2017-03-16 / Columns

Tap dancing into the golden years

Elizabeth Kirby

About 35 years ago, a needlepoint pillow rested comfortably on our living room couch, strategically placed by Mom.

“Screw the golden years,” it declared.

Never one for subtleties, Mom must have thought “Home Sweet Home” was just for the Catholics across the street who went to church every Sunday and smelled like incense.

OK, maybe I’m not golden yet, but my hairs are, thanks to Lady Clairol, who keeps me from looking like Dad’s old Buick.

Today, fueling this jalopy is a different story. That bag of chocolate peanut clusters no longer serves me well and, gosh, I hate to change my evil ways. So I heed the words of Churchill, who said, “When I was younger I made it a rule never to take strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.”

Right before breakfast, I stretch with our dogs, our two doodles, in the morning. It’s enough for them; why isn’t it enough for me? Maybe I need to share their Alpo, but then I’d have bad breath and start chasing squirrels.

OK, so maybe not squirrels, but I’ve learned that I have to keep rolling. Turn the engine over, baby. But don’t watch me get up off that yoga mat unless you need a good laugh. It’s a spectacle of what happens when snickerdoodles meet vodka and Doritos.

Sadly, these changes come at a time when I’ve really perfected my skill sets. Like the art of parking myself on the couch with the newspaper and a tall cool one. From this practice, I’ve earned a bucket of arthritis instead of a gold medal. Actually, I don’t even need alcohol anymore. I just stand up fast for the same results.

To stay in the game, I go to the gym with a riotous bunch of gals several times a week, where we leap our way into feeling marvelous. The more I move the better I feel.

So I started tapping. No, not for the NSA.

I’m shuffling off to Simi Valley to Serendipity Dance, baby.

OK, pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing. I’m learning new tricks. In fact, there’s a hiphop class that starts before mine and I have absolutely no idea what language they’re speaking. But I do speak “and 5, 6, 7, 8 . . .” and I’m not counting my hot flashes.

There’s no question I’m the old broad in the class among youthful fellow tappers who talk about helping their kids with Girl Scout cookies, homework and soccer tournaments. Hey, I can enlighten them on Medicare and restless leg syndrome.

Yes, I might be tapping my way into the golden years.

“I am you,” I think to myself. “I danced . . . and I did Girl Scouts and homework and soccer tournaments.” It’s just that . . . I’ve been in the plumper a little longer.

Elizabeth Kirby has been around a long time—a resident of Thousand Oaks since 1983, whose glass is usually half full if she can find it. Her column appears twice a month in the Acorn. Reach her at kirby@theacorn.com or kirby.hanson@verizon.net. To read all her columns, check out her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/elizabethkirbyandhotflashes.

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