Part of a daily countdown to 50.
87. We’ve all heard the saying, “with age comes wisdom.” I’d say that’s mostly true – I’ve learned a lot over the years and often catch myself using another old saying, “if only I knew then what I know now.”
Sometimes – more often than I’d care to admit, actually – I find myself making the same mistakes, generally with the end result being the same injuries.
When I was 15, my parents sent me to modeling classes – not because I was some super-thin raving beauty (even at my thinnest, in photos above, I was a size 11 – well beyond the requirements for even “plus size” modeling) but, well, they thought I needed to learn how to walk properly.
It was a safe and correct assumption: I grew way too fast – I hit 6’0″ by the time I was 12 – and so did my feet – a women’s size 12, also by the age of 12 – so “balance” and “grace” weren’t exactly in my vocabulary. Before the classes, I’d fallen up a flight of stairs and ended up with a knee brace for six weeks, tripped over several of my sister’s dolls, got hit with a softball while trying to catch it because my feet got tangled up in each other – you see where this is going.
Fast-forward 35 years and I’m still having the same accidents, or at least the same kind. I’ve been sleeping in a queen-sized bed since college – which means I’ve made the bed thousands of times, walked around the bed even more. Yet I still somehow manage to break my little toe once every two or three years by ramming it into the leg of the frame. I still run into tall bookshelves in my office, or into door frames as I’m walking through them. Apparently I think I’m living a life-sized pinball game.
Not convinced? Here’s another one: I started curling my hair when I was in high school – with the exception of a few ill-conceived perms in the ’80s, that means I’ve put a curling iron to my head about 12,000 times, give or take a couple hundred.
Yet, without fail, every time I get a new curling iron I have to break it in by burning my forehead. Every. Single. Time. My arms are as long as they’ve always been. The barrel of the curling iron is the same size. Yet for some reason, I can’t seem to stop rolling my hair when the hot piece of metal gets too close to my face.
I just got a new curling iron this week because the cord on my last one split. Here’s what happened the first time I tried to use it. >
That shiny stuff on the injury is a first-aid ointment that will hopefully take some of the sting out. It works – until I go to spray hair spray. Ouch.
(And yes that’s me in the morning, sans makeup and with still-damp hair. Ten years ago this photo, if it appeared at all, would have had me with makeup and styled hair.)
I still also burn the roof of my mouth on that first piece of pizza, pull hangnails even though I know they’ll bleed, run my knees into the legs of the table and occasionally forget to duck when putting something in the back end of my Escape.
So there’s that.