Friday, December 28, 2007

A Complaint Letter

Dear Father Time,

I thought with the new year fast approaching, that this would be a good time for me to write you a letter, and let you know something. I'm on to you. You think that you are so subtle, leaving traces of your existence gradually, and in small doses. You think because I am so busy raising a toddler, that a wrinkle here, and a gray hair there will go unnoticed. YOU ARE WRONG.

When my first gray hair arrived at the tender age of 26, I shrieked, and pulled it out with enough force to give myself whiplash. But, then, I thought about it, and I'll have you know I took pride in that gray hair, Father Time, because I had earned it that year. Throughout these past nine years following that day, you have been rather kind, dispersing the gray hairs sporadically, and only a few at a time. I could just yank them out and go about my days, not giving them much thought. But, lately, the multitude of tiny regrowth hairs sticking straight up, making me look like Alfalfa, is making me angry. So, you want me to start dyeing my hair. Fine. I get it. More work for me, but whatever.

Let's talk about the noises. I don't recall my knees making that noise when I stood up before. What's that popping noise I sometime hear in my lower back? Come to think of it, didn't I used to get up a lot quicker and move more gracefully? You know what? That's not a problem either. I'm sure it is just a result of carrying around a 25 lb squirmy toddler, and bending over thousands of times throughout the day to pick up toys and books, so I don't trip on them - wouldn't want to break a hip, you know.

Let's talk about my eyes, Father Time. It's bad enough that I have to wear glasses or contacts. It's bad enough that my eyesight gets slightly worse with each eye appointment. It's bad enough that I've actually given the phrase "blind as a bat" thought. I understand where the dark circles come from - I used to sleep until noon! But, these wrinkles under my eyes and at the corner are unnecessary, don't you think? So, I've entered the days of standing in a grocery store aisle, poring over the thousands of ingredients I've never heard of, and that probably don't really exist, to decide which 40 dollar eye cream to buy. Fine. Less money for me, but whatever.

My ears really worry me, Father Time. Since I started out with bad hearing, I don't have a lot of leeway in this area. Could you just please be gentle with me? I know I'm teaching my kid signs, but I think I might need more than "milk", "more", "shoes", "car", "dog", "fish", and "eat", to communicate with my family, at least in any kind of meaningful way.

I remember when I was young, and I dreamt of getting a skateboard or a boom box for Christmas. (Shut up! Yes, I did say boom box). This year one of the presents I'm most excited about is the Zoom teeth whitening process that my husband bought for me. So sad, but so true.

And what about...(whispering)..the mustache. That's not even funny. Stop laughing! You are cruel and inhumane, Father Time, do you know that? I want you to know that I have noticed all of these things, and that's fine, I'll age, but I'm going to age gracefully, and with as much dignity as I can muster up. I will hold my old, tired head up high, and I'll go, but I'll be kicking and screaming. Hope you're up for a fight. And, listen, since we are apparently going to be on such close terms, mind if I call you "Dad"?

14 comments:

JCK said...

This was great, Jen! Very creative. Boom box?? heehee I'm glad you're going to fight kicking and screaming! Those $40 eye creams can be pretty intimidating...

Hair dye can be fun. I did it for a long time - blonde, red head, brunetter, questionable color...Now I'm radical and don't dye it and I'm going for the Emmy Lou Harris look.

Thanks for letting me know about this. You're on to something here.

Cecily R said...

That was awesome! Stinkin' Father Time!! I've recently started looking at the eye creams and treatments and solutions. Not looking forward to the day when I think about botox and wrinkle creams. Why don't women grow old gracefully like men do??

Dawn said...

That is so funny. I started getting gray hair in my early twenties and I have dark hair, so it really shows! Now I'm stuck coloring my hair every month- that's my biggest complaint with Father Time.

Pam said...

So funny! I really enjoyed this! Here's hoping Father Time heard you loud and clear! Maybe we can all benefit from you letter to him! Why is it that men get more distinguished as they age and women just get old?

Joanna said...

I hear ya sister! Everyone on both sides of my family went grey early. And a handful of us are loosing hair to boot. My youngest son pointed out that his twin brothers has the same amount of peach fuzz as I do. I feel like I'm turning into some weird hairy uncle. I'm sure my husband is think grr baby - not! :(

Kellan said...

"mind if I call you "Dad"" - that was too funny - the whole thing made me sad (for me) and laugh like a little zoo monkey!! You are not alone - you don't even want to know what happens when you cross over the BIG 40 - it doesn't get any better is all I'm sayin'. See you soon - Kellan

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

There was this one time that I thought I had a gray hair, but it turned out it was just a blond highlight. My bones may be weak and brittle, but at least I'm keeping my mousey brown hair (so far *knocks on wood*).

Let me know how those $40 creams work out for you. I might need to go there.

Jen said...

Jck, Glad you enjoyed it. I've really been enjoying yours since I stumbled across your blog. Hope you'll come back soon.

Cecily, Those eye creams are ridiculous, aren't they? They have a tiny little blob of magic, and I stand there trying to come up with an argument that justifies spending $40 for that! Can someone out there tell me if any of these really work, because then I'd have an argument.

Dawn, Yep, that is the curse of having dark hair. Mine is dark brown, so the grays scream at me "Hey! Lookie here!"

Pam, I'm not sure I buy into that. Have you seen Mel Gibson lately - he just looks old.

Joanna, "some weird hairy uncle", that cracked me up! I'm sure your hubby still thinks you are beautiful.

Kellan, Don't be sad, not at all! My intention writing this was just to poke fun at myself, and let everyone know we all have these feelings. But, we are all beautiful. Especially you!

BBM, A blond highlight! I weep for you. Oh well, at least I was never attacked by a sidewalk. ; )

Zoe said...

LOL. I'm only laughing cause I am soooo there with you!

Julia said...

Ha, love it. (The writing, not the aging)

joan said...

Great post. Really enjoyed it. Love your blog. Thanks for the laugh! Happy New Year.

Shellie said...

Oh, yes, I have a similar relationship with old Father Time. It only gets worse. I hate the blindness part the worst. I'm about ready to just strap 2 magnifying glasses to my head and let it go at that. At least we're all in this thing together. Oh, and if you wear glasses and wear a hairstyle that falls around your eyes, you can cover up the little wrinkles. :) It's cheaper than eye cream.

Kellan said...

Happy New Year Jen - see you soon! Kellan

Gellianne said...

Hello there!A very nice post. You are a very good writer!

Happy New Year!