Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When Good Friends Go Bad

Last week, at book club, the subject of age came up. With the exception of one, we are all over the age of 40. A couple of us were talking about how our eyesight has changed just over the last couple of years. The skin under my eyes has gotten thinner this year. We are noticing small changes that amount to our impending mortality.

I shared a story from my late teenage years. I worked at a Hallmark, where I rang up many, many old women. Old women are always buying cards. Or at least they were back in the day before they started costing upwards of $4.00. I digress. I would hold my hands on the counter, watching them write their checks, comparing my smooth skin with their wrinkles and age spots, their gnarled knuckles. My hands became a source of pride, a symbol of my youth and vitality. And, because of this foolish pride, I have watched my hands age over the years with growing sadness.

After telling this story, M asked if that was really such a difference. I had her lay her hand down flat on the table and laid mine next to hers. "See how I have more wrinkles?" She looked down and gasped, exclaiming loudly, "Oh, WOW!!!" Um, okay. They're not that bad. It's not like they're all shriveled into dry tree branches. Plus, the weather here is very drying and I hadn't recently moisturized. No need to make me cry!!

I think I'm just going to wear gloves around her from now on.


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