baby, it's cold outside

 Well, it is cold here and maybe where you are, too, but when I wrote my title, of course the tune came attached to it.  Did  you hum it, too? Can you remember when you first heard it?   That set me to pondering.  A while ago now I wrote down a few things that tipped others off to how old I am, like knowing all the words to the MuZak pumped into elevators and stores.  It's worse than that now: I don't know the words any more.  The songs are younger than I am.  There are other indications of increasing age, more serious than that.  I'm outliving my doctors.  Happy and fortunate are those physicians who have lived to retire.  But several have died, gone to that big examining room in the sky, and I'm still here, looking for a new doctor to prop me up and keep me going.  I was going to say "man", but my new doctor is female.  Nice.  

What else?  At some point in life, in a woman's life, anyway, it seemed desirable not to give away one's age.  I was carefully taught by an older mentor not to remember the names of movie stars past their prime.  "Learn to look wide-eyed," she said, "as  you ask 'Who's Ronald Colman?"  As if anyone remembers him any more.  Try Harrison Ford.  Oh, there are so many names of new young hunks that I'm never going to remember.  Mind you, I don't think many of them are that hunky.  Tastes change with age - and discrimination? 

Here's another sign of advancing age: the presents you receive at Christmas and other festive times.  I am collecting a whole drawer full of shawls and scarves.  They're pretty and soft and warm and I do use them but usually no more than two at a time (this week, maybe more because i'm cold).   At that, I'm better off than an aging aunt whose drawers I had to empty when she died.  She had unused nightgowns, too decorative to be warm,  and stale cologne and far too many bars of French soap.  One of the nicest gifts I have received lately was a stove, a World Vision stove to enable a woman in a refugee camp in Africa to burn available fuel rather than go outside the camp to forage for some kind of wood and get raped. 

There are ways to keep one's heart warm and young.