily and wonderful.

I pluck my chin hairs. It started out innocently enough. One tiny whisker that only I could see apparently, but over the past several years it has mushroomed to a dozen, freak show long or as bristly as my husband’s vacation stubble.

Recently, the overgrowth has migrated to my nostrils.

“What are you looking at? And why do you have those tweezers?” I asked my husband last night as he came at me like I was a game of Operation.

“That nose hair is back again.” Read Full Article