Well, dammit.....last week I was a bright, cheery, feeble but grateful 85 year old just futzing around here doing my thing.....which ain't much, but, what the hell....I was 85 years old after all.
Today I am a grumpy, frazzled, bitter, vengeful, decrepit 86 year old and not a pretty sight, I'll tell you. I did not have any idea how much OLDER a person feels at 86 than a person felt at 85 (which was still pretty damned old, I'll have you know.). And the trouble is, even if you can psych yourself up to ignore, forget and totally blank out the event and the transition, people just won't let you get away with that. They keep reminding you and rubbing your nose in it with phone calls and cheery greeting cards and all sorts of well meant but painfully received prods. Sigh.
I know, I know.......I should be proud to have managed to achieve this dubious pinnacle and grateful that I still have enough marbles rattling around in my ancient skull to be able to spew forth all these long words and sentences. And, do you know what.......I AM proud and grateful. But, Oy Vey......it ain't easy to be 86 particularly when you are then going on 87.
That said, I will just report that I did survive the week somehow and you can still find me at the same old stand, tossing bits of lettuce and swiss chard at my Fabulous Flying Finches, screaming threats and epithets at them as I observe that they have once again switched nest boxes and asking them what I should tell the babies, should any of the eggs hatch, about who their parents really were......even as I wonder if the babies would give a shit as long as some bird or other shoved some food down their gullets. I somehow doubt if Finches spend much time wondering who their real birth mothers were.....do ya' think?
And, in the spare time left to me after doing all that wondering, I am still going around cleaning up hairballs that Gussie so thoughtfully leaves me, since, with her clever feline mind, she knows I need small tasks to perform that are simple and do not tax my ancientness too much and leave me with a feeling of accomplishment. She, too, means well, but just does not understand about the knees.
I am happy to report that I am still doing well on the FastDiet.........I can hardly believe it myself, but I am into week 3, have successfully fasted for 5 of 16 days, have actually lost 3 or 4 pounds and am thrilled beyond words that I may have finally, after 75 years of searching, struggling and suffering, found the eating program that is perfect for me. Godbless Sarah, the lovely British Blogger........http://secretworldofahousewife.blogspot.com ..., for showing me the way to deal with my food insanity in a healthy and easy manner.
And to finish up my random ranting on a really positive note, I must tell you of my recent experience with the Lost Needle. You must all know of my ongoing problems with my vision so I will simply report that each day I discover a new thing which I can no longer do. Most recently it became obvious that, if my life depended on it, I would probably never again be able to thread a needle no matter how many pairs of spectacles and magnifying glasses I employed, but I figured that I could get Florence to thread the needle on my sewing machine and could thereby duke it out to run a wandering line of stitches (mostly by feel) in order to put up a hem. (the days of my hemming things by hand ended some time ago). Unfortunately, I forgot about the quirks of inserting the bobbin into this machine and after about 20 abortive tries and much cursing each time I heard the dreadful sound of the bobbin falling out resulting in the thread breaking and necessitating calling Flo to rethread the needle yet again, I decided to give up and do the damned thing by hand. How lucky, I thought, that a while back I had jumped on an email offer of some needles with eyes that you simply pulled the thread down a slot in order to thread them. Yeah, sure......but where had I put them? In some safe place, of course, but where might that safe place be? An hour later, after tearing apart the sewing department in my house without finding them, I dispatched my helper to the fabric store to buy a new supply. Home she came clutching a wonderful pack of 6 needles of various sizes and I pounced on them and proceeded to thread the one my undextrous fingers could best hold. A little tough for my limited sight, but doable, and off went hand-hemming away mostly by feel, but good enough, till the thread was too short to continue, so I made some knots and took a new piece of thread to finish. Then, to my horror, as I pressed the thread onto the slit I saw the needle slip from my fingers, fly through the air and land........somewhere....... in my living room probably, but it might as well be China for all the good that would do me. Flo was gone for the day so first I crawled every inch of the floor with my biggest flashlight.........not a sign. Next I seized the floor lamp that I work by and turned it upside down and combed the area again, uttering horrid sounds, curses and weeping bitter tears intermittently. Zilch. I felt every inch of the carpet with both fingers and toes hoping to impale a digit on the damned needle. Nada. I gave up and went to bed thinking unmentionable thoughts.
Next morning, with a bit of renewed energy I crawled from bed and repeated the process in the light of day.....Zero. Before giving up entirely I decided to move all the furniture in the vicinity of the crime scene and try one last time. As I reached the place where the carpet ended and the wood floor began......the spot under which my chair had resided I caught a brief gleam and my heart leaped up. Partially obscuring the prize was a BD card which had fallen on the floor. It was one of the cleverest cards I had ever received (and it even had sound) congratulating me on my achievement in reaching 86. Carefully, in order to get more light on the subject, I reached out and moved the card. In doing so the page fell open and out blared the opening bars of the Hallelujah Chorus!
I am not sure but I think I wet my bloomers.
The New Yorker covers: February 10, 1975
4 hours ago