If you were born after 1989, LEAVE NOW.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How Grey Does Your Garden Grow?

OK, here's a TMI tidbit: I recently discovered I have not one, not two, but AT LEAST four or five pubic hairs that have gone gray. In my attempts to mask that fact and make myself feel young again, I've become quite obsessed with shaving down there and making sure that I sport the oh-so-trendy, oh-so-sexy, youthful Brazilian wax look at all times.

Now that we've got that out in the open, and I trust that you're sufficiently grossed-out, let's talk about aging. I'm 35. Turning 36 in a few weeks (eek!). A few gray hairs on my head are fine; I've dealt with that since I was in my early 20s, and each time I fish out those scraggly white strands, I either stare in wonderment at this strange product of my otherwise youthful body or I look in the mirror and start to see myself fifty years from now, and suddenly my imagination goes wild. I begin to wonder how deep those thin wrinkles around my eyes are going to get and if and when I'll suddenly stop caring. I imagine how they will undoubtedly multiply over the years, and I picture my mother and grandmother staring back at me, bags under my eyes, glaucoma setting in, and moles aplenty dotting the eroding landscape of my face. And then I wonder if my husband, who I assume will be in the rocking chair next to me (awwww), will still look at me one day and feel lust for my decrepit, wrinkly, old body and if he'll get turned on when I take out my dentures. (He'd call me Gummo.)

It's a weird thing, aging. There is a point in your life when it ceases to be "growing older" and finally becomes the stage called "aging," when instead of thinking that you're getting better with age, you fear the moment when your body suddenly turns sour and people might look at you and feel nothing but pity. Or worse, ignore you altogether.

Slate Magazine recently published a special issue on old people, replete with articles from the senior perspective and tackling issues that will undoubtedly be causes for concern among our aging baby boomer populace. One particular article got me thinking -- entitled "Naughty Nursing Homes: IS IT TIME TO LET THE ELDERLY HAVE MORE SEX?" -- what will sex be like at 70 or 80? Will I still want it, perhaps even more than I do now? Will the nursing home I'm in be one big swinger convention? And the gray pubes -- (sorry, stunning visual alert!) well, will I be shaving my pussy even then? Y'know, cuz it'd be like petting a hairless kitty?

This article was truly eye-opening. There are quite a few oversexed seniors out there, and unfortunately they're being denied the right to have sex, mainly because of liability and the fear of lawsuits on the part of the nursing homes. Some seniors are even being denied the right to conjugal visits from their significant others, which I think is downright appalling. This is obviously an issue that needs more media attention, but I fear that our ageist culture will get too grossed out by the notion of grandma and gramps getting it on in the bingo room.

It's something we have to come to terms with eventually. Just like our graying pubic hairs and deepening wrinkles.

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