THE PERSON I’M NOT

I am not this person. It is the icon that I created that is supposed to represent me. Ha.

I am not sure who I am exactly, but I know the person I am not.

I am not the person who loves hiking. Hiking involves the outdoors, coats on cold days, strong calf muscles,  and a complete obliviousness to insects, snakes, and other vermin created by Mother Nature. Hiking trails have roots and holes. They contain hills and gullies. I am not a gully fan. There is a lot of dirt outside. It can turn into mud at a moment’s notice. I am not a mud lover. I wish I loved hiking; it seems as if it makes the pandemic fun for millions of people.

I am not the person who greets life challenges like the pandemic with a sudden desire for sourdough starters, knitting patterns, and jigsaw puzzles. First off, sourdough bread tastes sour. Sour is not a flavor I embrace. Knitting anything other than a scarf is very intricate. You have to pay attention, so all those people who can knit while watching tv are way above my pay grade. I don’t have a pay grade, but the expression fits, ok? As far as jigsaw puzzles go, they are fine, but I have a cat. Having a cat precludes puzzles, as all cat owners know.

I am not a person who can get up off the floor without using my hands. I may have discussed this in previous blog posts. Fitness pundits (if they are on the internet, they must be experts, right?) say that if you can’t do this, you will die in five years. My prognosis isn’t good. I did manage to get up one time without using my hands, but in doing so, I threw my back out, and it took three visits to the chiropractor to set it right. He was shocked that he, too, had only five years to live.

I am certainly not the person who has suffered mental challenges and deep frustration due to pandemic isolation. My daily life is the same today as it was five years ago. Or ten years ago. Name some years ago; it is the same. My life hasn’t changed, because I am not an extrovert. I am what they call an “extroverted introvert,” This means that I like a good cocktail party as much as the next extroverted introvert: one party every ten years or so, with people I already know, and with one good anecdote under my belt. Thus, the pandemic, as long as it draws to a close by 2030, is no big hardship for me.

I am certainly not the person who spends a lot of time arranging the accessories on my bathroom counter,  putting on makeup and flattering tops, then standing in the bathroom taking selfies to post on Instagram to illustrate: how young I look, how fashionable I am, how slim Photoshop can make me seem, and how fun my life is (in the bathroom??). I see so many Instagram accounts filled with daily bathroom mirror selfies, and I am astounded that the people posting them think that the rest of us want to look at them every day. The people who do this–do they feel good because they look good in these pictures from their bathroom? This isn’t totally fair, because these folks (ok, women) also post shots at restaurants, on hikes (see above), with a group of friends who also look fantastic, and even lying in bed with their dog/cat/parrot. I might consider doing this if I had better makeup, fewer wrinkles, and more than fifteen thousand Instagram followers, because maybe having a few thousand Instagram “likes” would fulfill me. I am about fourteen thousand followers shy.

Oh, and I am not the person who can revel in the fact that I am getting old. Betty White I am not. This morning I looked at my hands and realized that I now have “old people skin.” How did my taut and smooth skin turn so suddenly into crepey and wrinkled? I swear my body looked normal about a week ago. But overnight it turned on me, and I look like my skin is shriveling. I hate this. No amount of collagen, hyaluronic acid, or Lubriderm will change this. I am, however, tempted to order some of those micro-needling under eye patches, because they seem to really work in the Instagram ads. But when I showed an ad for them to my husband, he noted that the models in the ads were probably in their late thirties, without actual under eye bags in the first place, because the ads only show those models peeling the patches off, for God’s sake.

I am going to miss Betty White.

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