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, 2014”

Here a plug, there a plug

…and everywhere a plug, plug, plug! I foolishly thought that by the time I was this age, I could be relatively carefree. No deadlines, few obligations. Sure, I’m still working three days a week, but I have four free days. And I do enjoy those days, except for the need to keep charging my gadgets.

There’s my “smart” phone (well, it must be smarter than I am; most of the time I can’t figure out what it’s doing). The battery seems to last a nanosecond, and when I remember to do so, I plug it in to the outlet in my bathroom. But with my memory not what it used to be, I often find myself ready to go out…with a dead phone.

There’s my iPad. I have a first-generation model that is going out of its way to tell me I should upgrade to a new one. I get bounced out of Facebook after looking at it for 2 minutes, or if I try to Like something or add my comments. And it’s so slow, I grit my teeth until a page opens. Its virtue is that its battery lasts a long time (25 Solitaire games and twice as many Boggle games, plus email and surfing). But the time comes when I’m warned that only 10% battery remains, and I have to plug it in.

I have a Fitbit to track my (non)exercise—or more precisely, my steps, staircase climbs, calories burned, and miles walked. Its battery lasts several days, but there’s that moment when I go to check it and it shows the symbol that means “charge me now.” So I plug it in.

I have a Kindle Touch for reading. Because I’m a book lover (that is, actual, traditional books), I often let the Kindle sit for weeks. Then, when I’m in the mood to read one of my downloaded books, the battery is dead. Dead even though it did nothing! So I have to plug it in, and wait.

I have an iPod that I used when I went to the gym…regularly. We no longer belong to the gym because our visits became so infrequent, we were throwing away money. So I almost forget that I have a little device with over 200 of my very favorite songs and performers. On the rare occasion that I pick it up, it’s gone dead from lack of use and I have to plug it in, and wait.

I would have added my digital camera battery, but I take photos these days with my phone, which, as you’ll recall, has a battery that lasts a nanosecond.

Then there are the maintenance gadgets. My electric razor needs to be plugged into a charging stand every so often. There’s nothing like getting ready to wear Bermuda shorts and, after discovering that your legs are a little fuzzy, having the razor start up and then fizzle out to nothing because it needs a charge. (Yes, on occasion I do wear Bermuda shorts. It has to be pretty hot out though.)

In the past year, I’ve also used a facial cleansing brush that spins as you move it across your forehead, cheeks, and nose. It’s hype is that it removes all the gunk that you—supposedly—don’t get out with a hand wash. I’m a sucker for products that promise that “extra glow.” It too needs to be charged regularly…so I plug it in.

It would be nice to be proactive and remember to charge these gadgets before they’re flashing orange and warning you that the battery is about to drop dead. But if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you know that proactive is not a word that describes me. My other challenge is to figure out which cord and plug goes with which gadget…and where I’ve put it.

In light of all the serious issues a septuagenarian could have to complain about, I’ll stop whining now and be thankful that I’m able to use all these items …and that I still remember what to do with them.



Of closets and dreams

I frequently dream about closets. This is not a metaphor, although dreams are full of metaphors. I dream that I need to go somewhere—ASAP—and I’m looking for something appropriate to wear. In the dream, I have my clothing in several closets (in real life, only two). The setting resembles my long-ago bi-level home in Skokie. Like that home, one of its closets is only half the height of a regular closet because of the kitchen cabinets on the floor below. In my real life, that bedroom was used by my younger daughter and the unusual closet prompts her to state often, “That was the worst house…ever!” Having been brought up in a one-bedroom apartment that was freezing in the winter and hot in the summer, I roll my eyes at that statement. But I digress.

Back to the dream: I seem to be looking for a top that fits and that will look respectable. I sort through all kinds of ugly or seen-better-days items and can’t bring myself to choose any of them. In the meantime, the clock is ticking, and I may already be late for wherever it is I need to go. There’s never a conclusion to the dream, in many cases because that’s the time my cat decides to mew in my ear in an attempt to get me to rise and play with her.

I ponder what that dream means…am I looking to redefine myself as I contemplate full retirement, for example? And then I start to get dressed (in real life) and relive my nighttime dilemma. The day after I last had that dream, I put on khaki-colored pants and an off-white top with an animal print scarf in tan, brown, black, and ivory. But it’s cold in my office so I knew I’d need another layer. By 7 a.m. I had tried on every black jacket or sweater that I have, then started in on the off-white cardigans. I tried a beige jacket. Each item was taken off as soon as I stood in front of the mirror. Then I went to the other bedroom, where my currently-too-large and summer clothes reside along with a few other items I’m not sure whether to keep or donate. I caught myself staring into the open closet and sighing. Just like in the dream.

So  maybe every dream is not about fantasies, anxieties or sex. Maybe this one is trying to tell me that I need a fashion consultant, someone who can pull together the parts of an outfit from my full closet that won’t make me look unhip or old. Or maybe it was the spinach pesto pizza I had for dinner.

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