Let’s keep age in perspective


I couldn’t wait till I turned age 16 to get my driver’s license. The very day I got my license I drove down the street waving to a friend showing off I had reached that vaulted age. I almost ran off the road, a quick lesson in paying attention.

Age, for some reason, has a habit of going by pretty darn fast, especially the older you get. Now, the older I get, the earlier it gets late.

I suppose everyone thinks about growing old. I’ve been thinking about it more today than yesterday. I have forgotten half of what I knew when I was half my age. But, there are some advantages. I’ve figured out my supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size. My secrets are safe with my friends because they can’t remember them either.

Just the other evening I got a call at 9 p.m. A friend asked, “Did I wake you?”

“Sure did, I fell asleep watching Antiques Roadshow at 8:15,” I mumbled.

Judy and I have discovered there is really nothing left to learn the hard way anymore. Now, an added bonus is, the things we buy won’t wear out. She didn’t agree with me on that count.

We now even eat dinner earlier. Judy asked me the other day if she should cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables? I suggested she grasp the logistical efficiencies.

“What does a cow eat? Hay and corn, and what are these? They’re vegetables of course. Steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Chickens eat grain. Cows eat grass. There you go. You get your grains and daily allowance of green and leafy vegetables,” I suggested.

“Maybe I should stop drinking a glass of wine,” she mentioned.

“Honey, wine is made from fruit. They squeeze out the water and leave more of the fruit behind giving more of the grape,” bottoms up I said.

She continued, “Is chocolate bad for me?”

“Hello…. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans another vegetable,” eat up I exclaimed!

She also wanted me to buy her a swimming pool for exercise. “It will be good for my figure.”

“If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me,” I asked.

She countered, “Why don’t you take up jogging so I can hear heavy breathing again?”

I believe people reaching that magic mature age should have more benefits. “I think restaurants ought to let people over 60 eat free. Have you ever noticed a sign at a restaurant that says ‘kids eat free?’ Well, of course they eat free. Have you ever heard a kid say, ‘hey dad let me get the check.’ It’s not fair.”

“Derby, you’re one in a million,” she gasped.

“Does that mean there are 329 people just like me in America?” I replied.

Yes, the aging process has a way of making us all a little more humble. I’ve put off buying bifocals but have about 10 pair of readers, one for each room. You ought to see me grocery shopping, on and off, on and off. Judy can’t see up close with her glasses off. One of us must take off or put on our glasses to read anything.

“Here Judy read this, I can’t read it,” I say.

“I can’t. I don’t have on my glasses,” she says.

It’s a real treat. But at our age maybe our eyes won’t get much worse.

Our joints are more accurate than the national weather service. Today, at my age, I actually make a noise every time I get up.

Sometimes I actually forget why I stopped in a store and what was I going to buy. At Office Depot the other day I asked for their finest Scotch please. “Yes, sir,” the guy at the counter says as he hands me a 12-year-old roll of tape.

It’s so bad I caught myself singing along with the elevator music.

Maybe getting old won’t be so difficult. But aging gracefully is like the nice way of saying you’re slowly looking worse.

“The future will be better tomorrow.”


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