Every article that I read online – because I have a severely limited attention span and the actual, physical newspaper seems like a gigantic commitment – about aging states the importance of a social life. My sister and I are obsessed with this, because we want to age happily, and not be terrible burdens on our children (and especially one another). We are so serious about this that we have a pact to begin regular therapy when we turn 50, whether we need it or not. If we don’t start therapy, we have given one another permission to “off” the other. This will be in a loving manner, lots of booze and pills, and an Edward (Twilight) pillowcase as we are smothered. She’s only 40, so we have a good ten years before this is really a problem. I remind her daily of the fact that I am MUCH younger, so I can off her first. Better start looking for therapists. Robert Pattinson will probably be out of the closet by then, anyway, and we’ll have to change our pillowcases back to the old Johnny Depp standby. But, will he still be hot in 10 years? Oh, that’s just a silly question.
The articles are all rather similar in tone. Exercise, have social groups, be happy, eat some blue berries and seaweed, live longer. I guess it doesn’t really matter how long you live if you aren’t happy, I mean, what’s the point? There are people in challenging situations in the world, who are just surviving. I admire them for their survival drive, and I hope that I would have the same, but to be honest, if there was nothing making me happy I’d probably not survive. Even the most dire survival is likely based on the crazy human desire to eventually get out of the current situation and to be happy again. I have seen people who have survived some horrendous, incomprehensible life experiences, who are still living – but did they really survive? I met a woman who had been strangled, raped, beaten and left for dead in the early 1970’s. She “survived” but her attacker won. She was on every narcotic I had ever heard of. She walked around like a stoned zombie. Of course, zombies probably can’t technically get stoned. I’ve seen other people who’ve been through even worse experiences who are actually HAPPY! They rediscovered their mojo. They appreciate every day that they get. They are bright burning stars that you would never know had lived through such an ordeal. Not that it’s easy, I’m sure – but what is life if you can’t enjoy it?
Now I will step off of my soapbox, because even I have shit days that I wish didn’t happen. But, I try to start fresh every time that great big sun comes up. We’re all human and imperfect creatures. Inspired to be better, healthier humans, my sister and I started a book club.
I think it’s like the Stitch-n-Bitch clubs of yesteryear.
My grandmother used to belong to one and I wouldn’t be surprised if those little old ladies never sewed a damn thing. They were gossiping and talking about their husbands and telling ghost stories. In similar fashion, I rarely even finish the book. I think we spend an average of 8.5 minutes discussing what we read. Last night we spent the other FIVE hours talking about breast size, meat sticks (and various other slang terms for male waggy sticks), horny dogs (not another term for meat stick, rather my pug who spent the entire evening getting his rocks off on my poor labrador), jiggly bellies, working out way too hard and watching the men around us just think about getting fit and seeing it happen in 48 hours, hairs growing in unfortunate locations, and the occasional booger that was ejected through fits of laughter.
Did we increase our knowledge of great literature?
Did we eat too many cupcakes?
Could be part of the reason for the jiggle belly.
Did we drink too much wine, beer, and sweet tea infused vodka?
My head is saying “yes!”
We also burned those extra calories by laughing about the fact that my daughter exposed my lily white belly, which managed to already be jiggly – even before the cupcakes – to the only mom I know that actually could be a supermodel, if she was just 5 inches taller, and proceeded to squeeze it and say, “I love this belly. See the donut? Mommy. I love your belly!” I’d like to think that it was a nice reminder to supermodel mom that she should thank her lucky stars for her great genetic legacy. And a nice reminder to me that my belly, in it’s infinite pasty jiggliness, is loved.
We realized the importance of not only a living will, but a hair removal will: should you ever be in a coma or otherwise incapable of plucking your own chin hairs, a friend is deemed your Tweezer Guardian and will magically appear prior to all other visitors to clean you up and have you looking less like a man. I mean, you’ll be unconscious so you won’t care, but we decided that seeing all of those chin hairs may cause your husband to turn off the machines a bit prematurely.
Perhaps we also decreased our risk of dementia, paranoia, isolation, and other mental illnesses. I think it was worth the effort. You should start a book club, too. No, you don’t have to know how to read. You just have to know how to laugh. And, when you start your club, know this: if the people you invite can not laugh about the phrase “meat-stick” you are wasting your time.
Yep. I love my bubble. I could probably survive leaving, but why? I’m happy. I’m staying. Dammit!