Last week I attended a professional conference in San Francisco. In my “other” life, prior to The Big M, I worked as an Enneagram consultant. (The Enneagram is a personality map, too complex to go into here. Basically, it offers a framework for understanding self and others. For more info, you can visit my Essential Enneagram website or Everyday Enneagram Blog.)

Anyway, the point of this story is that there was the usual final evening banquet, dance, and silent auction to raise funds for the professional association. Dewitt and I are silent auction junkies; we scope out all the goodies, rank them, and often find at least one must-have item. So we were primed and ready.

In the past, our silent auction choices were things like dancing lessons, golf vacations, jewelry, or artsy stuff for our home. We always felt so virtuous bidding on something we’d never ordinarily seek out while contributing to a good cause.

At this particular event, we wandered up and down the long tables. Beautiful jewelry, fine wine, and outings were offered in abundance. Lately however, I feel like I have enough jewelry, didn’t want to haul the wine back with me, and have enough outings coming up that I’m longing to be home a little more.

So nothing was appealing. Until I saw it. A small unassuming box. A magic box. Containing a device I did not own. I had to have it.

Easy one step, it promised. Clinically validated for accuracy. Large digital display. Lifetime warranty.

It was (drum roll please) a Blood Pressure Monitor. And hardly any bids were listed. I rushed over to Dewitt (as I am wont to do in these situations, because I can count on him to be a tenacious auction hound) and whispered, “I have to have THAT!”

To his credit, he didn’t question it, just got to work, while I visited with colleagues and surfed the food tables. Long story short, he won it. I was the proud owner of a Life Source Easy One Step Blood Pressure Monitor.

After paying for it, we made the rounds of friends and associates at other tables. I kept the magic box awkwardly tucked under my arm, unwilling to let my prize go.

“Oh my god,” screeched an Enneagram professional woman friend of Menopause Goddess age. “I bid on that! I actually wanted it.”

“How weird is this?” I asked her. “Have we reached the old people stage of life where medical equipment trumps spa supplies, adornments, and vacations? Oh my god, we are pathetic.! What if the auction had included large type remotes or ginormous pill boxes? Just imagine the frenzy if there’d been one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up services offered. Yikes!”

“Nah, we’re not pathetic, she laughed. “We still dance and travel and dress up. We just care about our health. Too.”

So this is it. Another bizarre manifestation of my own personal aging. Bypass the wine. Forget the trips. Scratch the jewelry. Go for the medical and health supplies.

Still, my Enneagram buddy is right. This is additive not subtractive. Health, travel, silver earrings, and wine. I love them all.

And I love techie things. Like my iPad. And my blood pressure monitor. Oh, and my reading was 120/80. In case you were wondering. I was.