It’s not easy to grow old gracefully

This morning my body went plink.
If you are over the age of thirty, you know exactly how that
This morning my body went plink.

If you are over the age of thirty, you know exactly how that feels. One day, you roll out of bed and something in your back goes “plink.” Now, by 10:30 or so, the plink is gone and you’re walking upright again–but the damage is done. From that point forward, your body is subject to plinking.

Plinks can happen at any time. You can plink while getting out of the car. You can plink while doing laundry. You can plink while sitting on the couch watching reruns of “Law and Order” instead of MTV.

Plinking isn’t fun. And nobody plinks just once. You can exercise your brains out, but you will still plink on a regular basis. In fact, plinking is one of the first signs that you are officially at the top of the old age hill and about to roll down, usually head first.

Okay, I know. Everybody ages. And I’m not immune. But it’s not just the plinking that’s getting to me. Every day I have to face the fact that I’m not twenty–or even thirty–anymore. And I can’t tell you how much it sucks. When I was young, I thought my youth would last forever. I thought I would spend a lifetime wrinkle-free, with no plinks to mar my mornings.

And then one day I looked in the mirror and I saw crow’s feet.

Since the wrinkles weren’t that deep and there weren’t that many, I shrugged them off. I was determined to age with grace and dignity. I actually swore to friends that I would never have plastic surgery. But now there are a few more lines and they are in more places. And quite frankly, I’m not doing this age thing with nearly the grace I thought I would.

I’ve tried everything to keep the wrinkles at bay. Face massages, lotions, moisturizers with citrus and vitamins and who knows what else in them. The truth is, I use enough retinol to keep the entire nation wrinkle free. Every lotion I own has “lift,” “contour,” and “age-defying” in their names. So far, they haven’t lifted or contoured too much and let’s not even get into “age-defying.” I kind of expected little age-defying soldiers to slay all the wrinkles. I think the soldiers are losing. Maybe I should get a lotion with “wrinkle-killers” instead.

But with the exception of the age-defying soldiers, it’s not like I expected a miracle from these lotions. I certainly didn’t expect to use them once and look like a kindergartner again. But is it too much to ask that they at least keep new wrinkles from taking over my face?

I think if it were just wrinkles and a few plinks here and there, I could probably age without complaining too much. But is there anyone out there who can say with complete and total honesty that his or her butt is still hanging in the exact same location it was twenty years ago? Mine is about a foot lower and much, much wider.

And, trust me, you don’t want me to get started on the similarity between cottage cheese and the cellulite on my thighs. No amount of anti-cellulite cream can make my thighs smooth again. I could stay on my exercise bike for 12 hours a day and still not be cellulite-free.

Now I’ve considered plastic surgery. Oh, when I was young, I swore I wouldn’t ever do it – I even looked forward to being a wise old woman. Well, now that the wise old woman thing is getting a little bit closer, I’m checking out botox. And chemical peels. And I’m not ruling out liposuction.

The problem is, I’m a big chicken. I don’t like getting shots and peels and lifts. So that leaves me with buying retinol in bulk and riding my exercise bike until my legs fall off.

Or maybe I should just stick with the original plan and embrace aging. I mean, what are crow’s feet really? They’re laugh lines. And having a bunch of them shows the world that I’m a happy person. And what are a few plinks in a back that’s older than it used to be? And as for cellulite – well, aren’t they really dimples? And aren’t dimples cute?

Yeah, right. I think I’ll start looking for that wrinkle-killing lotion and planning my first botox party. Just as soon as the plink in my back goes away.

Laurie Sontag is a Gilroy stay at home mom who wishes parenthood had come with a how-to guide. She can be reached at [email protected]