Real Stories, Real People – Anne Nicolai

Now, from Anne Nicolai, the wonders of aging, real stories from real people.

I turned 50 in May, and it was like someone threw a switch.

The very day of my birthday, at my party, I threw my knee out while imitating a belly dancer who was performing for the crowd. Maybe there’s a reason why people don’t shimmy like a maniac on the floor while wearing five-inch heels, but in my 20s it would have been fine even if I’d added a back flip. Now, months later, I’m dancing again (in shoes designed for the task) but my knee gets all funky when it rains, and on a few occasions I’ve hidden a stabilizing Neoprene brace under my jeans.

That’s not the only new bodily breakdown. My right shoulder hurts all the time because I sleep on my stomach with my right forearm under the pillow, and for some reason suddenly that’s not okay with Body Dearest. And where did the flab come from? The pre-batwing wobbles underneath my upper arms inspired me to buy two five-pound weights. They make great bookends. My waistbands now are tight enough to leave a mark. This happened OVERNIGHT, I swear! I have cut down on my carbs, and it helps, but I know I need a regular exercise routine. I’m a writer who sits on her assets all day.

I also have noticed, to my complete horror, new hairs growing out of my chin and my nose. Tweezers have become my best friends. I keep them everywhere–purse, car, and vanity–lest the stubble should erupt at inopportune times. I’m always sneaking to the bedroom ahead of my mate so I get time to pick away at myself in the mirror. It’s like returning to puberty, but with saggier breasts.

Aging has brought the fading hair color, of course. When the river of grey appears along my blonde part, I ask myself, “Is this the month to let it go?” So far the answer’s been no.

Finally, at least for this week, I have noticed a change in the texture of my skin. I’m not yet to the point of having chicken skin–where it stays in a peak when you pinch it. But a zillion or so tiny wrinkles have appeared at my wrists, and there are ripples of cellulite creeping up the backs of my thighs. Shaving my legs involves more pulling to create a taut plane.

I really hope this little tirade was helpful. I’m going to pour myself a good, strong drink–right after I cover the mirror!

Anne Nicolai


Minnesotan living in Mexico.