Monday, June 26, 2017

Darling, You Are Growing Old

My mother used to sing a line to me at every birthday: Darling, you are growing old. I don't know if was from a song, or simply something she liked to sing, but nearly every year, especially after I married, she would croon that.

And here I am, old. Well, aging, anyway. I'm still in my birthday month. Still celebrating having made it yet another year.

However, this year so far, two of my high school classmates have passed away (class of 1981). They were, of course, my age. Early 50s.

I am not sure how many of my classmates have gone to the great beyond. I believe there were eight that we were aware of when we had our 30th reunion in 2011, which was six years ago. Now I know of 10. I suspect there are more. We were a class of 212 (I think), so about 5 percent of us - maybe even 10 percent or more, since I haven't kept up with most people - have passed on.

We were a generation that grew up eating bologna, TV dinners, and candy bars. We drank Dr. Pepper and scarfed up cookies. Our moms worked, mostly, and if meals were anything like at my house, they were whatever a poor pooped woman could manage at 6 p.m. Frequently, that was Kraft Mac & Cheese or whatever else she could rustle up.

Food companies of course were eager to help. Who cared if the stuff was full of preservatives, sodium, fats, and who-knows-what? It shut the kids up.

Unfortunately for my mother, and for me, I never liked cooking so I wasn't much help. To this day I still don't understand appropriate nutrition and how food is fuel and what the body needs versus what the body craves. They are different things, aren't they? Craving and needing?

Nor does cooking appeal to me, even now. I don't like naked meat. I don't care to see it sitting there unclothed on my counter, with its thighs or gristle or fat waiting to make my hands slippery and yucky. I don't like flouring it only to fry it and watch the grease pop out all over the stove, making a lovely mess. I don't like trimming fat from pork or steak, nor do I know how to marinate meat so that it has a lovely taste. That I leave to restaurants.

Mostly I know how to stuff meat in the oven and let it bake until it is not red and bleeding, and then we eat it. I don't salt it, because my husband and I both have high blood pressure. Sometimes I fix pork or a chuck roast in the crock pot and I put Mrs. Dash in there.

We eat a rather bland diet, for the things I can cook are bland, and thus when the grocery aisles scream out "cookie" or "potato chip" or "something with taste, for God's sake!" then of course the hands reach out and the item finds it way into the basket.

Now, though, I think the reality of aging is finally conking me upside the head. If I don't take care of myself, I'm not going to have a long life. I'll be gone, like some of my classmates. I've already outlived a percentage of them.

I have to figure this out. I know in my head what I need to do. It's the rest of me that needs to be convinced, especially my taste buds and their unquenchable desire for things sweet and chocolatey.

Always a work in progress over something. But better to be a work in progress than a staid old statue made of clay.

3 comments:

  1. I feel your pain. I'm a chocoholic and love cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips etc. It's hard not eating something bad for me everyday. The struggle is real.

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  2. I got all the cooking skills my dear Sister. You got the brains.............

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  3. I love to cook! Partially because of eating frozen and can dinners as a latch-key kid. It seems to be also be one thing I do really well, shame it's just wasted.... I also know what you mean about losing classmates. More and more of us are leaving the people we love behind, and younger and younger too. I think that is why you should find and grab happiness , tell & show the important people in your life you love them often!!!

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