Monday, March 3

A Slippery Slope

It's happened. I've lived long enough to become a participant in an activity I would (and did) scoff 25 years ago.

Picture this, it's 1983 and a group of young, hip friends are squeezed into a booth at Denny's consuming copious amounts of coffee and pancakes after a night of bar hopping. Our conversation is peppered with current events, antics from the night before and 20-something angst. I believe my hair was hot pink and jutting off in gravity-defying directions, held aloft by concrete hair products and cigarette smoke. A group of senior citizens enter the restaurant, shuffling past our booth. We watch the geriatric parade pass by in slow motion and settle into a table near us. Sitting on the edge of the booth, I could eavesdrop on their conversation, which was a person-by-person account of their physical ailments. This one's gall bladder, that one's liver, another one's diabetes. They were swapping tips on navigating Medicare, private insurance and worrying about how they were going to pay for medication on a fixed income. I remember thinking to myself, Oh God! Is that all they have to talk about...spare me!

Fast-forward to 2008 and I'm sitting in a bar with a friend and a new acquaintance. We are waiting for the Gospel Drag Show to start and after talking about the upcoming election, the paradox of gay Republicans and how delicious the chocolate sin cake was from the pot luck dinner, it happened. My friend started talking about her pending colonoscopy, which prompted many questions from the other person about cost, insurance, whether she'd have twilight anesthesia or be knocked out, etc... I sat mute thinking to myself, Oh God! It's happened. I'm sliding into middle age where the conversation will center around our bowels. Luckily, the disco ball started spinning, the music started thumping and out came drag queens in choir robes topped off with sequined shawls.

Balance had been struck. Whew!

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