Shell Shocked: Aging in Sanibel
Let’s start with an assumption. We’re all getting older. Are you with me so far?
Aging is nature’s way of telling us to slow down. Naturally, we fight nature’s ultimatum every way we can. We wear hair pieces, do tummy tucks, swallow dietary supplements and dance the night away all in an effort to turn back the clock.
Since Sanibel is a haven for the prematurely mature, I’m here to present the definitive word on how to age gracefully without all the fuss and bother. All of my findings run counter to popular myths and practices.
1. Let more stress into your life. Stress serves many useful purposes. First, it keeps CVS busy by providing anti-depressants and calmer downers. CVS serves a very useful purpose in our community and stress helps to support it. And second, stress keeps you on your toes. Letting tension, anxiety, worry and depression into your life gives you a sense of purpose and keeps you occupied.
2. Recent scientific studies have determined that fat bellies are more physically attractive and beneficial than the washboard look seen in fitness centers and health magazines. Fat bellies prevent injury when rolling down a hill. They preserve precious bodily fluids and vitamins during a prolonged hurricane. They emulate the look of pregnancy, which is vital for the preservation of our species. And they frighten roaming alligators.
3. Baldness is in. There’s no need to wear ill fitting hair pieces, or go through the angst of hair root surgery. Take a look around you. Ninety percent of the men you’ll see at Timber’s have closely cropped hair, or no hair at all. Few people realize that the Cue Ball Society representing the interests of bald men everywhere embarked on a massive marketing program to promote the bald look. It’s obviously worked. Many women in Sanibel are also taking the cue and are abandoning their golden locks.
4. Rounded shoulders fit in perfectly with the Sanibel stoop seen regularly on the bodies of shell collectors. Where else would walking at 45-degree angles fit in more routinely?
5. Designer walkers have made their use more stylish and less embarrassing. Have you seen the new Calvin Klein walkers?
6. It’s now been determined that abundant wrinkles are really good for the skin. Attempts to rid ourselves of obtrusive wrinkles create serious side effects, such as good looks, self assurance, high self-esteem and success. These side effects are only temporary and can be reduced through the above mentioned stress, baldness and rounded shoulders.
7. And, finally, let’s dispel the myths about plastic surgery. Isn’t there something sacrilegious about observing a 90-old woman who looks 30? She may look 30, act 30, think 30, but she’s really 90. Isn’t this worse than impersonating a police officer? Plastic surgery creates a race of people who are opposed to aging, vote against senior citizen policies, wear bikinis and talk jive. Is this what we want in Sanibel?
So the next time you walk down the beach, notice the bald heads, the pot bellies, the stooped shoulders and the deep wrinkles. Then you’ll know you’re in a healthy environment.
-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.