Senescence n. the state of being old.
Senescent adj. the process of becoming old
The word SENESCENCE came up in a recent crossword puzzle. Such a pretty sounding word when first heard, bringing to mind something gauzy, glittery and floating. If only that were so, but it’s a most deceitful word. Repeat it several times – senescence – senescence – senescence – and it develops a decidedly sinister undertone more in keeping with its true meaning.
However, it’s a fun, interesting word to throw around in casual conversation; over coffee with friends: “My senescence is really bothering me today,” as you cough and maybe fake a slight limp. Or during a phone conversation with your sister: “I had a terrible attack of senescence last night, couldn’t sleep a wink.”
Reporting to your doctor: “Has my senescence progressed any further? Isn’t there anything you can do? People die of this!” The doctor will stroke his chin and agree. “Well, yes, it IS eventually fatal. There are studies being done, of course, but nothing too promising as yet. We’ll certainly watch it. In the meantime, take two aspirins and call me in six months.”
What to do? Panic sets in. It’s irreversible and I’m too young, much too young. Maybe a brand new wardrobe: mini skirts, boots, skinny jeans, vivid colors, possibly some false eyelashes. Definitely bright red manis and pedis. Anything – anything!
Chiffon scarves! lots of scarves! That’s a great idea! Not TOO long though; remember, Isadora Duncan strangled on one. One must be prudent. I’ll grow my hair out, long, flowing blond locks, definitely long, definitely blonde – or maybe red – or jet black!! The glasses and hearing aids will have to go.
Let’s fight this thing on its own level – even as we stumble around in the gloom without our glasses and shout “HUH?” in the middle of every conversation.
Senescence be darned!! I’ve decided to outlive it.