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OMG! Bob Dylan is Seventy-Five

Photo by Martin Beek

Published in ChicagoNow, May 24, 2016

It’s hard to believe that the man who wrote “Forever Young” is not. In fact, he’s kind of old. Seventy-five years old today. Of course, what does that say about me? I can still sing along with “Like a Rolling Stone,” and I still fear the answer to most things political is “Blowin’ in the Wind.” And yet, it takes me a half hour of stretching every morning to get out of bed.

My friends and I agree that, while our minds remain (in our opinion) forever young, our bodies are a-changin’. Most days feel like a game of Wack-a-Mole. That exercise to stretch our hamstrings? It ends up with great hamstrings but back pain. Try to fix our posture? It ends up with tripping and falling. You get the idea.

Maybe Bob Dylan still feels great at age 75, but most of us don’t. We try to look as good as possible. We buy face creams, color our hair, get manicures and pedicures, and shop for sensible shoes and flattering clothes. Still. So many of my friends have fallen and broken something in recent months.

Here’s how Wack-a-Mole works for the Medicare crowd. About a month ago, I went to an orthopedic doctor for my hallux rigidus (translation: bump on the top of my toe that makes it impossible to wear anything nicer than a gym shoe). She recommended a special brand of gym shoes, which I ordered from Zappos. They felt great. My toe no longer bothered me, and I was standing up much straighter. But then, I started to get nightly foot cramps that woke me every couple of hours. So, I took Magnesium because it worked for my friend with a similar problem. Then, I broke out in a rash. I could go on and on, but I decided to see my internist instead.

OK, maybe my doctor rolled her eyes a bit about my using the Ask-a-Friend School of Medicine. The rash might be from the Magnesium, or it might not. At any rate, by the time I saw her it was gone. But now we are doing blood work, searching for the true culprit for the muscle aches. Could it be something else I am taking to fix an unrelated problem? Maybe. And if I do something to fix this problem, what new little mole will pop up?

Exercise is another part of the Wack-a-Mole game of being a woman of a certain age. If I stretch muscle group A, then muscle group B is unhappy. I still ache, just in a different place. No one ever told me this would happen. No one explained that long walks could require several stops to stretch my back. But it makes sense. Even my work out idol of the 1980s, Jane Fonda, moves a bit stiffly these days on Grace and Frankie. She still looks beautiful and thin (good genes plus some “work”). But at age 78, she has stopped going for the burn in those cute leg warmers.

All of this brings me back to Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday. I know this post is ramblin’, but the fact that he is this age and I am only five years behind him freaks me out. So Happy Birthday, Bob. And how on earth did we get this old?


by Laurie Levy
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