Having written previously about being janked, and wishing not to bore you, gentle reader, with anything repetitive or stale, I will tell you today about being bescrewed. It isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
My litany for today, a day which has begun as charmlessly as a Miley Cyrus interview, is that I am “janked, bojanked and bescrewed.” By which I mean that I awakened to discover that I am not, in fact, the 30-year-old who lives in my head and heart, but the 49-year-old whose body I have been abusing mercilessly. I feel old.
My stepdaughter has a baby who is beautiful and good, and I watch her two days a week. I adore her ferociously, and although there is no shared blood, I know that I would throw myself in front of anything that threatened her. I have struggled, though, with the idea of being “grandma.” She has two perfectly good, biological grandmothers, and since my only actual child is barely 14, it seems strange suddenly to be “grandma.” (I am totally ignoring my brother’s suggestion that she call me Grandma Cranky, “Crank” for short). It is my fondest wish, my fantasy, that when I am out with the baby people might think she is my own. I am, after all, dyed of gray and full of face, wrinkle-free, a youthful dresser and maybe able to pass for 40 on a good day. If I lived in Hollywood and had a nanny she could totally be mine.
This morning the illusion failed, the curtain opened to reveal man who is not only not a wizard, but has apparently been dead for months. I am falling apart. I have bandages on both big toes from wearing precipitous, 4-inch platform wedges all weekend. I have a great divot on the inside of another toe from wearing flip flops to take the baby for a long walk yesterday. My feet throb, they are covered with Band-Aids, and they are old person feet. I should clearly be wearing sensible beige shoes with orthotic inserts.
My head is stuffed up, and my stomach is protesting the “retro casserole” I cooked last night, a concoction of highly processed substances that I have never even considered bringing into my house. I will have to take 27 pills this morning instead of my usual 20; not only do I need to stay on top of my blood pressure, my thyroid and my cholesterol, but I will need antihistamine, decongestant, and Pepto Bismol. My aged corpus will now run only on fresh produce and Greek yogurt. I am old.
I have said, for most of my adult life, that I didn’t care about getting older. I would let my hair go gray when I was ready, I would embrace my increasing maturity and wisdom and wear beautiful, loose clothes by Eileen Fisher and look like that model with the long, silver hair and the young face. I would do yoga every day, radiate inner peace, and serve as a role model for whipper snappers everywhere. “Gosh,” they might say, “I hope I can be like Ann Nichols when I get old.”
Well they aren’t saying that now. I am bescrewed, bandaged, bojanked, Bismol’d and old. The idea of blow drying my hair exhausts me. I do not feel like going to work, getting the gym shorts out of the dryer that is ALL the way in the basement, or finding a pair of shoes that will cover the Band-Aids and not squeeze the blisters. I want to lie around reading and complaining, howling to the gods who have snatched from me my juicy youth and replaced it, seemingly overnight, with life as an old lady.
I am thinking of writing a screenplay for a sequel to “Bewitched,” about an old witch who looks more like me than like Elizabeth Montgomery at 25, a witch who twitches her nose and produces precisely nothing. It will be called “Bescrewed.”