Privilege Blog

The Real Issue

I think the real issue here is that I can’t stand it that I have to die some day. This has bothered me in one way or another since I was about 12 years old. I remember very vividly lying on my father and mother’s bed – they were still married at the time – and looking down at my hand. My parents had one of those old-style white chenille bedspreads that we all used to have before Pottery Barn made coordinating Hawaiian folk quilts match with 16 different photo frames and the exact right scented candles. I am actually expecting boring white chenille to come back into style, this time with its very own candle. But we’re not there yet. Chenille at the moment seems to be imprisoned at Penney’s and Walmart.

In any case, I remember looking down at my 12 year old hand and thinking to myself, “Some day this will be the hand of an old lady.” Sure enough, I was right. I am 52 now. And my hands are showing signs of old lady-ness. Visible tendons, prominent veins, spots I can’t in good conscience pretend are freckles. I’m not all the way to what my 12 year old self worried about. But I’m closing in.

I suppose I shouldn’t mind. Fancy celebrities who get to wear the oddest things and make money for playing pretend get old lady hands too. It’s not the hands. That’s the thing. It’s the part that comes next. The part where one day we close our eyes and don’t open them. I think that’s the problem. I can’t reconcile that with the extraordinary reality of being alive.

8 Responses

  1. I understand completely about the chenille bed spreads. I tried to find some decent ones, but no luck. I will cross my fingers in the hopes they return! Best, Becs

  2. I found you via A Practical Wedding, which I found via Project Subrosa.

    I’ve spent this evening (in the UK) reading you from cover to cover. I don’t understand the chenille bedspreads thing, but I do understand the death thing, because I had that backwards for most of my life. And I’ll be turning 50 this year.

    I love the way you write.

  3. Well Happy Upcoming Birthday! Perhaps we can all get you some virtual chenille as a present? I very much appreciate the kind words and I love Project Subrosa. After all, how can you not love something that used to be called What Guilty and Baddie Did Next?

  4. I have chenille bedspreads. Three of them actually….all in pretty good shape for their age. I don’t know why but I love to use them in the summer. Probably because I would spend a week or two at my Aunt’s house in the summer and it was my favorite place to nap.

  5. I just found your blog & I've enjoyed your thoughts & writings. This is my 3rd comment today.
    I worked for a plastic surgeon while in college (the receptionist years) & I used to tell him he'd be a billionaire (he was one of the best in the state) if he could do the two most impossible of things: 1)Shrink pores and 2)Hand surgery for cosmetic purposes.
    No medical miracles yet.

  6. Well thank you so much for coming by and commenting! I won’t hold my breath for medical miracles.

  7. I sympathize with the "old lady hands." For me, they are a constant reminder of my immortality. A very moving post. Thank you.

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