Though my high beams are lower than they used to be.
I'm thinking that this is how it must happen. Aging hits you like a head-on collision. Because all of a sudden, there it was, smack in my face.
There was no air bag, only an old bag.
Let's be real.
We use the term "hitting the wall" in this context, but it's not easy to find out exactly what it means. I looked through the conventional dictionaries for a definition of "hitting the wall," and they defined it as an idiom for "exercising to the point of exhaustion" or "running out of glycogen."
You have to be an idiot to believe that idiom.
And neither applies to me.
I'm at the point of exhaustion before I even start exercising, and I never have any glycogen, unless it comes in gummi.
Then I found another dictionary that defined "hitting the wall" as the point at which "one cannot make any further progress," which is close but no cigar.
I'm making enough progress.
But I'm looking like Methuselah.
Also, one sports dictionary said that a synonym for "hitting the wall," in bicycling, is "bonking."
But that's not what I'm talking about.
Though I'm betting that if you've hit the wall, you're not getting bonked.
Then I dug a little deeper and found a website called urbandictionary.com, which bills itself as "the dictionary that you wrote!"
We've officially reached an all-time low in our culture, if a word's definition can be whatever any anonymous person says it is. This would be the like having your facts checked by Family Feud.
But I digress.
Because, to give credit where it's due, the urban dictionary defined "hitting the wall," thus:
"The point at which a girl that used to be hot is no longer hot. This is typically due to advancing age."
It was the wall.
Not politically correct, but true.
And here is the example they gave, verbatim: "Heather Locklear has finally hit the wall. She must be over 40 now."
I'm not making this up.
Don't tell Heather Locklear.
She won't be able to hear you anyway, as she is over 40 and will have to turn up her hearing aid.
By the way, please note that, according to urbandictionary.com, men don't hit the wall.
Women, start posting now.
Other terms we use to talk about aging are equally ouchy. For example, we say that we "look good for our age."
OK, that might not be the best turn of phrase. It implies that if we looked our age, we would look bad. Like our age is a big secret, which it isn't, at least not for me. I'm pretty sure that my wrinkles spell 57.
And it ain't pretty.
Plus, it's a losing battle. Gloria Steinem famously said, "This is what 50 looks like," but she looked good for her age.
And she hadn't hit the wall.
The urban dictionary gives helpful synonyms for "hit the wall," which include "busted," "tore up," "haggard," "lost it," and "used up."
Still, you know the ones that are missing?
I may have hit the wall, but it didn't stop me. Which defies the definitions of the urban dictionary as well as laws of physics.
Happy birthday, to all of us who are alive, happy, and healthy.
Whether we're hot or not.
Look for Lisa Scottoline's new novel, "Come Home," and Lisa and Francesca Serritella's book, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter." Visit Lisa at scottoline.com.