Getting old does not mean you recognize it.
|Older is Better
Don’t let the beard fool you; I don’t know as much as I think I do. The beard does assist in promoting my “Senior Citizen” look, though. The beard, scraggly as it is, adds 5 years to my appearance, and the white adds another 10. If I neglect my ear and nose hairs, let them grow wild and long, that’s good for another 10.
My wife thought I was crazy, looking forward to my 60th birthday. I was already getting senior citizen discounts because of my appearance, even if I had to stretch the truth from time to time. Tuesdays are senior citizens days at the Farm Fresh where I shop. Fifty-five was the magic Farm Fresh age that one becomes a senior citizen. Before turning that magical grocery discount age, I made it a point to listen carefully to the question . . . THE question that would save me 5% if it was asked right. 5%! “Are you eligible for our senior citizen discount” was the question I hated. No. Dang clerk – stupid question. But be still my heart if the clerk asked me, “Would you LIKE our senior citizen discount?” Heck yeah! I would like it! I always at least tried for the truth in my conversations.
Now, 60 was the magical year that allowed me to buy bus passes at half price! That, my friends, is a treasure of a benefit. I can travel all over the Southside, all day, including the ferries, for a buck 75!
At my age, I identify with buses. They, like me, are slow and deliberate in their movement. They do not require that I pay attention to the road. Not that I do while I’m driving, but on the bus it is much safer to not pay attention to the road. Of course, when I do drive during rush hour, I have a little trick I play. It works, too. You may want to try it. I take my glasses off. It cuts the traffic in half. Well, I only need to see the cars close to me anyhow, and it there is a reason to screech to a stop because of something happening beyond my sight, I just do what the car in front of me does – stop suddenly. Did I mention that reflexes also slow with age? Don’t have to worry about that on the bus. I can go to my seat on a bus as slowly as I need to. And on the bus a little shut eye never results in an accident. Of course, if there is an accident, there are always Depends – I tell the clerk they are for my Dad. And it doesn’t matter that the bus does not have a men’s room. Ever wonder why the elderly have bus seats all to themselves? Now I know.
As a youngster, age 5 to about age 59, I was not an athlete. Horrible at it. Always the last to be picked for a team, and then that team would groan and cry as I reluctantly moved toward their team. Sometimes they gave up then and there knowing a win was now hopeless.
Now, since I have passed that magical age of 60, I am proficient in tennis, golf, ping pong, baseball, skydiving, fencing, with the swords, not with the posthole diggers, and basketball – on the Wii. I can tear an opponent up on the Wii, and it doesn’t matter that I can’t see a thing. The sounds are happy sounds whether I score or not. For the record, my wife can knock me out every time the two of us box.
Younger men have to jog; if they walk, they are sissies. We older guys can walk, or even shuffle, around the neighborhood, and everyone says, “Hey, lookit! The old guy is walking around. That’s great! I hope I’m that active when I get to be that old. Good on you, guy! Good on you!”
Still, for my age, I am in fairly good shape. Believe it or not, I am able to do 25 pushups; walk 20 miles without breathing hard; lift the equivalent of my weight overhead and hold it there for 30 seconds, and I am never sore after my workouts. ----- Okay, okay. That is 25 pushups per week, 20 miles per month, and the equivalent of my weight over my head for 30 seconds over the period of a month, in 2-pound increments.
Age allows me to appreciate the finer things in life without hiding it, beautiful coeds think I’m cute but harmless. Being grumpy is a requisite of age; yet it got me in trouble in my younger years. And as much as I hated naps when I was younger, today I have several a day and no one even notices. Naps have become my elder, somewhat drier version of an energy drink --- I only have to remember to use a napkin to soak up the drools.
And my memory? Sharp as ever. That reminds me of my favorite all time joke, three priests and a mouse go into a bar and the bartender says. . . and the, uh, bartender says . . . The, uh . . . Well, the bartender says . . . Never mind! It wasn’t all that good a joke anyhow! Gotta go now! Almost time for the #4 crosstown bus to the #1. Time to go to the Granby Street Cemetery to visit my real friends.