What’s in YOUR Medicine Cabinet?

Comedian Gail Forrest has discovered a new game she finds particularly useful on dates: Pharmaceutical Geography or "what meds are you taking?"

I was never good at games. Monopoly almost did me in as I never won a round or accumulated property. I longed for Park Place but always ended up in jail. The only card game I ever tried and won was War but that’s just the luck of the shuffle. Forget Backgammon as the board made me dizzy and involved thinking. Being Jewish I noticed that we have a special game everyone loves and wants to play: Jewish Geography.  When there is more than one Jewish person in a room – let the game begin! It’s basically: Who do you know? Where are you from? Do you know Sam Schwartz’s first cousin Diane because my Uncle David was married to her niece, but I think they got divorced and Sam also has a bad case of gout. This goes on until someone knows someone regardless of how distant and then there’s a big sigh of relief. It makes my eyes itch and cross. I usually know no one and when these conversations start I long to be an orphan.  

I moved on to a more relevant line of questioning as an adult. Where did you go to college? Are you still working? How many times have you been married? Is your divorce final? Do your children live at home? Can you drive at night? What time do you eat dinner? The answers reveal a lot about a person including whether or not I would have to drive and eat at 5:30. I have been married twice so I am not judgmental about the number of spouses unless it’s in the double digits.  

Now I catch myself playing a new game which is totally surprising and makes me long for Monopoly. Out of nowhere, the questions have changed. Recently I was on a walking date and the conversation turned from how many children and grandchildren we had to high cholesterol and sleep meds. Suddenly we were talking Lipitor, Pravachol, and edibles.  It was almost intimate.

In terms of dating, what better way to get to know someone than learning what meds they take?

It’s that time of life to play Pharmaceutical Geography. Over fifty anyone can join the game! In terms of dating, what better way to get to know someone than learning what meds they take? Out with are you a Republican or Democrat and in with what prescriptions and supplements do we have in common? Got Black Cohosh?

Things in common are always a big plus. It used to be movies, hobbies, and careers. Now it’s Lexapro, Prozac, Wellbutrin or Zoloft.  I find it comforting to bond over anti-depressants and therapists. My last date was a therapist and it turned out he medicated me via high cholesterol and needing a new knee. He limped, poor guy.

So far I have all my original joints, but 38 years of running and now living in a third floor walkup are wreaking havoc on my left knee, as well as my doctor shaking his head about my right hip on my bone density test. I’m never taking another one to assuage his worry and mine. A handful of Advil and nothing hurts. I’m an Ibuprofen fan but feel a kinship to those who love Aleve or Naproxen.

Sleeplessness never fails to be a hot topic with friends and dates

Sleeplessness never fails to be a hot topic with friends and dates as I don’t know anyone who has had a good night sleep in years. My last one was when I was seventeen and got up rested at the crack of noon. A solid 10 hours with not one bathroom break.  I call those the “good old days.”  I have read every available article on how to get a night’s rest and all about the new phrase “sleep hygiene.” That still confuses me. Does that mean a shower or clean sheets or a hazmat suit?  I recently listened to a podcast on SuperAge with Dr. Michael Breus who is a sleep guru.  I believed every word of advice he gave but I would need him to move in to really help me out!  I’ve noticed among my friends it’s an Ambien or Lunesta world. Although lately, I’ve heard magnesium thrown into the sleep mix and anything with the word “Calm” in it. OMMMM.

Exercise is the “get out of jail free card” in Pharmaceutical Geography.  Walk, run, lift weights, ride a bike, hike, swim, ride a horse, or surf — just keep moving.  And feel confident if your joints disintegrate in the process there is a replacement for every one. 



To Your Health!

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. As a doctor I can tell you that this is too close to the truth. Every year there seems to be a new one added to the list. MATCH and JDATE should require a list of current medications just like NORTHSHORE.
    Thought for the Day
    “These days my back goes out more than I do.” Phyllis Diller

  2. More good insight to conquering aging relationships Gail. You have a keen and very entertaining way of looking at life and I always enjoy reading your musings. Keep ‘me coming!

  3. Just maybe someone with boundaries might not want to share the intimacy of their medicine chest with an overly inquisitive date. Blood pressure or cholesterol medication? Surely they mean you are a lazy unexercised sloth?! I can hear the value judgments being made, the persons being dismissed as unworthy, because of overly sharing personal medication information with someone prone to such judgmentalism.

    • It’s a personal decision what to disclose. Some people want to know if they would have to take care of someone later in life…..as they say men are looking for a “nurse and purse” and women are aware of this.

  4. Thanks for the smile, Gail. So funny and, this is what we do on our gals walks too! I’m lucky I have friends since high school days in Winnetka IL. We used to talk about new jobs, clothing, flirtations, evenings out. Now it’s about the endless body scans (at my annual mammography yesterday I felt like I was trying out for Cirque du Soleil), alternative medicine and broccoli sprouts. Based upon your comments, on our next walk I think I’ll try the question, “What makes you happy?” and see where that takes us.
    I look forward to your next piece!

    • What makes you happy is a good question and it will be very interesting to hear the answers. It is harder to answer than one would think….a brain stumper I’m guessing. Taking more time to answer than what muscle aches this morning? That’s an easy one….at least for me.

  5. I’m not on any meds at 56 other than an allergy pill and B12 and I’m currently taking a vacation from the allergy med, just to see if I’m still allergic to everything on God’s green earth. Why that may have changed, I don’t know but it seems like something I want to do. lol. Epi pen remains nearby, just in case. 🙂 Good thing I’m married and not single and looking. I would be the one thinking, “TWO high blood pressure meds AND Lipitor?!! How long can this last?!!” but not judgey about the exercise bit as I’m a bit of a couch potato who needs to lose 25lbs…some day. Life can be hard and it can be harder for some than others. Getting older sucks but the alternative looks worse so it’s “Suck it up, Buttercup” as I get older and yet another doctor tells me I have “barnacles” when I ask him about spots on my hands. Barnacles!

    • Well good luck on your going allergy meds free. My back and quad just went out and I lunged for everything in my medicine cabinet!!! My liver will be very mad at me. I am spotted also….arghhh. I like you “Suck it up Buttercup” tune. Yes, suck it up or give up…..Keep up the good work and thanks for reading!


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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