I flatter myself that I am improving with age. This morning’s Wordsmith offering from the fabulous Anu Garg of A.Word.A.Day was ‘crepitate’–one of my very favorites, thanks to the also fabulous S.J. Perelman‘s introducing it to me in the context of one of his typically scintillating, outrageously funny tales. I was reminded that crepitation refers to the creaking cracking popping grinding and other percussive noises of dusty old age, and that, not at all surprisingly, Perelman used it in self-deprecatingly hilarious description of his own antiquated joints as he gave what one must assume was–despite his stated intent of dash and panache–a dance demonstration to his date that was more rusty than rakish. Having done the requisite amount of damage to my own human machinery over the years by falling over and off of things, lifting things I had no business hefting, and in turn, turning, squeezing, smacking and otherwise torquing various portions of myself just enough more out of sync and syncopation that it’s remarkable if I only creak and don’t fall into syncope or crack up altogether.
So, whether dancing or just shuffling my slippered way around the hallowed halls of home, I consider myself very fortunate only to ‘boop, whoosh, queel and grake‘ like another of my pantheon of fabulous wordsmiths, James Thurber‘s, old family car, and not to simply disintegrate wholly on the spot. Grey hairs? Bring ’em on! (Best color of hair I’ve ever owned by nature, as it happens.) Wrinkles? Oh, my, yes. Smile creases are only a badge of honor reserved for people who’ve had long and happy enough lives to earn them. Aches and pains will generally come and go, with more of the comings than the goings as time passes and I forget to accommodate my crepitude a little, but by golly it beats lying around and dissipating into a dust bunny of boredom.
And honestly, lots of things get more beautiful not just in spite of but because of their evident age, so why shouldn’t I give it a try?