This process of ageing is full of elephant traps. I would never have believed that one day I would no longer be wearing high heels as a matter of course. Life wouldn’t have been worth living without a pair of heels to make the body sway in a certain way and draw the attention of the male. Then all of a sudden a bunion developed, followed in no time at all by a painful case of plantar fascilitis. The downhill trend had started. Then it was weak ankles and fragile bones. Dancing for two hours non stop had to stop. For a while I just took Arnica and went to bed while the other dancers went on to another night club. I’ve kept a couple of pairs of fabulous shoes for old times sake mind- even if now they just have to transport me from the sofa to the bed…
Yes, I’ve accepted the diminishing heels but am having a lot more difficulty accepting the possibility of my nervous system giving away my advancing years. There is an art of ageing and I had hoped that I was up to speed on it but when your nervous system turns renegade it’s not so easy. Shawls can disguise the widow’s hump but what can one do about facial tics? A fan maybe? Not chewing gum surely?
It all started on a day out with my eldest Lala, a GP who looks like a film star and is constantly on my case. “Is there something wrong with your mouth Mumsie?” she asked on our way back from a trip to the seaside. Clearly I had outlived my allotted time and had collapsed into irritating aged parent mode. “Why?” I asked innocently. “Because you are making a licking noise with your tongue,” was the reply. I laughed it off and rushed home to Google ‘Old people lickling lips.’
Oh how I wished I hadn’t. It’s even got a name. Tardive Dyskinesia, if you please. The abnormal involuntary movements of the ovofacial area. I’ve spent the day monitoring my face from within. My lips are prickling with tension. But I swear I haven’t had an involuntary lick all afternoon. Nor should I. I am not after all on any medications, prescription or otherwise and TD is usually a side effect of medication. Often mistaken for dementia. Now there’s an elephant trap I’m keen to avoid.
I had a boyfriend once who used to lick his lips in a reptilian way. I found it strangely attractive.