Getting Older: The One Where I Am Bitter (Kind Of, Not Really)

I have a birthday looming. . . I remember when I was getting ready to turn 30; I was thrilled, excited and couldn’t wait until that day. Turning 30 allowed me to become really comfortable in my own skin and subsequent birthdays didn’t bother me either. Well, until I hit 35, something about 35 felt like a slap in the face. Since then, it has been kind of downhill.

I am not the biggest fan of celebrating my birthday but the reality is I should take full advantage of my birthday. One of the cons of being single is you get your birthday, that is about it. So while I read about my friends celebrating anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, etc. I stick with just this one celebration. Things happen and sometimes they don’t go as you planned them.

In my 20s I thought I would be married by the time I was in my mid 30s. Oops. I wasn’t in a hurry to walk down the aisle but I thought that it would be reasonable to think that I would get married in my 30s. Then a course of bad choices, some heartbreaking experiences and of course more bad choices led me to “I will be 40 in a year’s time and have yet to get engaged, married or even successfully date someone for any length of time.” So yes, there is some bitterness but in all seriousness, I can only point a finger in my direction. I can’t blame anyone else for the choices I have made. I guess that is one of the pluses of getting older, you figure out that most of the time those sucky moments are all your fault.

But I think the worst part about getting older is all the crap I see being advertised for “us getting older folk.” As I embrace getting closer to 40, I am looking forward to the following items showing up on my “to buy” list:

Gray Away

Going gray? Spray a bit of color on your hair to hide that dirty little fact!

Reacher Pick-up And Reach Tool

Since we older folk tend to shrink as we get older and climbing on chairs and stools are not the safest option, grab The Reacher! It makes getting those calcium pills, water pills, antacids and other items a lot easier.

Invisi Ear

Huh? What? Can you say that again? I will now sleep better knowing that I can pick up one of these bad boys before going to see a movie. I will be able to hear my shows without having to tap on the cat to ask what was just said. . .oh, not available in California.

Portable Shower Arm

Like many others before me, I want to make sure I can bath safely yet move the shower head around. Visiting friends? Bring it with you! No one should have to manipulate their body while trying to shower.

Long Reach Comfort Wipe

And it goes without saying that the older one gets, the harder it is to poop. Why add to the challenge with the inability to reach around to wipe? This handy dandy tool allows you to attach toilet paper or even wet wipes to it so you too can still wipe your own tush.

Roll-A-Lotion Buy 1 Get 1 FREE

If you can’t reach to wipe, more than likely you are having a time getting the lotion on after your shower. This tool can help you reach any body part you can’t reach with just your hands.

Dream Look Instant Eye Lift

Don’t want to age gracefully yet don’t want to fill your face with Botox? Try this out! Because it is completely normal for 80 year old women to have eyebrows that are really close to the hairline.

Air Compression Leg Wraps

Legs bothering you when you try to sleep at night? Hook these bad boys up and that circulation problem with be a thing of yesterday!

Nyloxin - Pain Relief for Chronic Arthritis and Joint Pain

As many of you know, I am not a fan of smelling like IcyHot, with a squirt into my mouth I can have chronic joint pain relief! Never mind that if this really did the trick every doctor across the states would be screaming about it from the rooftops.

Shingles Treatment

 

Got Shingles? This potion will make things all better! Who knew?!

And finally, the items I couldn’t find online but I do know about. . .

Poise Pads-“oops, I peed my pants!” will no longer be in your vocabulary

iFlash/iCool Pads-I can’t remember the name of these little life savers but I hear that those hot flashes are mean little buggers; slap one of these cooling pads on for a sweat free night’s sleep

The Hurrycane-it will stand even when you can’t! Impress everyone at the senior center with this amazing cane, gone are the days when you needed to worry about where to place your cane while sitting.

Who knew there were so many products out there for the aging crowd?! I will also get to take advantage of the senior discount at movie theaters, airlines, grocery stores and Captain Ds. The alternative is to be six feet under so I guess I will accept this getting older thing and deal with it. But word of warning to my friends, do not buy this crap for me. I think I am going to fight the inevitable by refusing to grow up and have moments where I still think I am in my 20s. The best part? Thank God for the wonderful genes I inherited from my Popa. . . I maybe just a hop, skip and a jump from 40 but I don’t look it!

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Instagraming Your Life

I got an iPhone this past summer, my first one because I was waiting for my carrier of choice to offer them and then had to wait for my upgrade. But after years of drooling over the iPhone, I got it. While I was using my Droid (which I really did love) I starting playing with Instagram and other photography apps. Taking it over to the iPhone seemed to take it to the next level and that might be my mind playing tricks on me. I do have a soft spot for Apple products though. . .

Instagram is a cool little app that will let you lay a filter on top of the picture, it can be framed, muted, blurred. . .and then you post it for all the world to see. Those tricks to make a photograph look artistic, better or more dramatic didn’t change the actual picture. It’s still a picture of my cat, Radnor Lake or the sky. With a click of the camera and a swipe at the effect, I have made a so so fall afternoon at Radnor look like an outtake from the woods of Maine. All crisp yellows, reds and oranges glowing as if someone took a paintbrush to it. And then I realized, I have been instagraming the crap out of old memories.

It reminded me of a comment made by a friend years ago; when talking about my love for NYC (at the ripe old age of 17) he said I viewed the city through rose colored glasses. My mother agreed. I, on the other hand, did not agree, even to this day, I love NYC. I also don’t see the mess, as my mother pointed out to me often, it’s just not in my nature.

I think we all go around from time to time, remembering the past with a filter on it causing it to blur, become muted and sitting there like a pretty little package waiting to be torn open on Christmas morning. I have been guilty of this when it comes to old flames or crushes.

Case in point. . . the little red headed boy. He was my first boyfriend, way back in fourth grade. He even gave me a necklace and candy on Valentine’s Day. And it all started with a note asking me to go with him by checking yes or no (George Strait has nothing on me). It was a love affair for the ages. Well, until I decided that I didn’t want to go with him anymore. It ended, he took up with my best friend and I gave her the stuff he gave me. As we got older, the little red headed boy and I became friends. Such good friends that I believe we got in trouble for tying the phone line up one evening yapping to each other (long before the days of call waiting).

When you are that young, kids don’t understand how you could be friends instead of just dating. To us, it made sense. And I also had ADD when it came to boys back then as well as a horrible habit of going for the bad boy. But we spent a lot of time around each other, talking, laughing and then having to explain what the deal was with us. This played out throughout school until graduation.

I never thought of that little red headed boy in a romantic way until one night we hung out when he was in town from college. As we always did when he came into town, we went out. We caught each other up on our lives, talked about former classmates and made fun of each other. Solid friend hanging out time. At the end of a long night hanging out, he kissed me. I was surprised when he did, shocked that I really liked it and confused as to what in the world did it all mean. Then reality set in, he lived two hours away, we had different things going on and what could have been was not going to happen.

Once I transferred to the same college he was at, we tried again but by this point I was ready to get out, meet people and ended up spending a chunk of quality time at the fraternity house. Timing was always off and deep down I think we both knew that those two little kids passing notes in Mrs. Baker’s class were very different people now. We grew up and moved on; it happens.

But here comes the fun part. . . I have instagramed the crap out of that little red headed boy since college. Pulling out tidbits of blurred memories, dressing them up, muting them to just the right color and swearing up and down that he must be the boy for me. I believe he was my fallback each and every time Bubba and I would sign on for WWIII. My 38 year old self sees that now and will openly admit that while I will always have a soft spot for that little red headed boy, we are really two very different people now. We both changed during college and I am sure I went to a more wilder side than him but it was those fun memories of when we were young that made me think that it would work.

While that example isn’t all that bad, I bring out my next exhibit. . . Bubba. Dear Lord, I instagramed that relationship from hell to the point that it looked like soft, fuzzy kittens were playing in a field. We brought out the worst in each other, he spent more time and energy trying to come up with ways to push me and I fell right into the trap. Things would be great, he would be sweet and then bam! he had his tongue down some girl’s throat and it wasn’t mine. He would party hard and flirt but if a guy happened to pass in front of me he would blow up. He would say horrible things to me, tearing me down, piece by piece until I was convinced I was lucky to have him. Then we would break up. . .

And I would start to instagram the memories, blurring the times he had thrown himself at other women, making it into a huge misunderstanding or I would put a dreamy filter on the ones where he told me I was fat so I could remember it as he really only cared about my health. Sounds like an amazing relationship huh? I spent seven and a half years playing this horrible game of cat and mouse with him. I still have the scars from our time together but Bubba and I finally got the memo that we would never, ever work as a couple.

And then I instagramed Jorge and the boy. . . yeah, I could fill pages up of how not to chose a guy. The boy was shallow, so I would have to put nice shiny, bright filters on my memories with him. Dressing up memories that really weren’t suited to see the light of day the first time around. Blurring out the indifference that Jorge had for the relationship, sharpening the few where he babied me when I was sick to make those really stand out. Like I said, I have a real knack for picking them!

It is hard sometimes to look back and force myself to see the memories without all the airbrushing. I have to admit that I was part of the destructive cycle with Bubba and with the others, simply ignoring the red flags and pretending that it was all perfect. And while I do like to soften the memories up a bit, just like I enjoy playing with the different looks on Instagram, the reality is summed up as this: it is what it is. I can’t change how I was treated, how I treated them or make the memory better. I can’t go back and touch up a moment in hopes that making it look better will make it work now.

The fact that I prefer to see the good in people instead of the bad immediately does tend to translate into either I am not that smart, naive or just see things through rose colored glasses. The reality is I just want to think that people in general are not inherently bad people. This part of my personality does tend to open me up to being surprised quite often. I have also become more cynical as I have gotten older when it comes to relationships which in turn causes me to throw every wall around me up.

Chandler got to deal with my walls and bless him for being patient with me. I was so paranoid about me time, being my own person, etc. that I almost missed out on probably one of the better relationships I have experienced. I can remember him calling me one night when he got home, he wanted to analyze my mood and what we had talked about earlier in the evening. He said I had to talk to him for it to work. Such a novel concept. And that sometimes, those moments are ones that you need to frame and hang on your wall.

For now, I will try to keep my instagraming strictly to pictures and accept that good or bad, the friends, boyfriends, relationships and the kitchen sink from my past are in my past. That none of us are those kids from 20 years ago and photoshopping the past doesn’t make the present or future better. Often times it only means that I am copying the picture in hopes that the outcome is different this time. Kind of like when I kept shoving that square peg into the round hole known as Bubba.

I am thankful that I might actually be learning a few things, finally. My thick skull makes it hard for me to learn new things. I like to blame that on my dad but that is as much a K family trait as it is a C family trait. And that trait makes for great stories for friends to laugh at when we are together. Which is really the reason why they keep me around. . .

I Have Become THAT Person. . .

I have always been open to listening to new music and there is very little that I don’t care for at all. But after a fun filled dinner with Son, Clarey and the whole crew last weekend, I finally had to accept that I was indeed an old fart. I liked the songs they were playing but I couldn’t name the bands performing them.

I am not sure if getting older gets in the way of looking out for new music or life just gets into the way but I am really no in the loop anymore. If you want to learn about some of the hair bands from the eighties, I can lay it all down for you.

I mentioned my desire to go see Def Leppard, again. And if I can pull it off I will be hitting the shows in Nashville and Atlanta because I can. I just need to find one poor soul to go with me for the Atlanta show.

My love of the 80s hair bands goes back to my my life as a junior high student. The videos and the music just took me somewhere that is hard to explain. Growing up in a small town that didn’t happen to offer much when it came to life choices and careers, daydreaming became king. The words, music and then their videos made to see that there happened to be a much bigger world out there.

I find myself listening to my generations’ music more often than not; in the car, in the office and even documentaries discussing the rise and fall of the bands that I love so much. And a big thank you to the Pandora app on my iPhone, you sweet little station puts a smile on my face and probably scared a few passerbys while zooming down the interstate.

So I will welcome and enjoy the new music coming to the forefront but no longer feeling proud of discovering some random group who really spoke to me. But my heart lies with my 80s hairbands, strong women stepping up to lay guitar and sing with such strong conviction.

My hair was never big back then but my love to my music is still strong. And now I feel like an old fart. . . I need to design an old fart flag to wave proudly.

The One With the Birthday

Officially I am now 38, in fantasy land I am 35 and to strangers who see me sans makeup and work clothes I am probably 12. Let’s just say that the closer I get to 40 the more delusional I seem to get because while I welcomed 30 with open arms and a countdown I am not feeling 40.

I got to say though, this past weekend was great. I highly recommend taking off the Friday and Monday around your birthday. I am still dragging a bit but I am going to blame the old age for that one.

Thursday night was spent on the road with the Queen barreling down 75 to Atlanta. Sister cracks me up. We went to Atlantic Station, a nice mix of food and shops where we met a fabulous girl working a boutique who is headed to NYC for her dream soon. So jealous of her moving to NYC as well as the fearless leap she is taking with this dream. We also hit up Strip–Steak & Sushi. Let’s just say that in my foodie little world, this was just to die for because everything I tasted was wonderful!

Friday was spent wandering around Atlanta while the Queen was at a luncheon. IKEA! was the first place I hit and again, it didn’t disappoint. I browsed around, picked up a few things, drooled over a few things and then hit the cafe. As I was getting a refill a cute boy with long hair (this would be my high school self drooling) smiles so I smile back. As I was leaving the cafe to get my cart and finish my whirlwind tour of IKEA! he says hi, asks what I am doing and what I am doing later. When I said I was heading back to Nashville he asked if I would sit and talk with him for a bit. Besides the fact I was beet red, shocked that he was flirting with me and of all places for this to happen, IKEA! I was more concerned with my shopping.

You heard that right, instead of sitting down for thirty minutes to chat with a cute boy I said I had to finish my shopping. This would be my version of “I carried a watermelon.” And again, people wonder why I am still single? Then I promptly updated my FB status with this little gem because I had to remember this for posterity’s sake.

After hitting up Atlantic Station one more time I finally made it back to where the Queen was to pick her up and then we were barreling back up 75 to Chattanooga to pick up my car. The drive to Nashville was quick until I hit traffic before Murfreesboro. One of the many wrecks in Nashville for the night. The boy and I had reservations at Miel for 7:15 and I still needed to slap some makeup on and change clothes. I did manage to make it to his place at 6:29, ran in and heard him mumbling something about you’re a girl when I said I would get ready quickly.

Dude, I got ready in no time flat and was still waiting on him to get changed. But let’s just say I enjoyed the whole cowboy boots that he was wearing. I couldn’t stop giggling and I think I finally stopped when he gave me the “it’s not that funny” look when I asked if I could call him cowboy. Maybe that is why he is listed in my phone as Sour Puss. . .

Miel was beyond ridiculously good. I finally understood how the rat felt in Ratatouille and yes, I just referenced a rodent in a cartoon.  Two nights, two great meals. I can feel the fat growing. . .

Saturday was a blur of exercising, meeting up with a very sweet friend, shopping with the boy, eating at another French restaurant and then to cap off a great day in the city I call home, dinner with four fab friends. And way too much food. But just for giggles I got sung to by the staff (while a napkin was over my head, I was red then too) while our chef was banging on a drum. Good times.

After spending a bit more time in Nashville on Sunday I reluctantly came back here and was lectured by a certain cat named Wookie. He is never happy when I am not in his presence.

Today I slept in and then heard my phone go off way too many times with notifications of birthday wishes on FB. After lunch with the parental unit, shoe shopping and getting my hair done, I am finishing up laundry and then will take these old bones to bed.

What a birthday weekend, so blessed, thankful and full of delusion because there is no way I am 38. That just seems. . . wrong.