People seem to think that getting old happens overnight but aging is a long arduous process. You don’t suddenly wake up one morning with this uncontrollable desire to start dolling out hard candies like some sort of juicy mouthed, high trousered, geriatric cliché. Somewhere in your twenties, you take that first step toward becoming that quivering and confused mass of odd smelling meat you are destined to become. The pace at which you take this road, however, is entirely up to you. Some people work hard to get into a boring routine, avoid new experiences, ignore new information and become obsolete by the time they are forty while others apparently manage to somehow stay sharp and spry forever. While not particularly aged, my parents fall into the latter category but I’ve kept my eyes peeled for even the slightest sign of mental or physical weakness. I’m not sure if this applies but I recently came across a bag in my their kitchen labeled, “Baby Hair.” After some light questioning I found out the hair belonged to my youngest nephew. Now, unless you are collecting ingredients for some kind of magic spell, having baby hair in a bag seems supremely creepy to me. I was assured that cutting off a baby’s hair for the sole purpose of archiving it was totally acceptable. However, I remained convinced that collecting a person’s hair is among the creepiest activities imaginable. Where does this end? Will teeth and nail clippings be next? Are they going to construct some sort of grotesque, yet magical, doll? Why would this even occur in modern times? Photographs have been around for about two-hundred years now. I am betting that a snapshot would have been an equally effectual keepsake and would not have creeped me out when I noticed it sitting next to the bagels. If anyone can recommend a counselor who specializes in blown minds, please forward their information to me.
My mother has begun watching the home shopping channels too. I’m waiting to see if this is a holiday related phase or the first step in what will result in her becoming an old lady. There have been a number of exceptionally late nights where I sought a peculiar brand of comedy only available through the magic of infomercials. With similar senses of humor, perhaps she is seeking the same sort of abstract humor that I do. Just the other day, one of the hosts unwittingly took a bite of boiling hot stew and lost her composure all over the stage. The camera cut to a close-up of the pressure cooker but you could still see her running around in the background. When she finally could speak again, she scolded herself for not being more careful while the co-host asked, “But how did it taste?”
With perfect comedic timing, her response was an overly serious, “Delicious.”
As an unintentional tieback, I’ve noticed a few grey hairs coming in and I am relatively certain that I will someday resemble a bespectacled Reed Richards. When that time comes, I do not believe I will be dyeing my hair. Nobody really needs to dye their hair, you’re not really old until you start acting and smelling like it. This is a major tangent but I’ve always been curious about men that color their hair. It has to be more common than I realize because there are droves of these products on the market. They even have dye to color greying beards. I’ve found that dogs have a similar problem as they get older and their faces go all white. I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to develop something that worked equally well for important dogs and I could get paid royalties for having the idea.