• Sahar Abdulaziz

Dear Middle Age

Dear Middle Age,

I’m writing to you this morning, in particular because I think we need to address a few important issues before moving forward. You and I do not see eye-to-eye on a small number of pertinent points, and it’s about darn time we came to a clear and concise understanding and a better working relationship. I mean, for goodness sake, we are in this together. I, of course, was here for a good- no, make that an excellent couple of decades before you, my friend decided to show up and rock the boat. Without being unnecessarily cruel, I’d like to point out that this makes you sort of the uninvited guest. Now, I know technically you would disagree with that last statement, but here’s my take on the matter.

Recently I have noticed that you have assumed certain unfathomable liberties. My once firm body now jiggles and moves on its own. Earthquake status. Where before I could bounce out of bed and hit the floor running, now I just bounce and hit nearby furniture. Not funny. Not even a little.

My face is also becoming a bit scary. I am normally thin, but did you have to make my cheeks and chin begin to concave? Or make my skin lose enough elasticity to the point that my jaws sag like saddlebags? Now, as a result of your unsolicited intervention, I look angry in every single photo taken of me. The Wicked Witch of the West, -but instead of a pointy hat, I wear hijab. Can’t thank you enough.

Oh, and don’t get me started on my eyes, which used to boast 20-20 vision. Now I need to wear bifocals that will soon become trifocals. [Do they even make those?]

Now, as a bone of contention and to prove my point, I’d like to draw your considerable consideration to what transpired just the other morning –all because of you, I might add.

As you already know Middle Age, I was forced to change my routine up a bit, because my once luscious locks now have the texture of straw, so I purchased a new shampoo and conditioner in the hope of fending off more of your impervious attacks. Now, for the record, the bottles are very similar in shape and color. However, because of you, Middle Age, my eyesight has been drastically diminished. Much to my chagrin and sheer annoyance, I found myself facing quite the predicament. In the shower, standing under the hot cascade of water, ready to begin my bathing rituals, I realized how utterly incapable I was in making out the all-too-tiny words on the unfamiliar labels. I tried everything. Holding the bottles near, and far, but to no avail. Everything remained a steamy blur, thank you very much. This in turn forced me to hop out of my glorious hot bastion of relief, butt naked, dripping like a wet poodle to put on my glasses -just to figure out which one was which. Was that necessary? This too was not funny.

And while we are addressing not funny, can I ask you why you feel the need to make me go to bed earlier than most toddlers? I mean, there are a few television shows later in the evening I’d like to indulge in instead of falling asleep in front of the boob tube, hunched over, neck all crooked, looking like a doper.

I’d also like to point out if I may, there was a time I thoroughly enjoyed the change of seasons. Romping in fields picking apples, strolling down street fairs and taking long walks in the park. Now, as the temperatures cool down drastically outside, threatening snow and ice in my immediate future, the only thing I do is stay in the house, grumpy. Watching the Weather Channel with a vengeance, and texting my grown children numerous unsolicited alerts about impending storms, hurricanes or worse. Meanwhile, just to get comfortable, I can be found roaming the house, overdosing on hot tea, stealing pieces of dark chocolate, and marching around the house in umpteen layers of clothing, which ridiculously includes socks with slippers. My vanity has been destroyed.

AND- when I’m not complaining about the weather, it’s only because I’m too busy messing around with the dial on the thermostat. I crank it up, and I get too hot. Turn it back down, and I’m back to freezing. No middle ground. I never can get comfortable. By the end of the winter, I’m temperature-fixated, and alarmingly close to becoming schizophrenic.

In closing, and while I have your undivided attention, can I also ask you what’s with all the aches and pains, in places I never knew existed? The leg spasms at night that wake me up screaming, or the stiff joints that causes me to amble across the room bent over like a gargoyle. Oh, and I especially enjoy when my knees crack- in public. That’s always special.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, Middle Age, but it’s just that I don’t find you entertaining at all. In many ways, too many to count or mention, you have been nothing but a hindrance, a nuisance, and an unwelcomed interloper- not to mention a piss-poor sidekick.

How about we get together, work this whole thing out. We’ll do lunch- if you promise ahead of time not to give me reflux, bloating or a new set of geriatric allergies.

Sound like a plan?

Give me a holler.


Sincerely yours,

Owner and CEO of this body,




Dear Sahar, CEO and Complainant Extraordinaire,

I have to say I’m quite shocked and mortally wounded. Not only do you sound ungrateful, but I truly must confess, that for someone who has been blessed with 53 years and hopefully still counting, your complaints seem rather infantile. However, in the spirit of cooperation, let me take the time necessary to address a few of my own observations.

You have the audacity to complain about sagging skin? What you negatively referred to, as a perpetual look of anger is now, thanks to me, a face of authority and intelligence. When you were young and firm, you complained incessantly about people not taking you seriously. But now, since you’ve become nothing to look at twice, and people are in fact listening to the verbiage flowing out of your mouth, you’re still not happy. What you fail to realize is that I have come into your life at this point of our life journey to grace that less than the stellar mug of ours with dedicated lines of wisdom. My advice to you, you ungrateful, insufferable twit, is to make sure that whatever comes rolling out of your mouth is worth listening to instead of worrying so much about the jawline than has morphed into a rather charming second chin.

And now to your next complaint: your waning eyesight. Whose fault is that exactly? Mine, you counter? I beg to differ. May I strongly suggest you think back about all the countless hours you have spent stupidly reading by flashlight, under your covers despite being repeatedly told by your parents to cut the crap? How about all the time you currently spend with your face embedded in a computer screen, tablet or phone? Or the gloppy makeup you fail to remember removing from your lashes before shutting down for the night. Can you ‘see’ my point? Is that funny enough for ya?

Which brings us to your next so-called extreme life-shattering drama: Big deal. Poor you, who couldn’t read a measly shampoo or conditioner bottle without wearing your glasses. At your age, you would have thought you’d be smart enough by now to remember to read the bottles before deploying your bloated body into the shower, to ‘wash those grays right out of your hair.' ---Some people never learn.

What else did you care to expound upon? Oh, that’s right, you’re not happy that your body can't seem to regulate temperature like it used to. While I will admit, you and I do battle over this issue constantly, it’s not as if I force you to dress like a homeless bag lady while doing it. That is your lazy choice, and one that you have indulged in even when you were thirty years younger. Face it- you have no taste. Someone call Oprah Winfrey and get this woman a makeover!

Mysterious and disruptive aches and pains you say? All right. This is a topic that you and I are in agreement. I feel your pain. As Middle Age, I don’t enjoy the hiccups to our routine any more than you do, but unlike you, I know it goes with the territory. I accept the fact that our gears have shifted, and some body parts have cranked one time too many. I recognize wear and tear just as much as the next guy, but so what! So you trip once in a while, bang a few kneecaps; knock your noggin a tad, but can you honestly and without hesitation tell me that you weren’t this clumsy prior to you and I co-existing? Remember; before you answer, I’ll know when you’re lying. I share your memories.

As a matter of fact, Ms. CEO of OUR Body, I can still recall that hilarious day when you were in ballet class and got your young cellulite-free leg stuck on the exercise bar. Or how about that time when you fell in the dishwasher and got a knife stuck in your knee? What was it? Ah, yes, the evening you decided to show off your karate moves while clearing off the dinner table. That was brilliant, and if I remember correctly, which of course I do, you had to have quite a few stitches to sew you back up after that debacle.

Oh, and I still crack myself up whenever I think about that morning when you threw down that gigantic overstuffed bag of laundry from the top of your stairs- only to go flying down with it, all because you weren’t smart enough to unravel the string from around your wrist first. Don’t go complaining to me about aches and pains. Most of them are self-induced, you dumb ass.

So, in closing and in my most earnest reply to your generous offer to do lunch, my answer is a resounding yes. Let’s hit the food bar. Munch down on delicious delectables until our combined heart is content, our belly is full, and our complaints are swallowed and absorbed by happy taste buds. But before we go, remember, you can’t escape me unless, you know, we die, so you and I are stuck together for the rest of eternity. Therefore, I suggest you grow up for a change. Put your big girl, larger than before panties on one leg at a time, and stop all this incessant whining and complaining.

Yours through thick, and [used to be] thin,

Middle Age

P.S.: I don't find you, funny either.

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