It’s early morning on the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend and I’m in bed nursing an upset stomach. Not because I was out drinking heavily all weekend, not because I have food poisoning, but simply because I’m old. All of the foods I once enjoyed and could eat in copious amounts have all now turned their backs on me. My whole system routinely has moments of NOPE from foods and drinks that I once loved and made me happy.
Now I’m walking on eggshells and creating food diaries to figure out who the culprit is. Was it you cheese pizza? Or was it you cookie dough ice cream? I see you hiding in the corner over there mac & cheese, your not off the hook either. The catch 22 that is adulthood is depressing. I now have the financial means to go out and have all the cheese plates, lobster mac and cheese, disco fries, and delicious pasta I want, but my ability to digest them with no incidents has decreased exponentially.
You know how sad it is to have to say “Ooooh kale salad” when you’d really rather just get a 4 for $4 from Wendy’s? Nobody is happy to eat a kale salad. I don’t care what lies they tell you. But after 30, greens and roughage are like a tall bottle of Voss water on a hot day.
The worst part of growing older is that although my self-confidence is growing exponentially, my confidence in my digestive system and joints is negatively correlated. Friends and I have whole text convos about our GI issues. We don’t share makeup tips anymore, we swap probiotic reviews. We send “Congratulations!” texts when someone has a successful bowel movement. We are jet setters, living fun, and meaningful lives, but also have to fast before a flight because we don’t want to take any chances. You know how hard it is to walk through certain airport terminals and say to yourself, “I’m only going to have a cup of tea or some water?” All because I would trust Cookie Monster to drive a shipment of Girl Scout cookies across the country before I trust my digestive tract on a 4 hour flight.
We all know the regular reasons why adulthood is a scam: bills, making your own appointments, car maintenance, grocery shopping, etc. But we rarely discuss the physical issues. I can’t drink bottom shelf liquor anymore, hell I can’t even stomach vodka. Going out for a celebratory meal and you know you’re going to eat something that no longer agrees with you, so you time out how long you have to recover and don’t make any plans within that time frame. My knees regularly remind me I should get a life alert button. Sleepovers that don’t involve actual beds are out of the question because my neck and back will cuss me out. Growing old is the Joanne the Scammer of life.
Granted it’s not all bad. You can further bond over your ailments with your peers. You learn to appreciate the good stomach and/or joint days. Nobody gets mad at you for flaking on plans because they understand the struggle as well. And despite what your body is telling you, you feel like more of a bad bitch than ever. So I guess it’s not all bad.