What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

You know you’re getting old…

You know you’re getting old when
you’re perplexed when you get an email at work about a system you use, and it says: “The [Anonymous] system is currently experiencing latency issues in your swimlane.” Say what? I’ve come to learn that latency means the users of the system were finding it slow to load. As for swimlane, I’m still not sure, but I believe it deals with the way a business is using the system. I could be wrong. But the point is, when did we start to not understand English? GenX and Millennials are making up words at a rapid pace! It was bad enough that they started abbreviating words for texting and tweeting. I’ve learned to live with U and OMG and LOL.

You know you’re getting old when
putting on tights in the winter saps your energy. Does everything have to be control top? I could go for a little more flexibility and less sausage-stuffing.

You know you’re getting old when
you blurt things out that prompt your adult daughter to say, “You know, Mom, you don’t have to say everything you’re thinking.” I remember her saying something like that to her grandmother, my mother, years ago. At the time, I was in silent agreement. It’s chilling.

You know you’re getting old when
you prefer to wear your eyeglasses to a party rather than go without them because you’re convinced they hide your saggy, baggy lids. You think back to the days when you were willing to not recognize the people across the room rather than wear your “old-looking” specs.

You know you’re in denial about getting old when
you start reading a news item that mention a woman of a certain age and you picture a wizened little old lady. But that age is yours…or even a few years younger!

And to follow up on my first item, I later received another email from [Anonymous] company:
“Please be advised that our Incident Team has identified a fix and confirmed that performance in your swimlane should now be stable. We apologize for the inconvenience.” You’ll notice they didn’t apologize for the gibberish.

My appliances are expiring…am I?

It’s happened twice in the same season. Two appliances I depend on died. At their own hand, so to speak. I’m sure I didn’t do anything to annoy them to the point of ending it all.

First, it was our microwave. We’ve been in this home since January 2005, and the appliance was new then, so I guess nearly 9 years isn’t too bad for a stand-alone microwave. To find a replacement, we had to carefully measure the microwave shelf and make sure a new one would fit its width, height, and depth. We rushed out to our favorite appliance store, Abt, and bought a new one. Problem solved (even though I noticed belatedly that the new microwave has a lower wattage and somewhat less attractive button panel than the old one).

Anyone can get along a few days without a microwave. But a lighted magnifying mirror? The horror! And the horror comes from not knowing if you have sneaky little hairs popping out on your chin or if your eyeliner on your right eye matches that of your left eye. When you’re nearsighted like I am, just looking into the large wall mirror over the vanity is not an option. (By the way, this appliance was also nearly 9 years old.) The mirror was intact, but the light did not come on. I depended on that light to show me what I needed to attend to before stepping out the door.

My husband, handy and (usually) practical guy that he is, took the mirror apart and discovered a burned-out bulb. I won’t bore you with the search for the right bulb, but one wrong-size bulb later, we bought one that was as close as we could get to the old one. I screwed it in place. (This is the extent of my handiness.) Then I heard a sizzle, and a white coating appeared on the inside of the bulb. The appliance fried the new bulb! We declared it a goner, went shopping for a new lighted makeup mirror, and found one pretty quickly at Target.

Unlike the microwave, this model was brighter and has a higher magnification than the older one. This may sound like a good thing, but here’s what I discovered:

Those pesky chin hairs? There are some growing in parts of my face I could never see before. The lines I’m getting on my forehead that weren’t too bad “for my age”? They’re deeper than I thought. Maybe I should be grateful that I can catch—and try to hide—these imperfections before heading out in public, but it’s demoralizing. I’m a realist, so I should accept the fact that aging does not allow physical status quo. Nobody can pick an age at which they felt their most attractive and just stay there forever (besides Joan Rivers). And I am grateful just to be here, slowly sagging parts and all.

Fortunately, these appliances were not terribly expensive to replace. But I’m keeping my eye on the refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove…to make sure they’re not planning a group rebellion.

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