I posted a sign above my closet that reads: “Caution: Consult your doctor before any change of clothing.”
These days my favorite aerobic activity is standing up to put on my pants. Seems like the older I get, the faster I do that little hokey pokey dance of trying to stuff my foot into the leg hole while hopping in circles like a flamingo on a hot sidewalk. If both feet accidentally go in the same side, I’ll spend the entire day shuffling around like the third man in a chain gang before I’ll attempt the Herculean task of redirecting the errant leg. It’s just not worth the risk to my health insurance.
My idea of Xtreme Sports is putting on socks. In the old days pantyhose installation was the troublemaker, but the fashion gods took stock of the nation’s legs and decided it was a nifty idea for a nation of people whose lower limbs resemble the untamed face of Everest to forego hosiery. Free of the pantyhose peril among us, I’ve resorted to socks, which are not in any way attached to each other and which require someone with the dexterity of Jack LaLanne to put them on.
Scientific studies of adults over 50 in my house who are opposed to stretching or bending for reasons of health or other forms of neglect, show that people my age can suffer acid indigestion or premature death from this sort of sudden exercise onset. Last Tuesday I tried to put on a sports bra and almost cornrowed my hair. I did manage to perform an emergency facelift. My eyebrows are still missing, but the birthmark previously on my temple is now a butterfly tattoo at the base of my spine.
Not long ago I saw an advertisement for a scarf that could be tied in different ways to make 19 different outfits. Thinking I couldn’t go wrong with a one-piece wardrobe, I dug out the piece of plastic that lets me live life on borrowed dimes and bought one. Before I got it out of the package it worked itself into a sort of fabric Rubik’s cube. I wedged it over my head and squeezed my arms through. These days I have to flex my left shoulder to lift my right leg. I need two assistants and an Eagle Scout with a Swiss Army knife just to walk up the stairs to my front porch. Every time I try to take a step, the back hem shoots up my back like Levelor blinds.
I thought about trying yoga to improve my flexibility. I popped in an exercise video, but by the time I dropped into the downward dog position, I required the assistance of a veterinarian. I found it rather humiliating to wear the satellite dish collar, but it worked wonders to keep me from biting my stitches.
Then yesterday while surmising out how to safely remove a panty girdle without friction burns that took care of unwanted hair better than a series of laser treatments, I thought back to the popular movie, The Bucket List. Suddenly I realized that if I were to name the one thing I wanted to accomplish with my life before that final stroll through the Pearly Gates, it would be to dress myself without the need for a pictorial directory of the human anatomy, an emergency responder team, or the jaws of life on standby.
My half century of life has taught me an important lesson. When you dream, dream big. But don't bend over.