Ugh. Forty-nine trips around the sun and what do I have to show for it? Chin whiskers.

Today was my 49 birthday. Let me tell a little about how the day went.

For the past year and a half I’ve been having hot flashes on and off. Yes, I am perimenopausal. Hot flashes aren’t exactly the bees knees, but they beat the ever living crap out of cramps and bloating. I have been stoically accepting of this life change.

Well, this morning’s birthday surprise was a uterine salute. My body chose the early hours of my 49th year to get all nostalgic for my youth. If my ovaries could talk they would have shrilly and on a bullhorn been heard saying; “I know it’s been 10 months since her last visit but even at 49 we thought fertility must surely be important to you so we’ve pulled out all the stops for one last visit from Aunty Go-The-Frick-Away-Already. Hope you didn’t throw away those supplies and still have a bottle of Advil handy!”

I got that sorted and washed down two Advil with my morning americano.

Then I puttered for two hours. Old people are allowed to putter. At the end of two hours it was time for me to get ready to head out for a birthday lunch with a dear friend. I bathed, dried, and looked in the mirror. To my horror the cool winter shadow cast across my face revealed a half a moustache and a wee goatee.

I plucked, pulled on a swell skirt and blouse, tied a nifty scarf around my neck, donned a jacket, slipped on a pair of closed-toe two-inch heels, and headed out into the snow.

Lunch was great. The company was superb. We lingered over coffee happily chatting. So the shooting toe pain I got when I tried to stand up was a bit of a downer. Apparently my toes have unilaterally decided I am too old to wear heels and that they prefer to be unfashionably unbending.

I walked tottered on rigid feet over ice, in addition to the throbbing return of the Aunty Kill-Me-Now uterine cramps in my lower back, to my car to drive home. I got home. Remembered I was supposed to stop at the bank. Got back in the car and drove to the cluster of stores on the corner and then sat in my car trying to remember why I was there. I gave up and drove home. Pulled in the garage and remembered I was supposed to stop at the bank. Got back in the car and got half way to the grocery store before I realized that I had passed the bank. Made a u-turn and finally got to the bank.

Home again, I took advantage of the last 30 minutes of daylight and did a little touch up on a painting I have been working on. Went to wipe a paint brush on my painting smock only to realize too late that I didn’t have my painting smock on. No more painting, I ran upstairs and quickly removed my favourite green cardigan, rinsed the paint spot thoroughly and tossed it in the washer. It was green on green so I’m pretty sure it will be OK.

Hubby came home. He made me chicken and potato chowder, a cheesey pannini, and served it with a glass of seasonal ale. This is the highlight of my story.

He then cleared the table, and I wandered off to the living room with the remains of my seasonal ale to get an early start on my evening embroidery. Attempting to start a new thread I dropped the needle. Not on my lap. Not next to me on the couch. So I stood up to look at my feet. It was not on the floor. Puzzled, I sat back down. On the needle. My howl scared the dog and she spilled that tasty ale all over the couch.

Hubby cleaned it up, and put a thick blanket over the damp spot. We settled in to watch Vikings. We had to pause it shortly before the end so he could – in my stead as it is my birthday – run to the airport to pick up my prodigal son.

I decided that I would use this break to have a hot bath to ease my lower back cramps. I started the water, then ducked around the corner to hang up my clothes from the day. Done, I went back to the bathroom expecting a full hot tub. The tub was empty and the water running lukewarm. I had forgotten to stop the drain. No bath for me.

The day has ended alright. My darling has filled a hot water bottle for me, put a bandage on the needle prick in my left buttock, and fed me two more Advil. I have my boys all back at home. I am tucked in to my comfortable bed with a book of short stories by Alice Munro.

Tomorrow I will wake up to the last year in of my first half century of first world problems.



A kitten’s whiskers

When my darling and I stood in front of a suitable assembly of wedding-attired friends and family we vowed to have each other’s backs. Not literally, I’m paraphrasing obviously, but that is the gist of the vows.

Perhaps I should have clarified with my then husband-to-be what exactly that meant in terms of responsibility for mutual care as we grow old together, but my younger self made assumptions, and he assumed my younger self as we made them.

It appears he took the part of the vows about loving one another exactly the way we are a bit too close to heart, and didn’t get implied the part about shielding one another from the stark reality of exactly who we inevitably become.

And OH! What has become of me?

I’m growing whiskers. Don’t laugh. I’m perimenopausal and the ebbing estrogen has opened the door to rogue chin hairs.

How do I know this? I can’t see under my chin. So how do I know about the offending hair?

My hairdresser. During my last appointment she paused, dashed across the salon, and came back with tweezers. She said the hair had been growing for a few months and asked if I’d like it gone.

Of course I want it gone. I don’t dye my hair just to have one rogue whisker on my chin betray my age.

When I got home I told my husband all about how my hairdresser had saved me.

“Thank goodness, that whisker was really bothering me!” is what he said.

He knew about the whisker. All that time. He knew and never said a word.

Am I crazy or was it not his job as a dutiful husband to not only point out that his bride was becoming a goat-haired hobo?

He tried to defend himself by insisting it wasn’t a goat hair, but a kitten whisker. Cute. But, no.

I forgave him on one condition. It is now his job to deal with the whisker.

So, not only have I had to deal with the effects of time on my face, our relationship has also fallen prey to this women’s madness.

One Saturday of every month before we retire to bed, my dearest puts on his reading glasses, pulls out the tweezers, and gets down on his knees in front of me to help me maintain the illusion of youth.

The moments between sundown and sleep used to be so different.









Chin whiskers
Saturday night used to be diff
Berni with flash light n tweezers

Berni needing reading glasses to do it