Am I Better Off?

Lately, I’ve been hearing this question a lot:

Of course, no one’s actually asked me this as yet, but I figure it’s just a matter of time before they do. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be you doing the asking. So, I figure, might as well answer it now, on account that I’m chomping at the bit to tell you exactly how I’ve been doing these past four years. Though, you may very well regret you asked. (Oh, you didn’t ask? Well, that’s alright. I’m happy to tell you, anyway.)

Am I better off?

Truth be known, I could be better.

First, there’s the matter of my knee. It started acting up about a year ago when I was taking a class in leadership and someone got the bright idea to split us into teams for a scavenger hunt of sorts, as part of a team-building assignment. Next thing you know, we were plopped smack in the middle of the zoo, where we were given our marching orders. And marching we did! Along with running, trotting, jogging, climbing and descending, not to mention, dripping sweat, and gasping for air.

Because, if you know anything about the zoo in San Diego, you know it was built on a hill. Maybe even seven hills, like Rome. Only these hills are steep, whether you’re going down or up. And scavenger hunts, by their very nature, are designed to have you running around in all directions, willy-nilly.

Right away, the clock was ticking. We had an hour to find all the zoo animals on our list, and figure out the answer to a riddle about each. My friends, what you have here is a recipe for disaster, particularly for a woman of a certain age, who is well past 21.

In no time, my knee began to rebel from the brutal pummeling it was getting in my vain attempt to keep up with my team of thirty-something’s. By the next day, I was sore. Two days later I was aching. On the third day I was limping. All the ice and heating pads in the world did little to avail my pain.

Within a week I was incapacitated and a few weeks after that, my doctor referred me to physical therapy. My therapist took one look at me and I could tell at once he was skeptical I’d ever walk again. After one session, I was pretty sure he was ready to send me to the glue factory.

Completely defeated, I went home with a notebook of knee exercises he’d given me. Little by little, we began to see improvement, but, if you ask me, my knee has never been the same.

Then there’s the matter of the neck. Four years ago I still had a neck. Now, where my neck once was, there’s a mass of chicken flesh, all saggy and wrinkly with mottled skin where smooth skin had once been. The kind of neck that screams, “Look at me! I’m as  old as the hills!”

Now, I know what Nora Ephron meant when she said she felt bad about her neck. And, why Diane Keaton wears scarves all the time and other protective gear to hide her skin. Which is why, I’m thinking of wearing a scuba helmet when I go out. After all, I’d go to any lengths to disguise this neck.

While we’re on the subject, have you seen my eyes lately? Let’s just say, from now on, it’s dark sunglasses 24/7. Jack Nicholson, you’ve got the right idea!

And, we won’t even discuss those extra pounds of late, from all that rich, European chocolate that tastes–OMG, let me see if I have any left! Nope.


So, am I better off? Heck, no!

Not better off, not by a long-shot. So, thanks for nothing, President Obama! Take that, Governor Romney!

Yep, the verdict’s in: I’m not better off!

I beg your pardon? What’s that you say? That’s not what this question is all about? Hmm…

Well then, never mind. I’m fine. Thank you very much.