This is not a “Whatever happened to Max Klinger?” type of Corporal Mystery.
No, this is Corporal in the sense of “What the heck is going on with my body?”
As I come within a week of turning sixty-two, it has occurred to me that in many ways my body is still an enigma to me.
Some of my questions go way back to childhood. You’d think I would have figured myself out by now.
My nose, for instance:
Why am I sometimes only congested on one side? If I have a cold, don’t I have a cold on both sides of my nose? Only sometimes I don’t. Right clear. Left clogged. Are viruses directional?
And then there is (excuse me, but I feel I must discuss this) – Flatulence. Gas is a mystery that I have wondered about since I was nine (but not constantly, of course):
If gas is lighter than air – if I fart, and lose that gas, do I actually weigh more than before I farted?
I keep saying that one of these days I am going to remember to weigh myself after a good rip, but I only have delicate rips. I think I should enlist my husband for this scientific experiment.
As I got a little older, my feet began to puzzle me.
Why do my feet feel so good when I try on new shoes at the store – only to kill me after I buy those shoes? Are my feet just pretending to be happy because they like to try stuff on?
And then there’s my stomach.
Why does my stomach not like the same food that my mouth likes? I’m talking about Pizza. I LOVE pizza. My taste buds are committed to pizza. So why is my stomach committed to heartburn?
Instead of understanding the workings of my body, growing older has only added to the confusion.
My eyebrows are thinning. I’ve got bare spots. So if I have places where the hairs won’t grow – why oh why do eyebrow hairs keep coming out in places very far afield from my actual brow area? Can’t those runaway strays start falling out too – at least at the same pace as the ones who were behaving themselves?
Since I’ve already been gross enough to discuss farting, let me spend a few seconds on peeing.
I think I learned in Biology class in 1967 that your metabolism slows when you sleep. So that you can sleep many hours in a row and rejuvenate your body. You’d think old kidneys would be even slower. But no. Old kidneys just speed up. I have to pee more at night than when the sun is shining.
This reverse metabolism may also be responsible for the weird phenomenon of overnight weight loss. I seem to lose two pounds during the night, only to put it back on during the day. And although it is obvious that I am eating during the day, I am also walking around – sometimes even zumba-ing around. At night, the only exercise I get is the multiple trips to the bathroom. Why does this burn so many calories? Would I be thinner if I gave up Zumba and took up Napping?
And finally – on the subject of thinness –
I’ve worked hard this year to eat healthier and exercise more. And it’s really paid off. I now weigh less than I weighed on my wedding day, more than twenty-one years ago.
But even though I am slimmer, my ass is larger.
Yeah, yeah.. I know; it’s part of being over sixty.
But here’s what I don’t get:
If it’s natural that my butt gets bigger as I age, why can’t my breasts grow too? – at least a little?
Come on boobies… my behind is leaving you behind.