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Sliding Into Old Age, Thanks to Pullover Stretch Fabric

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Old age is so much fun.


But at least there’s jersey, spandex, nylon, polyester, and knit.

Let me explain: Old age doesn’t hit you on the head with sledgehammer pin-point accuracy. It creeps up on you bit by bit, a little at a time, insidious and silent.

First you notice you can’t eat a double Whopper with cheese – or anything else – without immediate muffin top explosion. After you’ve gotten over the ever-increasing layer of belly fat (and whatever is accumulating behind you, which thankfully you can’t see), you will notice your clothing doesn’t fit like it used to. Your pants are uncomfortably snug and wearing your favorite shirt makes you feel like a generous bratwurst about to become burst-wurst.

Then you’ll find you can’t remember crap. Not your car keys, not the words to that REO Speedwagon song you memorized in two plays back in 1977, not even what you had for dinner yesterday. Last week, I cleaned out a cabinet and found a journal I had written for my son from the time I was pregnant with him until he went to preschool. I don’t remember anything from that time, and I certainly don’t remember substantially journaling his early existence.

Then there are aches and pains too numerous to list. I used to roll my eyes at old people giving graphic rundowns on their surgeries and general malaise, but not anymore. I could provide my own monologue on my failing biology. My bruised and bitten tongue is proof that while I shy away from such talk, I could easily go there.

One day, I was writing a check at my local Kroger and couldn’t read my signature, no matter how I squinted. Shortly afterward, I was forced to wearing bifocals, yet thankful it wasn’t *gasp* trifocals.

When gravity makes a noticeable arrival and parts are slipping, sliding, or ballooning out of shape, you reach for any remedy you can get. Exercise? It’s the sensible solution, but you’re kidding, right? I don’t have the time or the energy. No, relief for me comes in the form of stretchy material. The days of wearing jeans I could be poured into and low cut (tight and cute) blouses are disappearing fast in the rear view. My uniform of choice these days include lots of yoga pants and tunics with plenty of room to hide rolls of fat.

It all sounds horribly depressing, but at least covered in stretchy material I don’t have to worry about buttons flinging off into the atmosphere. I can’t be responsible for anything that could be considered a deadly weapon.

I hadn’t realized how limited my wardrobe had become until recently. Scheduled for minor surgery, the nurse who called with prepping instructions advised that I should come to the surgery center dressed comfortably. “Wear a shirt that buttons down the front,” she said. “It’ll be easier afterward.” I had no idea what she was alluding to, but it sounded simple enough.

Dispatched to my closet, I quickly learned the bad news: I no longer had much for clothing that buttoned down the front. In fact, nearly my entire wardrobe of shirts are billowy tops that slip over my head. I located one button-down from two sizes ago – nope, not going to work. I couldn’t get the buttons to meet at all. I was forced to dig deep (as in rummaging the basement) or resign myself to wearing one of my husband’s button downs.

I’m not sure when my shopping habits headed toward stretch and sans buttons. My taste in wardrobe might have changed about the same time as the onset of old age.

Digging through the basement, I located a circa 1990’s tunic that might have originally been a minidress. It was god-awful ugly, but it buttoned down the front. I wore leggings underneath. Stretch leggings, of course.

With a certain amount of disgust, I realized I had become my grandma – built for comfort, not for speed. And not really giving a damn what I looked like.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.