I am over 50, and I suck at a lot of things. I am over 50, and I use the word “suck.”
When I turned 50, I realized I was tired of using language I’d considered “ladylike.” Screw that! (Ahhh … that felt good.)
When I turned 50, I came up with a bucket list — but refused to join AARP. Hell, no!
I also created an “I suck at” list, which included playing the saxophone, skiing, and chess. At 50, I do not enjoy sucking at things — so I broke up with the saxophone, skiing, and chess.
I also suck at yoga. I’m 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a crooked spine and uncooperative hips. But dammit, I like yoga clothes and this is L.A., where yoga is a prerequisite for residency. Yoga is where my “I suck at” list collided with my bucket list — I was determined to get into a headstand. Yoga is also where I discovered one of the unanticipated horrors of aging: crepes.
There’s a point in a yoga class when the lights are low, the music ethereal, the room silent. One by one, students float upside down, legs rising like daffodils in spring. And then there is me: In the middle of this field of long, lithe human flowers is a stiff brown beetle trying desperately again and again to get one knee onto an elbow and failing miserably.
I noticed my straight, strong legs. I admired my ample bosom. And then I saw the crepes.
But I stuck with it, and after two grueling years of classes with “beginning,” “special needs,” and “basics” in the titles, it happened. With the aid of a wall, a teacher, and three other yogis, up I went. Cheers and applause. I held the pose in delight, and studied my reflection in the mirror.
I noticed my straight, strong legs. I admired my ample bosom — tired boobies aided by gravity to bunch at my neck like an aristocrat’s at a Renaissance feast. And then I saw the crepes. An inch or two of loose, crinkled skin was scrunched under those boobies.
I stared. And then it hit me. That was my skin. The inability to do a headstand wasn’t my only problem here: My skin had begun to wrinkle and sag. I had the sudden urge to grab some Mod Podge and decoupage balloons. I got right down out of that headstand.
That night, upon full body examination, I discovered my favorite French dessert clinging to my knees as well. I knew it wouldn’t go away if I ignored it — like the hiccups or that old boyfriend who couldn’t let go — and so I googled with abandon. I learned the “gradual reduction in organized collagen bundles” comes via the natural aging process or massive weight loss. I was suffering reason No. 1.
That night, upon full body examination, I discovered my favorite French dessert clinging to my knees as well.
Horrified, I kept typing into the search bar. I got something called Fraxel, which uses lasers and is white-hot pain. I got something called Thermage, which uses radiofrequency and is white-hot pain. Both cost thousands of dollars without good results. I met with plastic surgeons and dermatologists, and I grilled friends who’d dropped small fortunes on painful and ineffective treatments. Wendy spent $4,000 to freeze her skin and was left with the same thing she started with. Bonnie spent $40,000 dollars to have her crepes cut off, with a stay in the hospital and months of recovery — and she looks like a Barbie Doll with a 55-year-old head.
After a year of searching for the cure to crepes, I deduced there is no way to eradicate crepey skin. Ergo, save your money! Use it to go to Paris, where crepey skin equates wisdom and sexuality.
Or use it to go to Africa, which is what I am going to do. Post-headstand, a safari ascended to the top of my bucket list — and put me one notch closer to my ultimate bucket list item: making out with Bradley Cooper. Let’s hope he likes crepes.