That’s Just The Way It Is…

Pam Pollock
July 2021

I recently drove over to my daughter and son-in-law’s to pick up my grandkids for the day.  They were waiting for me in the driveway, jumping up and down with excitement.  As I opened my car door and prepared to exit my vehicle, my six-year-old granddaughter greeted me bent over and using a stick as a cane, “Hi!” she said, “I’m Gaga Pam and I have a bad back!”

I had to laugh; it was funny.  But I chided her by replying, “Hey now Missy!  I have TWO bad knees, not a bad back!  Your Pap Steve has the bad back!”

Yeah, she totally nailed it.  I am around 45 days away from turning the big 6-0.  I have arthritis in my neck and shoulders as well as both knees.  I am still walking around with a torn meniscus from 3.5 years ago.  I have thyroid and esophagus problems that I have chosen not to treat because I am petrified of needles and don’t like having blood drawn.

I stopped dying my hair three years ago and was hoping for an immediate head of glorious gray hair. You don’t always get what you wish for – all I have is a huge patch of gray in the middle of my forehead.

I have wrinkles and bags and dark circles under my eyes.  I feel like the Little Mermaid, I have drawers full of creams and lotions and probably potions.  I have pills galore.  Thingamabobs?  I’ve got them and I keep buying more. (But I end up not using most of them…)

My daily Facebook Memories that pop up in my newsfeed is my friend and my foe.  I see photos from 11 years ago when I weighed 113 pounds. I don’t see any wrinkles. The photos depict me jumping and running and being carefree – and well… younger!  Nowadays, I get on the floor to play with the kids, and I struggle for 5 minutes to pull myself back up.  I get cranky when the neighbors crank up their music, Jeeps and ATVs past nine o’clock.  In my defense, they do this until sometimes after 2:00 am.  I have never been an early riser, I loved to sleep in but now, like clockwork, I wake up before 6:00 am every.single.morning.

My two oldest grandkids recently loudly exclaimed in the bathroom of a restaurant, “Oh my Gaga, what big panties you have!  Why are your panties so big?”  I could hear snickering from other patrons awaiting their turn to use the facilities as I replied, “Well girls, I guess it’s because I have a big old butt.”  More outside snickering occurred and when we exited the stall, I felt 3 pairs of eyes focusing on my derriere.  They didn’t deny that I had a big old butt.  And now I make the older kids use their own stall in the bathrooms.

So, yes, I am getting old.  But I am not going without a fight.  My body may think that it’s time to be put out to pasture, but my mind says, “Hold on there, Nelly.  Not so fast.  I still want to have some fun.” Body says I’m 90 years old, mind says that I am 10.  Who will win this epic battle? 

I still like to wear crazy socks adorned with sloths in Santa Hats or birds or Harry Potter.  My attire consists mainly of t-shirts with humorous sayings and cartoon characters.  I am typing this story while sitting cross-legged on my chair and wearing a Goofy tee.  When my knees aren’t giving me fits, I am bouncing on the trampoline with the kids and looking for Bigfoot. I love to play with Monster Trucks and get wasted on root beer floats.   I still believe in fairies; aliens and I always listen for Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.   I just purchased a Foamo machine for the grandkids, but let’s get honest here – I really, really, really wanted to play in that foam and I did just that when my daughter hosted a Fun Day two weeks ago in celebration of the end of school and the start of summer.  And yes, I did romp in that foam and slather it all over my body whilst wearing a Let The Wild Rumpus Start shirt.

Off topic, I sincerely want to thank EVERYONE for the phone calls, letters, and emails about last month’s column.  I can’t stop smiling and appreciate your kind words more than you will ever know.  Sorry Kevin, a lot of people like me and my column and that’s just the way it is…