I turned thirty last year, which I had almost no feelings about at all, despite the fact that pretty much everyone I know kept implying that I should be horrified to be facing a new decade of life. (“So, how does it feel??” they’d ask, leaning in for my reply with a knowing, expectant look; upon receiving my honest answer—“Fine”—my interlocutor would usually reward me with a disappointed “Oh, that’s good,” or something along those lines. Turns out that most people want you to take part in the collective bemoaning of the aging process.)
Twelve months have passed, and last week, I turned thirty-one. Once again, the number didn’t faze me much.
Until Friday morning, when my husband and I finally got around to installing a bath safety bar, as recommended by the occupational therapist at the osteoporosis clinic months ago.
I’ve gotten over the emotional bump of the osteoporosis diagnosis, and I’m totally cool, most of the time, with the idea of having to make lifestyle adjustments to manage my bone health. But as my husband took the bar from the box and began to install it (a remarkably easy process, by the way, and a very high-quality product—if you ever find yourself in need of/wanting an intrusive device for the side of your bathtub, check it out on Amazon), I absentmindedly glanced at the box in which it had been packaged, and which my husband had tossed aside. It featured a photograph of an older woman who was donning a housecoat and very safely, contentedly, and rather elegantly, I must say, getting out of the tub.
Here’s the thing: I identified with her. In fact, for a brief second, I was envious of her.
“I wish I looked that good right after bathing, presumably before grooming” I thought. “What a role model for bath-bar users everywhere.”
And not a moment later: “Oh wow. I am a bath-bar user. I am the target audience for this product. I bought this product.” And then I was a little sad because there I was, wishing I looked as good as a woman decades my senior on the box that had held my bath bar.
But I digress.
While my bones might be old, most of my tastes—in food, activities, etc. etc. etc.—go to the other extreme. On my birthday itself, for example, I went to a ceramics-painting studio with friends and decorated an ice-cream box. As in, a box with an ice-cream-cone base and and an ice-cream-swirl top. (Use your imagination.) Though I readily admit that it wasn’t the most practical option, I have no regrets. As further evidence of the great contrast between the over-maturity of my bones and the immaturity of my spirit, at my birthday party this past weekend, I fulfilled a years-long wish of getting a piñata in the shape of a popular children’s show character. I chose a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, obviously (Donatello, the best available at Bulk Barn).
The piñata-bashing process was even more satisfying than anticipated—indeed, I broke our broom handle in a display of superhuman/release-of-bottled-up-anger-related-to-epilepsy-surgery-anxiety strength. I’ll have to make this a regular practice; people buy Christmas piñatas, right?