A certain age and chin hair.

I’m a “lady of a certain age”. That’s the term from the historical romances I have an affection for, though in those books, “a certain age” for women is anything over the age of twenty-two.

I’m well-past twenty-two and have the eye cream to prove it. And yet, I don’t feel different from when I wasn’t “over the hill”. In my head, I’m as I ever was.

The piece of furniture I tried to move last week begs to disagree. According to the bookcase, I’m getting on.

I’m weaker than I used to be. What an unwelcome surprise. The amount of weight I lift at the gym hasn’t changed. Some are even up; I’m at a personal best on the bench press. Despite that, my functional strength has diminished. I notice it dancing too; I’m no longer up and “shakin’ my thing” for hours at a stretch.

I’d rather it not be about age. I’d rather not acknowledge that time has an impact beyond the surface wrinkling. I’m only just now getting my thinking to approximate order. Having the body go when I’m almost ready to get started was not part of the plan.

On the bright side, I no longer feel guilty about having someone mow the lawn. I’m a lady of a certain age after all.

I’m not Hollywood old. I’m not Jennifer Lopez fifty. I’m not even sure J-Lo is J-Lo-fifty. Reality aging is more wrinkles and less fun.

I bet they don’t get random hairs growing out of their chins. That doesn’t sound like a thing that afflicts the perfect set. The hair wouldn’t dare.

Nobody warned me about it. My mother certainly didn’t; I was utterly unprepared. Then again, we didn’t talk about a lot of things. Generational differences about appropriate subject matters and emotional sharing, perhaps. Or maybe it’s the English genes No matter, I’ve told my daughters and the follicularly-based, dark side to aging is a popular topic of conservation among friends.

I remember my first chin whisker. Just kidding. First times aren’t as memorable as you think they’ll be. I find them when I rub my hand over my chin for this reason or that. These days, it’s a survey. I’m checking to see if I get stabbed. If I do, a run to the mirror reveals the ugly truth. The hairs are dark as sin, hard as granite, and desperately resistant to removal.

My mom once told me if I pulled out the grey hairs on my head, four would come to the funeral. This is also true for chin hair. I find myself contemplating the depilatory products I used to scorn. Who knew that one day I’d be comparing ratings for electrified tweezers? The rose gold ones seem nice.

On the bright side, my eyebrows are no longer bushy. Aging is turning them into glaciers. They’re receding, a little bit at a time. Thank God for trends. I have an almost infinite number of choices when it comes to pencils, stencils, and pens these days. My increasingly blank slate means I can get creative. Perhaps something in a Cara Delevingne? Or maybe a nice Joan Crawford?

“Women of a certain age” also learn why people say gravity is a bitch. I’d heard the sentiment but didn’t get it. It wasn’t personal. Sometimes, I’d feel fleshy and soft due to my tendency to inertia. Correcting the problem, however, took about a week. It used to be easy to turn things around. These days, my bounce-back has less bounce. And what’s up with the new problem areas? Wasn’t it enough to make me live with less-than-perfect thighs? Everything seems to want to head south.

Like my upper arms. My triceps have a new mission statement. They want to be able to wave on their own. I disagree with their ambitions and I’ve added dips to my exercise routine but it’s now an ongoing battle. Just another reward for completing a prescribed number of rotations around the sun.

And we’re not even going to talk about what gravity does to the posterior. I see a great many stairs in my future. It’s good that my balance and endurance aren’t as reliable as they used to be.

Aging is proof positive that God has a dark sense of humour.

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