I didn’t see this one coming.
You never truly expect all the inevitable "aging" crapola that’s coming your way, though, right? Even though you’ve known all along that some telltale stuff is marching straight at you, two abreast, you can look over, under, sideways, down, and plain old ignore the certainty.
For example, you know you’re going to wrinkle. But still, it offends. Wrinkles scandalize. They appall.
There’s that OMG! moment when you look and you see and you understand that while you slept, creases crept up from the pillow case and settled onto your face.
Like you always knew they would.
They found their home, their happy home, and they don’t want to move. Ever again. Barring surgery of the type that would stretch your face into a Jack Nicholson Joker of a caricature of yourself.
Nevertheless, you can’t help yearning for what you can no longer have. It’s gone and there in the mirror is the new, old you.
And those rumpled ruffles didn’t arrange themselves appealingly in the socially desirable and marginally acceptable region set aside for laugh lines.
Oh no. These are not crinkles that accentuate a twinkling eye. These are lines and furrows more appropriately assigned to a wheat field. And the crop is set for harvest.
We all know wrinkles are coming. But who accepts their arrival? Who welcomes them as an anticipated tenant? No one!
Some liars claim to love and respect them as signs of a live well-lived. Ha! I once had a dermatologist call liver spots “wisdom spots.” Yeesh.
But OK. What are you going to do? Better than the alternative, right? Hahaha.
And gray hair. OK, white hair. Big deal. I crawled into the bottle years ago on that one. Denial perfected.
An ache. A pain. A spider vein. Means nothing. So what if I can’t eat fried food like I did back in the day? Big deal!
Sleeping through the night? Any sissy can sleep through the night! Only the stout of constitution can nod off at midnight, get up at 2:30, 4:30 and again at 6 and still be (mostly) alert and productive every fine day!
But the foldy toe may take me down.
It developed on the golf course. See?! I play golf. Twice a week! I walk the course too! Pull my own cart! I’m young and strong and tough, I tell ya!
Anyway, as I was saying, I was walking up for my second shot. This is when I usually give myself an “attaboy” for hitting it straight or a stern admonition for shanking it – again.
But this time, my thoughts were drawn away from the bucolic 4th fairway to the migration of my little toe. As though responding to a hypnotic suggestion, it turned unannounced, inched away from its assigned station at the edge of my foot and worked steadily until it was tucked under its upright companions.
It didn’t hurt. It just felt weird. What are you doing there, Little Toe? Why would you fold yourself under, thus? What fear ye?
The toe said nothing and I kept quiet.
Members of my foursome suspected nothing. They have seen me duff a fairway wood enough times. They didn’t detect the shift in my sunny disposition. That 3-putt was par for my course.
The rest of the nine, my mind held silent communion with the toe. Instead of staying after for a celebratory Anchor Steam, I hustled to CVS and the Dr. Scholl’s aisle – you know, where the old folks find remedies for foldy toes.
And there, nestled among the corn plasters and the arch supports, next to Odor-X and Freeze Away, I found these little gel cushion thingies that fit between and force errant toes to face the future head on, like the rest of us.
But how can one recover from the demoralizing knowledge that she’s shopping on the aisle right around the corner from the Ensure and down the way from the All New Silhouette Depends?
Stubbornness, that’s how. Just because an apple falls one hundred times out of a hundred does not mean it will fall again on the hundred and first.
I will not surrender! Oh no! Not to a foldy toe!