The phone rang at quarter to six this morning. I don’t know what mono-syllabic greeting drooled from my lips, but safe to say it was no Oscar acceptance speech.

A male voice I didn’t recognize shot back as if he’d been popping uppers like Sweet Tarts. “Have I ever told you I have this thing about short people?”

“Who is this?” I managed to say.

“Short people. They scare the bejesus out of me.” He was hyperventilating…spitting words into the phone.

“I’m sorry…I think you have the wrong…”

“Pretty sure it started with the Wizard of Oz…the small dudes with the spiky lard hair and weird socks. Remember them?” The male voice immediately launched into the Munchkin Song.

As he sang, the image of that old classic returned…three short stack cherubs swinging their legs from side to side, little Vienna sausage arms buckled together like a chain link fence.

“I believe you’ve misdialed…” I stopped him in mid-chorus.

One perk about having a conversation so early in the day…no one expects much out of you. A simple grunt passes for a commencement address…a yawn carries the weight of a eulogy. Because before 6AM there is something mysteriously profound about just opening your eyes and proclaiming life…breathing in and out…gently making body parts participate with the brain’s reluctant nod that it must once again fire on all cylinders.

“You know who this is, don’t you?” He shouts into the phone.

“No…can’t say I do.”

“It’s Ronnie. Your cousin, Ronnie. Do you still like jokes? I got a good one for you. Heard it in prison. Yeah, that’s right. Prison. Damn, girl, we got some catching up to do.”

“Wait a minute…” I said, and then he interrupted.

“Okay so here’s the joke. The teacher asks the class, “There are four crows on top of a wire. If you shoot one…how many are left?” Billy raises his hand. “Okay Billy, what’s the answer?” The teacher asks. “None,” Billy says, “because the sound of the gun scares the others away.” The teacher smiles, “Well now, that’s not exactly the answer I was looking for, but I like the way you think.” Then Billy says, “Teacher, I have a question for you. There are three women holding a lollipop. One is biting it, one is sucking, and the other is stroking it. Which one is married?” The teacher hesitates and then answers, the one sucking? “Wrong,” says Billy. “It’s the one with the wedding ring, but I like the way you think.”

I hung up on Ronnie right then, but not before I heard him mouthe a showbiz drumroll. “Ba-da-boom! Thanks folks. I’m here all week.”

He instantly called back, and with a pissy ‘tude sprayed, “Why did you hang up?”

I’d had just about enough of this clown. “Listen. I don’t have a cousin named Ronnie. I don’t like perverted jokes…and I particularly don’t like being woken up at 6AM.”

“Wait a minute. This is Carol, right? He asked.

“No, this is not Carol.”

“Oh damn, you mean I have to do this whole thing again with Carol? Why didn’t you just stop me before I went on and on?”

And that’s the way my morning began. I would like to say the day has progressively gotten better, but that would be a flat-out lie. Unable to get back to sleep, I stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the light.

I’m not going to fill you youngsters with fiction. Aging sucks. Not long ago people often mistook me for looking younger than my years. Now I dash from one low lit area to the next to camouflage the vicious effects of age…a zoo mauling if you will. It’s as though my body got caught in a twister and hasn’t touched down. What’s worse is this whole aging thing sort of sneaks up on you. One minute you think you have the looks for pomp and pageantry nailed…and the next, a closer inspection of your mug prompts, “Who the hell is that bloated woman in the mirror? And what’s up with the Sasquatch facial hair?”

Chin whiskers, pointy pubic-like bristles growing out of my damn ears and nose, and patches of it on my knuckles and toes…it’s bloody disgusting. I can only guesstimate that my body was crop dusted with Miracle Gro while I slept.

This morning there was something new to ponder. It’s like the wild hair up my ass has reversed course and resurfaced on my eyebrow. Usually not a problem if you catch it fast enough, but this bugger grew twice the size of its brethren overnight. How could one solitary soldier grow the size of a tour bus windshield wiper?

So, tomorrow morning, do yourself a favor and run a comb through those unruly mite collectors…and check your nostrils. Never good to start a day with gnarly shrubbery clumps above your neck. As for me? I plan to sleep in and let the wild hairs form crop circles.

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  1. I’d have to agree…aging is a suckfest for sure!

  2. Couldn’t agree more, Mary Alice! You got to find some humor in it. Thanks for leaving a comment. Love to hear from you.

  3. That’s why plastic surgery and those eco friendly light bulbs were invented. I have one long chin hair that I have to be vigilant about or else I’m looking a lot like Foo Man Chu.
    Great post!

  4. Dani, I suffer from the same Foo Man too. It’s a conspiracy to keep us down and definitely humble. They didn’t have to pass so much my way…I was already deflated. BTW, your last post is downright hysterical. I am still laughing!

  5. And that is why I have an entire blog dedicated to Aging and its inconveniences: Aging Gal

  6. Yes, you sure do, Heather…and it’s terrific.

  7. Love this Annie! What a weirdo who called! Guess it could have been worse, he could have showed up on your doorstep instead.

    Stray hairs are disturbing. My thighs (the only one part of my body I’ve never had complaints with) have recently betrayed me with a little grass patch on the back that nobody told me about! Just some random little meadow two inches above the bend in my knee. It’s like ducks could hide in there. Growing black leg hairs is just gross.

    No long eyebrow ones yet – but I do get an occasional wire thick grey one in the middle of my right one about every three months.

    Youth is wasted on the young.

  8. Noelle,
    Stray hairs are disturbing and they seem to sprout with alarming frequency. I can almost see those ducks hiding! Glad you have missed the fun of the long eyebrow hair. You are right…youth is wasted on the young! Thanks for your funny comment.

  9. Grew twice the size of its brethren overnight…love it. And yes, aging sucks rocks. I always knew it would happen, but I had no idea I’d be so traumatized.

    Thanks for another great post!

  10. Hey June…aging does suck rocks. I know the alternative is not a crowd pleaser, but it’s still no joy ride. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  11. My youngest has promised to be in charge of plucking the two stray hairs that grow under my chin when I’m no longer able to to it for myself.

  12. Lynne, you raised that child right! Some kids promise to come home for Sunday dinner…others vow to shovel snow for their aging folks, but you have a child who will pop over just to pluck a few stray hairs. The world is a better place! :)

  13. “Because before 6AM there is something mysteriously profound about just opening your eyes and proclaiming life”

    Uh.. I got to BED at 6am! If anyone called me at that hour, they would have gotten my voice mail.

    However, I am DYING laughing over the whole wrong number AND subsequent conversations!

    Moreover, I can COMPLETELY relate to the the Sasquatch facial hair. I am Jewish & Italian = HAIRY BEAST with spiky chin hair.

    Luckily, I don’t have eyebrow and/or ear hair issues – YET.

  14. You are lucky to escape the eyebrows, Meleah. Take it from me…it’s not good to have bedhead in your brows. Yes, it was quite the conversation this morning. I’m exhausted, but at least I got a post out of that strange dude. Thanks for reading!

  15. If I won the lottery I would hire my own personal lighting director to follow me everywhere so I would always be softly lit from below. As for errant hairs, I seem to be dodging a bullet in that department. Except for the semi-annual shaving of the legs festival, I’m pretty much okay. But yes, aging is not for sissies.

  16. I have never heard someone say that they would hire a lighting director if they won the Mega Million, but it sounds like a splendid idea! Jayne, you are lucky to have escaped the hairy haze of midlife. I was just down in Palm Desert for a few days and may I say hair is happening down there in various shades of blue. Between the Flintstone golf carts and early bird specials I was feeling right at home. (I do hope you know I’m kidding.)

  17. Oh, Annie, to be woken up at that ungodly hour only to hear the one man stand up routine! Clearly not my idea of starting the day on the right foot. Poor Carol. I wonder how many times she gets woken up by Ronnie. Aging. It even sounds ugly. I want to take the high road and say that with age comes maturity, experience, wisdom. But alas, tis not possible. For even though those are the positive aspects of growing old, no one tells you of the negative side. Those you’ve already mentioned as well as swelling of the lower extremities, not being able to get up after sitting for a prolonged time, lips that shrivel up and lose their fullness, hair loss, hair growth, gray hair wherever there’s hair on your body, dry skin, itchy everything, dry mouth, tooth loss, receding gums, brittle nails, vaginal dryness. Need I go on? Cause I can! The list is never-ending! hee hee! Methinks you and I should set out on an expedition to find the fountain of youth. Laughter will help us get there quicker and something tells me we can do it! It’s our destiny, Annie! What say you? :)

  18. Love to go on a search for youth with you, Bella! Especially after I read that growing list of the aging negatives. Just as I finished reading about brittle nails and vaginal dryness I started moving toward the toilet to shove my head into the bowl and continuously flush, but stopped just short. You are one funny person, Bella. At the very least we can face this aging stuff with a laugh or two. Thanks for supplying mine!

  19. Ok, since we’re sharing. I’ll see your chin hair and raise you a boob hair. That was found by my boyfriend. At the worst possible moment, if you get my drift. Sigh. I think suckfest may be a tad understated. I think it sucks monster moose cock.

  20. Oh Nicky…Nicky…Nicky. Boob hairs? My husband uses those as dental floss. Sorry that a precious moment was ruined by a tit twig, but it sounds like the two of you have worked through your landscaping issues. I think you should make a bumper sticker that says “Aging sucks monster moose cock.” Please let me be your first client!

  21. I don’t ever wanna grow up…how can I work that out?

  22. Oh Nate…this conversation would make anyone want to squeeze back into the womb. (Eww, no not that. Still creeps me.) But, stick with us bloggers…we will ease you into the horrific details of growing up. Love you, Nate!

    • I’m glad we’ve elevated to using the “L” word. I’ve been dying to say it for months now…but didn’t want to scare you off before next Friday night when I pick you up to meet the parents (it is next Friday, right?)

      P.S. I love you.

      • Right back at you, Nate. I’m thinking that the familia will view me as somewhat of a cougar with an unruly mane, so it might be best to warn them of the age difference.

  23. We have a saying here and it’s “Have you ever noticed wrong numbers are never engaged”.

    I have a few people ring me by mistake from time to time and like your little ray of sunshine they never stop long enough to enable you to point out to them the error of their ways.

    Getting older is terribly democratic, and it never ceases to amaze me how much some will spend on trying to avoid it.

  24. I like that saying, Robert. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly moving the conversation forward! Getting older never excludes anyone, although we certainly seem to throw the cash at lifting, tucking, and Botox. Thanks for dropping by from over the pond, Robert!

  25. This was hysterical. I’ve been thinking the same thing, but you said it best. I love this line:

    “Now I dash from one low lit area to the next to camouflage the vicious effects of age…a zoo mauling if you will. It’s as though my body got caught in a twister and hasn’t touched down. ” I’m adding this to my quote collection!

    Of course, you said nothing about the neck. In my estimation, that’s one of the first things to go and I feel bad about mine. Yikes!

    • The accordion neck. Damn, I forgot about that, but I didn’t want to show all my cards in case people start running for the white porcelain goddess to hurl major chunks. Thanks Monica for your comment. Great to hear from you.

  26. If anybody ever (EVER!) has the audacity to call me at 6am and I am alive enough to pick up, it had BETTER be as good as yours and contain enough material for a blog post.

    I love how you told this story. I almost want to meet your not-cousin Ronnie now.


  27. I’ve got good ole Ronnie’s number if you want to give him a shout Margaret, but probably best to leave that big boy alone. Hopefully he found Carol and she is listening to his steady stream of prison jokes.

  28. Oh Annie, Annie, Annie! Just you wait! I have no leg hair, no underarm hair, and well, I won’t go on and on here because it would be TMI. You are only hairy because you are young and still full of hormones. I doubt I even have one hormone left now. Well, there might be one. Still, at 66 I still look great, feel fine, and embrace not needing Brazilian waxes anymore. Either that, or my fucking eyesight has gotten so bad I just can’t see the hair. Whatever! It works for me!

  29. Linda, you are an inspiration. Thanks for enlightening my view on hairy beasts of burden. Now I know that I will soon be hairless and living large. Doesn’t sound bad to me!

  30. Annie, you have touched on a sore subject. Why do women suddenly get boar hairs in weird places? How can a pillow crease turn into a deep crevice wrinkle overnight? And what is up with the waking in the wee hours of dawn with strange thoughts, whether or not cartoon Ronnie is phoning? We’re doomed.

    • Renee,
      I think we have to keep our sense of humor through the process. The boar hair is a little harder to find the knee-jerk hilarity, but we must continue to strive for laughs. Yes, we have our work cut out for us!

  31. I had a good laugh over this post and even bigger laughs over the comments and your responses!! Oh, how I’ve noticed the bod going downhill! What can ya do?
    Last summer, while on our boat I kept swatting at something on my chin … only to realize it was my neck accordian flapping in the wind :( Gawd! We’ll need extra horsepower to counter the drag of my full-blown sail this summer!!

    • Astra,
      Quite the visual you’ve offered up! I had a good chuckle over the boat “flap.” Wish I could say that it gets better. I know Linda seems to think all the hairy issues vanish with the disappearance of hormones. Music to my ears! Hang in there. Seems like the road gets bumpy before the landing.

  32. Wowsers, Annie! You’ve got me scared. Even though I don’t consider myself very old, I’m no spring chicken. Kids and prolonged sunbathing will do that, I suppose. But my students frequently tell me I look younger than I am. I’m now worried I’ll wake up to pubic-like hairs adorning my entire face one morning out of nowhere.

    And really? Carol before 6 AM? Douche bag.

  33. Laura,
    Don’t worry…you have a lot of time until the pubic hairs hijack your face. Way too young for frolicking facial growth. Thanks for stopping by!

  34. Yep. Just turned 55. What is happening and why is it happening so fast?

  35. I hear you, Barb. Everyone had me scared when I turned 40. They told me that all I had to do was sleep in a little longer than normal and all my muscle tone would be splattered over the sheets. Well, that did happen, but fifty is brutal. Hold on…this is going to be a roller coaster ride we won’t forget. Thanks for the visit!

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