By Mary Kay Fleming
1. You rock back and forth, lunge, and grunt every time you get up from a seated position.
2. “Fiber” is at the top of every grocery list because now all your best moves involve your bowels.
3. You pray for good luck with your old appliances because all the new models are smarter than you.
4. You stop caring how you look in a hat. Or Velcro shoes, suspenders, or pants with elastic waistbands.
5. You remain in the upright and locked position, lest unintended sounds escape while bending over.
6. Your first thought upon entering every room is Why did I come in here?
7. You eat dinner early enough to qualify for the Lunch Specials, and count anything after 6PM as a “wild night out.”
8. You spend your days Googling symptoms to determine which body part is trying to kill you.
9. You have the newspaper delivered to your house so that you can read the obituaries.
10. You’ve stopped worrying about body parts that are no longer visible.
11. You’ve started wearing your favorite outfits in order to avoid showing up at your own funeral in something with a price tag on it.
12. You’re relieved that Aspercreme with Lidocaine is odor-free so that your coworkers won’t smell you coming.
13. You spend hours reading moisturizer reviews on Amazon.
14. You’re the driver that teenagers are shouting and waving at with just one finger.
15. You arrange, rather than comb, your remaining hair.
16. “Getting lucky” means fewer than four bathroom visits per night.
17. You finally understand why Playtex spent all those advertising dollars on lingerie that “lifts and separates.”
18. You work hard to preserve teeth in strategic locations as possible anchors for bridgework.
19. You dress in multiple layers when the temperature dips below 85, and always bring a jacket.
20. You call your youngest relative by all the older relatives’ names before getting it right.
21. You’re pretty sure Hulu is a children’s game played with hoops.
22. You still write checks in the grocery store to the consternation of every customer behind you.
23. You no longer apologize for making bodily noises because you can’t hear them.
24. Putting on socks is a two-person job.
25. You invite the grandchildren over to correct your digital clocks at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time.
26. Your sneezes terrorize children and pets. There’s a rumor that they’ve raised dead people, but that’s unconfirmed at this time.
27. Overnight stays require at least two pieces of luggage—one for clothes and another for pill minders, compression stockings, orthotics, lumbar support pillow, and a sleep apnea machine.
28. The closest you come to a “new outlook on life” is looking up at everyone because you’re two inches shorter than you used to be.
29. You admire your skinny ankles first thing each morning before they detonate like airbags.
30. You shop for incontinence products in broad daylight because you just don’t care anymore.
About the Author
Mary Kay Fleming is a professor of developmental psychology at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She spends most of her time leaving notes for herself all over her home and office, but also loves to write funny stories, lists, and the musings of her magnificent golden-doodle grandson. Find her humorous essays at http://humorwriters.org and her award-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition 2016 at: https://wclibrary.info/erma/winners/detail/?id=2482&year=2016&winner=W.