Saturday, January 30, 2010

Old Hands? Wash Dishes

Do you remember the many Ivory dish soap commercials from the 1960s or 70s where viewers were asked to decide which hand belonged to the mom and which to her adult daughter? Or, like the one embedded here, where women try to determine each others' ages based on how young their hands look?

The solution is always that by washing dishes with Ivory, homemakers will have very young looking hands.

I don't remember how old I was when these types of commercials were popular, but I definitely had no idea how someone's hands could make a person look old. My thought was that hands don't really wrinkle or get saggy like faces, so having young-looking hands would be easy.

In the last year or so I have learned exactly how hands can reveal age! My ever-present nemesis -- the age spot -- is popping up all over the backs of my hands. They are not very big yet (not as big as the ones on my face), but I can feel them and I'm sure they will grow. And no matter how much you moisturize or if you wear gloves in the winter, wrinkles happen -- even on the back of hands. (Don't even get me started on my cuticles.)

So as I look at the backs of my spotted hands, realizing this is just one more indication that I'm getting old, I have an irrational thought -- I should have washed more dishes!

I probably should have mentioned the enlarged knuckles and prominent veins before I blamed all of the "age" indicators on my spots.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who Are Those Old People?

My son goes to the same high school I graduated from in 1979. My daughter graduated from that school 4 years ago.

So, last week I was in the school and discovered that there is a sports hall of fame. Though I did not like high school, it was pretty cool to see that people I knew of (I didn't know anyone cool personally) were inducted. But as I looked at the photos of inductees I wondered, "Who are these old people?" Well, they were my classmates! Some of these old people were even younger than I am!

Let me point out that, even though we live in the same area I grew up in, and my kids have gone to the same schools, I have had very little interaction with anyone I graduated with. I did not particularly like high school and have been to no reunions. (The stress would kill me.) Well, it wasn't entirely my fault that I didn't go, I was invited to only two of six reunions.

I do occasionally run into people I knew in high school. The couple I recognized look exactly the same. Maybe I see others all the time, but I just don't recognize them -- because they are old.

So the answer is -- those old people are people my age who graduated from high school with me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Am Too Young to ...

I've been thinking about it for a while and it is finally here. My list of "I am too young to..."
  • stop wearing high heels with blue jeans.
  • be a grandparent.
  • give up camping.
  • stop racewalking.
  • give up white water rafting.
  • win my age group in a half marathon. (Maybe when I’m 80.)
  • wear bifocals. (I can't give up my contact lenses, even if I do need "cheaters".)
  • be cantankerous, and have people think it is charming or cute.
  • wear orthopedic shoes.
  • stay home on a Friday night.
  • give up happy hour.
  • have to stop drinking red wine, quit eating eggs and watch my dairy intake.
  • give up my dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu.
  • have age spots and crows feet.
  • wear “mom” jeans.
  • stop coloring my hair.
  • watch the new Price is Right or Let's Make a Deal.
  • need hearing aids. (My kids would disagree with this.)
  • let myself get fat.
  • have a daughter graduating from college. (She graduates on June 12.)
  • stop dreaming.
Photo from:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where Did my Eyelids Go!

As I was applying my eye makeup the other day, I had a rude awakening. I put on the eyeshadow, opened my eyes to check it and the color disappeared. Somehow, unnoticed by me, my eyelids have gotten so heavy the top totally covers my lid! I have my Grandma's eyes!

It's funny how it happened so gradually I didn't even notice it was progressing. And suddenly -- whammo! No eyelids!

A couple of years before my mom died, she had complained about her eyelids. Apparently the lids were so heavy, she was having difficulty opening them all the way and it was interfering with her vision. She had talked about having eyelid surgery, but I can't remember why she didn't.

Though I find it extremely annoying, I'm not sure I will ever have surgery. I have this fear of having a perpetually surprised facial expression. And I keep thinking about all of those famous people who have had really horrible results. If someone who makes millions can end up with bad plastic surgery, what hope would a middle class, middle aged woman from Ohio have?

I'll just have to get used to having my mom and now my grandma looking back at me from the mirror -- and I will probably save lots of money on eyeshadow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday Night, Looking Young

Friday night I went out with some friends and the friend of a friend I'll call Carl. We were having a great time consuming "beverages," joking around and discussing the really crappy music on the jukebox. It was the discussions about music that caused Carl to turn to me and say, "How old are you?"

Let me point out that I was the oldest person there and nearly everyone else was between 7 and 19 years younger. (OK, Gary is not chronologically that much younger, but mentally he is much more youthful and cool than I am.)

When I told Carl I am 49, he was genuinely surprised and made a comment that I took as shock and awe! (That's how I heard it.) He thought I was much closer to 40! From previous blog posts, you already know that I don't normally believe people who guess me too much younger than what I am, but Friday I believed him.

So, Carl has become my favorite "friend of a friend," and I am choosing to remember him as a totally sober, clear-headed, honest and very astute person. (It's my story, I can believe what I want.)

Decided that from now on, all official photos of me will be taken in bars after I've had a beverage or two. The crow's feet look OK and I am loving my hair!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I was in Love with Bobby Sherman

A couple of years ago some co-workers and I were talking about teen idols and I gushed about Bobby Sherman. The entire group looked at me with blank faces -- no one had ever heard of him. It was one of my first "God I feel old!" moments.

Though Bobby was known for songs like Julie (Do you Love Me) and Easy Come Easy Go, his performance career was not as long lasting as some others who were teen idols in my day. David Soul, Bobby's co-star in the show Here Come the Brides, was great in Starsky and Hutch. Lots of much younger women know about David and Shawn Cassidy. The members of the Monkees have tried comebacks a few times. (Davey Jones was so cute!) And there are tons more who have never gone away.

Bobby slowly disappeared and as I got older I kind of forgot about him.

He was a little bit different from other idols of his time. After guest starring on the show Emergency, he became interested in emergency medical care and law enforcement. In the early '80s, he even became an emergency medical technician and is now a sheriff. How nice is it that he is in his 60s, has a real life and is still cute!

(Still, it feels a little weird that the cute guy I had such a crush on is now over 60!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



My women friends have warned me that I would start to have hot flashes, I would have trouble sleeping and life could be hell for a while. Though I knew it was coming, and I've had an occasional light flash, I was not expecting what has started the last few weeks.

Not only have I not slept through the night in about a month, but in the last week I've been awake much more than I have slept. (My dogs being aggravating have not helped.)

To top it off, today while doing some light exercises, the hot flash that came over me made me feel nauseated. I thought I would toss my cookies all over my stability ball!

Now that it has finally started, it better pass quickly! A lack of sleep and an overheated me are NOT a good combination.

Oh, shoot! Here comes another one!

Photo borrowed from

Monday, January 18, 2010

Note to Self

On days when there is no school, do not eat lunch at any restaurant that has a play land.

I need to clarify -- I like kids. Let me rephrase -- I like SOME kids. My kids are great! My nieces and nephews, kids of my friends -- all amazing! What I don't like are other people's kids who cry incessantly, run wild in a restaurant, don't know the meaning of the word "no", and scream. Yeah, screaming is bad. It's even worse when I'm on my lunch hour and I just want a nice quiet place to relax and read before going back to work.

What was I thinking when I made the decision to try Chick-fil-A today? Though I've had the opportunity to try the breaded sandwiches before, I have never actually eaten at one of the restaurants. I wanted to see how the grilled chicken sandwiches compare to others I've tried.

The first sign I should have paid attention to is that the parking lot was full. Second, I should have noticed the indoor play land. But I didn't.

The good news is, I really looked forward to going back to work this afternoon.

Though the sandwich was OK, Wendy's grilled chicken is tastier and juicier and more expensive. Also, it was difficult to figure out the calorie count from the web site. It wasn't obvious which sandwich I had ordered just by reading the descriptions and I could not remember what it was called.

Still, I liked the options and might go back -- on a day when school is in session.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Peter Bogdanovich Did Not Hit on Me

A couple of friends and I had a great time at the Wexner Center Saturday night. Not only did we get to see What's Up Doc? on a big screen, but Peter Bogdanovich (the director) was there. Bogdanovich made a few comments before the showing, then stayed after the movie for a Q&A. We enjoyed the movie and his comments were very entertaining. It was a good evening!

While standing in line for the ladies room afterward, I overheard some conversations that made me chuckle. The first part involved a young blond who said loudly, "I wish he would write a book. I'd love to read all of those stories." Another woman around my age politely pointed out that he had written several, some for sale in the on site store. (In his introductory comments he mentioned five of them by title.)

After a few more not so bright comments about getting his autograph, forgetting she had a program and handing him a plain white envelope, she proudly and loudly said something to the effect: He is quite the dirty old man.

After telling the story to my husband, it occurred to me that Peter Bogdanovich would never hit on me. Here are just a few reasons:
1) The only artificial thing about me is my hair color and it is not blond.
2) A footnote to #1 -- I've had no surgical enhancements. (The blond in the bathroom could not say that.)
3) I'm over 25.
4) I didn't jump up and down and cheer excessively for him from the second row. (Yes, I think he saw you -- nearly everyone saw you.) He was good, but seriously, I'm not convinced he deserved the standing ovation.
5) I would never say something like: It's cool that he is still rocking those glasses!
6) I did not ask for his autograph. He was more than accessible, which is very cool, I'm just not enamored with famous people just because they are famous. Now, if I had read one of his books and enjoyed it, I would have been thrilled to have him autograph it.

I have no idea how much of this woman's description of events are exaggerated. For all I know, Bogdanovich was a perfect gentleman and she made the whole thing up.

Whether it is true or not, I can tell you from experience -- things like that NEVER happen to nearly-50-year-old-women who are not artificially enhanced and are somewhat bright.

Thank goodness!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reverse the Effects of Aging...

... with the Neckline Slimmer. At least, the commercial I saw on TV says it will magically slim your neck.

For the amazing price of $19.99, plus shipping and handling, you will receive a little piece of plastic with a spring inside. All you have to do is put the piece of plastic under your chin and push down with your chin to magically get rid of a double chin and loose skin.

Not only is it not possible to spot lose weight, how dumb must people with double chins be to believe that they can reduce loose skin with exercise? (If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser, you know that exercise has no affect on loose skin!)

If you look closely at the before and after photos, those women will have the exact same result by just holding their chin up higher. In fact, I'm absolutely positive that is the only thing different in the photos.

Here are some things that affect whether you will get a double chin:
1) Your weight.
2) Genetics. (My mom and grandma both had double chins -- I'm predisposed!)
3) Posture.

So, what do you have to do to get rid of a double chin?
1) Exercise your entire body.
2) Lose weight, or better yet, don't become overweight to begin with.
3) Hold your head up.

If all of that fails, well then surgery is really your only option.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ma'am Update

Excerpted from Wikipedia:
Ma'am literally signifies "my lady."

Usage of "Ma'am" is common in the United States and in Western Canada. In the past the term was in theory to be used only for married women, but it has become common courtesy to use this term for all adult women, rather than to attempt to presume a marital status based on age or other appearances. The term formerly in common usage for unmarried women, "Miss," is now usually reserved only for children and young ladies of school age, for extremely formal usage in which the woman's marital status is known, or if the woman in question has made it known that that she prefers said term.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miss, Ma'am or Young Lady?

On my 30th birthday, I was called "ma'am" for the first time ever by a really nice, polite young man. I freaked, overreacted, and said loudly, "Don't you ever call me that again!" (I may have shouted.)

Since then I have accepted the fact that many polite people call women ma'am. I'm OK with it.

Today at lunch the waiter called me "miss." I flinched. No, it isn't bad to be called miss when you are under 30, but at nearly 50? I kinda felt insulted, though I wasn't really sure why. I understand why more and more service staff are hesitant to use ma'am, but miss made me feel old. It felt like he was saying, "I know ma'am is upsetting to people your age, so I'll be safe with miss."

The good thing is he didn't call me "young lady." Yeah, this one is the worst. Once waiters start calling a woman "young lady," it means you are so damn old they think you are too stupid to realize you are really being called old. I don't know many 80-year-olds who are fooled by this. And have you noticed, it is almost always an overly friendly male waiter who does this? I don't recall a woman ever calling another woman young lady, unless she truly was a young lady.

It is all very confusing. Men have it much easier. If a man is called "sir," it is a sign of respect -- it has nothing to do with age, marital status or anything else. (I have occasionally heard "sir"used sarcastically, but that is another issue.)

Knowing my obsession with my age, my friends did notice that the waiter called me miss. The consensus among them (besides the fact I'm overly sensitive) was that "miss" was better than "ma'am." Of course, they are all much younger than I am (other than Gary).

And I discovered they are right. According to an informal poll of women I know over the age of 40: miss is better than ma'am. One even threw in "my lady" as her preference. I LOVE that! But how on earth do you tell a waiter, "Please don't call me miss, I prefer (dramatic pause) my lady."

Regardless, I'm glad I'm not in a profession where I have to choose the least offensive way to address adult female patrons. So, I'll just give all of those people in service industries a break. Their jobs are hard enough without people like me over-reacting to being addressed politely.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Four Things

I successfully did four things recently to help keep my New Year's Resolutions:
  1. Had my hair colored and cut and told my great hair guy he is one of my resolutions. Though he jokingly said I never looked like a skunk, anyone who has roots as white as mine knows that was a lie of kindness.
  2. Bought a pair of pants that fit. The good news is, they are a size smaller than the last pair I bought! I have not made any progress on my planned weight loss, which is part of the reason I have put off buying new clothes. Just in case those 10 lbs. are with me forever, I now have one pair of dress pants that fit.
  3. Bought a new scale. Though not listed specifically, having a scale that will be somewhat accurate will assist with letting me know if I ever do lose weight. (Our previous scale is so inaccurate, I can step on the scale, step off, step right back on, and the numbers can differ by as much as 3 to 5 lbs.!)
  4. I've been taking calcium every day. Again, not spelled out specifically, but it is really important for women my age. I have several bottles of calcium in my cupboard that I have never taken because the chewables are chalky and make me gag and the capsules are so huge, I cannot swallow them with a glass of water. I opted to buy a brand new package of caramel flavored soft chews which are a lot more expensive, but I've been taking them every day.
Changing a habit takes at least 21 days. I'm on my way!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is why...

This is why I cannot mop my kitchen floor.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bleacher Butt

My kids play sports. And over the years I have learned that high school bleachers are not designed for adult butts! Bleachers are especially hard on me after an all-day wrestling meet that started at 9 a.m. and ended at 7:30 p.m.

I officially have "bleacher butt."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Guess My Age!

OK, I have few illusions about myself. From looking in the mirror I am aware that I no longer look 30ish, though sometimes can pass for 40ish in the right blue jeans. I'm OK with it.

So today while out at a bar throwing darts with my husband, I met a nice younger man throwing on the next board and we started talking about our kids. Because he looks really young, the conversation turned to age. (He looks a good 5 years younger than his age.)

He turned to me and said, "I won't even try to guess your age. I'm not good at that."

I said, "Don't even try -- regardless it is a lose-lose situation for you."

I didn't explain it to him, but here are the facts. When you guess the age of a woman who is over 45, you can never win! Here's why.

If you guess too young, then the woman is offended thinking you are pitying her. (If she is smart she is offended. If her hair is bleached too blond and she wears Ugg boots, with a really short skirt, you are safe.)

If you guess too old, then she is mad because you think she is old. If you guess exactly right, well, that is bad, too. No woman ever wants to look her age.

The best thing is to do is what this guy did -- refuse to guess.

I never told him my age. Though people "say" I look younger than 49, and I probably do look younger than the average woman my age, I don't look remarkably younger and I was not fishing for a compliment. No sober person will ever mistaken me for 39 or less.

The truth is, I thought I was OK with it. I have never lied about my age and I have never felt the need to... until now. I think it was Gloria Swanson who said something like: if you add 10 years to your age, then everyone will marvel at how young you look.

Not a bad idea -- I look pretty damn good for 59!

I could not find the exact Swanson quote I was looking for above, but I did find a couple of others that are interesting:
  • "Because I take care of my body, it doesn't look like the body of a woman of my years."
  • "I became a fanatic about healthy food in 1944."
  • "I consider anybody who weighs over 200 pounds fat, and time was when I could not refrain from telling such people so." (Wow! Could you imagine being so bold?)
  • "I entered the cosmetics industry because I wanted more women to use cosmetics made with safe, healthful ingredients."
  • "Your body is the direct result of what you eat as well as what you don't eat. "

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Losing my Mind

Have you ever been driving somewhere and suddenly you can't remember how to get there? You've been there a million times, you can picture where you want to be, but you can't remember which street it is on?

That happened to me today. Gary and I were going out for lunch and I offered to drive. We were halfway to the restaurant I chose, that we've been to several times and my mind went blank. "OK, I forgot where this place is again," I said. Luckily, Gary is used to my frequent brain fades, he reminded me and didn't think a thing about it.

Everyone experiences events like this once in a while. But I seem to be having "brain fades" much more often. I'll be talking to someone I've known for years and suddenly blank on their name. I'll be in the grocery store for just a few items and forget the most important one. I'll be upstairs to get something, but cannot remember what I went to get. Sometimes, I'll be in the middle of doing something, get distracted, and forget to go back to the original activity!

But the one that concerns me the most is driving. I have visions of me driving along and completely forgetting how to get back home.

My mom said it was caused by stress. When I'm stressed these events do seem to occur more often. But I have also noticed that they happen much more often the OLDER I get, not matter how much stress I'm under.

Not sure what I will do about this. Eat better? Do that. Exercise? Do that. Freak out? Well, I've been doing that, too. Maybe I'll have to bring it up to my doctor. (New Year's Resolution?)

With any luck, it isn't anything permanent and I'll just end up healthier because of the exercise and healthier foods. And if that doesn't work, I probably won't remember anyway.

Monday, January 4, 2010


My friend Gary is almost exactly one year younger than I am. OK, I'm actually 13 months older, but who is counting that precisely.

Since we are both approaching 50, he and I talk about age quite a bit. (The other friends in our little group are at least 8 years younger than us so the majority of our "real" age discussions are with each other.) Though most of the time when we talk we are laughing and making light of it, every once in a while I think we have an obsession. Here is Gary's:

As I got into my mid-40s I developed an obsession with checking celebrity ages to gauge my own. It was usually when they'd appear in a movie or on TV I'd get the itch to look them up so I could convince myself that, for example, if Pacino and De Niro were pretty damn cool in Heat, and already into their early 50s, then I still had some virile time left — a nice fat slice of it.

I'd started handing the data to my parents, too, who were in their 70s and lamenting the slide. I'd try to assuage them with "Hey, Ronald Reagan was barely into his first term at your age. Think of that!" Of course it didn't make them feel better, so terrifying was the idea of moving from the comfy sofa and its fleece throw to the studded straight-backed chairs of the White House for a 14-hour round of meetings. They couldn’t relate at all to the now-deceased Reagan who was energetic in his 70s.

I reached a point where I began to feel ridiculous about gauging age this way. Too clinical, I guess. Putting too precise a measure on things. Establishing that you are still youngish is also beginning the countdown to when you are not. And even though it was coming from a probably normal anxiety about getting older, it was turning me into the kind of simple-minded fool I'd always hated. "Ha, I'm younger than you," etc.

Of course, I don't think Gary is ridiculous.

Let's have lunch soon so I can vent about how beautiful everyone said Demi Moore was when she turned 40 though she worked out 8 hrs a day with a personal trainer and denies plastic surgery. Oh, and by the way, she is only 2 years younger than I am.

[You all didn't really think I was going to include a photo of Demi from the movie Charlie's Angels where she is running on the beach in a bikini. That would just be cruel, though it would prove my point.]

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Today, in honor of the new year, I walked over 3 miles, ate a Wendy's Bacon Blue Cheese Burger, finished off the Chex mix and the remaining potato chips and French onion dip. Luckily my dog ate most of the remaining Christmas cookies and I'll be giving away the leftover candy tomorrow.

It is time for me to get serious about my New Year's Resolutions.

Though I knew January 1 was coming for an entire year, I just could not get motivated to write down my thoughts. And, to tell the truth, I knew none of my healthy eating and exercise resolutions would go into effect until Monday anyway, so what was the rush?

The list seems pretty long to me, but at the same time, I couldn't justify deleting any of them. And aside from my hair color issues, not many of them are quantifiable. Not sure how you determine success in a case like that.

So, all of those qualifiers said, here are my 2010 New Year's Resolutions:
  • Lose that pesky 10 lbs I’ve been fighting for a while.
  • Purge clothes I don’t wear and get rid of stuff I don’t need. Buy clothes that fit.
  • File stuff.
  • Have my hair professionally colored all year long to avoid the orange brassy color I am known for. Do it more often to avoid the skunk look.
  • Stop procrastinating – like waiting until January 3 to write a list of resolutions.
  • Follow through with all of the physicals and medical checkups I should be doing every year.
  • Work harder to meet deadlines and work when I'm at work.
  • Take out the trash. (I don’t know why, but I can let a trash can overflow for days!)
  • Try to spend a few minutes in silence every day.
  • Be more patient, less judgmental and say fewer negative things. Be friendlier.
  • Have more fun. Play with my dogs more often.
  • Be more generous with my time and money.
  • Sleep more. Eat better. Exercise more.
  • Read for fun.
  • Have a good beer once in a while.
  • Make it to church more often
  • Plant daffodils.
  • Reduce stress – especially about turning 50 at the end of the year.
  • Starting... now!
So, what are your resolutions?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Basic Rules of Life

While watching a Monty Python movie the other day, I was amazed at how deep the ending to the movie was:

"Now, here's the meaning of life. Well, it's nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations."

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Wow, does it get any clearer than that?