Saturday, November 18, 2006

Being Long In The Tooth

As I near the big 50 I am beginning to understand the toll living takes upon a body. AARP has yet to aggressively launch a recruitment program on me, but my days are numbered as I slide closer to being a senior citizen. I'm not laughing either.

The last month has been an expensive one for me.

Ever hear of the expression "long in the tooth"? I now know what it means, having had the undesirable position of experiencing it first hand. You know you are old when you are "long in the tooth". What happens is that at some point in your younger years you loose a bottom tooth. Then as you mature the tooth above the hole begins to drop from the forces of gravity. Over time that tooth appears longer than those next to it. For me, two back teeth on the bottom were pulled years ago due to infection. Because of this, I became long (enough) in the (upper) tooth by the extractions performed years ago that I was developing a space in the gum line that was a bacteria breeding ground. Dentist recommendation? Pull them now, or pay for it later. So now I have less teeth to brush (which maybe isn't such a bad deal after all). The extractions cost me next to nothing - what's gonna hurt are the two crowns that are planned for after the first of the year. Add to the crowns will be the cost to repair the front tooth that chipped after years of breaking thread while mending. (Lesson learned here - a stitch in time is fine as long as you use scissors).

And I thought that was bad.

Lately, I have had the darnedest time reading fine print. I wear contacts most of the time and had only been using my glasses at home (trust me it was safer that way for everyone involved). OK, I've got a confession to make. I haven't had my eyes checked for a few years. Plus, I had taken to wearing the contact lens for my right eye in both eyes because the special "toric" lens that I needed to wear in my left eye for astigmatism irritated the heck out of it. I finally decided to bite the bullet and get my eyes examined. No small wonder, that the optometrist began laughing at me before he could finish the examine. He actually asked, "you can't see much that isn't fuzzy can you?" Well, what can I say? I had it coming.

The good news is I can still wear contacts. The bad news is I will have to use reading glasses with them for fine print. Does this sound familiar? It took a while for the news the doctor was telling me to sink in. O MG - I am getting old - the prescription for my new glasses is going to be bifocals! Oh, and to make things worse - the gal that fitted me for them pointed out that these bifocals were going to be "stronger than average" so having a set of glasses with two types of lens in them would be "very obvious". So I had to swallow the financially induced groan that was trying to escape me and shell out extra for a lineless lens or be faced with the possibility of looking like a real geek while wearing them.

(Look, vanity is still a factor - I AM NOT 50 YET. All I can say is thank God for those fleecy coverups and cute heavy sweaters that are in style. It's great to at least look good while your bones are achy from the cold).

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posted by Is It Just Me? at 8:31 AM