Impending Milestone Birthday

In less than one week I will celebrate my most significant birthday since I turned 21. But with a lot less fanfare, fewer drinks, and no hangover. Yes, I am approaching 65, the golden age of social security and Medicare in the United States.

I’d prefer to have ignored how old I’m about to be, but around six months ago I began receiving at least one piece of mail a day from a Medicare supplement provider. If I’d kept them all I could have wallpapered our guest bathroom with the literature detailing the fine points of each plan. Maybe I should have as a public service—most of my friends are nearing 65, as well.

A couple of weeks ago I opened a letter to find my official Medicare card inside. My biggest hope is that I don’t have to use it for at least ten years, but it’s tucked into my wallet just in case someone needs to card me at a bar or something.

Yesterday I received a phone book-sized handbook. Not a big-city sized phone book, and not a recent one, more like an old one from my youth back when we still received new phone books once a year. Nowadays we only receive the Yellow Pages, but I digress. I digress because that’s what old people do, and even though I’m not yet 65 I need the practice. “Get off my lawn you young whippersnapper!”

I can picture the dude in the upper right hand corner saying “Whippersnapper.”

Don’t you just love how healthy and happy all the old folks look? Maybe I’ll look the same once I’m 65. Fingers crossed.

It’s thick! Like me!

I know age is more than just a number. It’s how one feels and acts, right? At the moment I feel annoyed about all the Medicare literature I keep getting. I’ll bet some young whippersnapper is having a good old time sending this stuff out.

Peace, people.

Survival of the Oldest

Sometimes I can forget that I’m in my sixties, while other times the limitations of my age rear up and smack me right in the face. Yesterday, as I chaperoned a group of 17 and 18-year-olds on a trip to an amusement park, there was no doubt that I’d passed the threshold of youth and doddered into the realm of the (nearly) elderly.

The other chaperones were all lovely young women who made me feel welcome. Their children were among the recent high school graduates on the trip, while I was there for my grandson. They all had tons of energy. My meter was running low.

I did my best to keep up with the younger women, but between the 90° heat and my almost total lack of sleep the night before the trip, I lagged a bit. I might’ve whined a couple of times. But—I prevailed! Maybe not in a glorious manner, but I’m still alive to write this morning, so that’s a win.

That’s me in the back on one of the more harrowing rides…🤪
That’s me in the front—just kidding. I think I was sitting on a bench in the shade when this was snapped.

I’m glad I was able to go on this trip, but if I’m going to be there when the next grandchild needs me I’d better start aging in reverse.

Oh, just a word about these “kids” we chaperoned. They were so well-mannered that at times I wondered who was chaperoning who. What an amazing group of young people with big dreams and bright futures. It was an honor to hang out with them.

Peace, people!

Old is Relative

My youngest granddaughter has for several years done this hilarious impression of me in which the only words uttered in her shaky approximation of an elderly woman are, “I’m a little old lady.”

She also does impressions of her dad and her Poppa (aka Studly Doright) in which one says, “Hey man, you want a beard?” And the other answers, “No man. I’ve already got a beard.”

By “beard” she means “beer” and that cracks me up. I feel very lucky and loved to be portrayed as a little old lady.

Today, I’m 63 for real. A true little old lady.

Peace, people.

We Have a Floater

Lately my health has been Rosanne Rosannadanna-ish. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Yesterday I was in the waiting room of a radiology clinic awaiting a CT scan of my digestive tract when my right eye went wonky. First there was a bright flash of light from the corner of that eye followed by what can only be described as a parade of ink blot animals à la Rorschach. Well, to me they appeared to be animals. Who knows what some of you degenerates might’ve seen. There was an elephant dragging a walrus, a hippo in a tutu, a lamb with a baton, among others.

I called the eye doctor’s office just before I was handed my first barium smoothie, and had an appointment scheduled after just a few sips. Yum, yum.

The second smoothie didn’t go down quite as easily, but it could’ve been worse. Some folks in the prep area had to drink three of the concoctions. The CT scan was kind of fascinating. I’m always amazed by, and a little leery of, the ways in which systems within the body can be manipulated:

Them: We can make you think you’re urinating.

Me: No, you can’t!

Me, two seconds later: Holy cow! I think I’m urinating.

After the test I grabbed a quick bite to eat and went directly to my eye doctor’s office. They took more pictures of the inside of my eyes than a helicopter mom takes of her offspring.

Not my eye, but still pretty cool, right?

I’d worried that my retina was detached, but apparently people in my age group are susceptible to such floaters.

Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.

Diagnosis: I’m old.

I’m scheduled to see my gastroenterologist tomorrow, and if all goes well I’ll get a similar diagnosis from him: “Nothing to see here. Move along. You’re just old.”

Today though, I’m going for a facial. My insides might be old, but my outsides don’t have to advertise that.

Peace, people.

Invisible Woman (to the tune of American Woman)

Friends on Facebook have been discussing the ways in which we become somewhat invisible as we age. I’d written a post about this idea a few months back,,

but the phrase Invisible Woman made me think of The Guess Who classic hit, American Woman, and once I had that thought in my head I needed to run with it. Please forgive me!

Invisible Woman

Invisible Woman ain’t no big deal

Invisible Woman, she ain’t all that real

Invisible Woman, ain’t no big deal

Invisible Woman, she ain’t all that real.

Say I,
Say N,
Say V,
Say I,
Say S,
Say I,
Say B,
Say L, Say E

Invisible Woman ain’t worth your time
Invisible Woman won’t tip a dime
Invisible woman ain’t worth your time

Invisible woman, your hair is grey
Invisible woman, can’t hear what you say
Can’t see you sittin’ on that stool
Won’t save you from drowning in a pool
Younger girls have caught my eye
Even though I’m a real old guy
Now woman, just fade away,
Invisible woman, you won’t get no play.
Invisible woman, you’re sixty-one
Invisible woman, past prime and done
Don‘t bother trying to order beer
We’d rather serve the young chicks here
Your wrinkles cause me to ignore
Everything about you bores
I think that’s enough, don’t you. It gets pretty repetitive, and I’m no song writer. And it’s not that I’m trying to get noticed by men. It’s that I want to get noticed by wait staff!
Here’s the real deal. Man, I love this song.
Peace, people!

Oh, The Things That You’ll Lose!

If you’re anything like me this is an outline of the things you stand to lose beginning in your 40’s:

The first to go will be your 20/20 vision, and even if you already wear corrective lenses suddenly you’ll be unable to read the fine print on medicine bottles. And it happens overnight, literally “now you see it; now you don’t.”

Next on the chopping block is your ability to hear words in normal conversation or on the movie screen. “What’d they say?” will become your new theme song. I chalk this loss up to too many years of loud rock and roll. “Huh?”

Sometime after the hearing begins to go, you might notice your bladder starts to lose its ability to hold out against sneezing, coughing, and laughing. Invest now in bladder control products.

The memory might’ve started to wane around the same time as the hearing, but I really can’t remember.

As long as I don’t lose my sense of humor I guess I’ll muddle through: blind as a bat, hard of hearing, incontinent, and forgetful. Baby, I’ve got it all going on.

Peace, people.

Get Off My Lawn

Do we get crankier as we get older, or could it be that we just do not care anymore what people think of us? Maybe that perceived crankiness is just a result of the wearing away of social constraints. Why am I even contemplating this?

I’ve been a fairly nice person most of my life, but I do have something of a temper. It’s something I try to work through, and I’ve gotten better at it through the years, but now as I approach my 62nd birthday I find that I’ve lost my ability to tolerate certain things.

Usually those things are large concepts, like racism and misogyny. I have zero tolerance for those who discriminate on the basis of race or gender, and I’ve been saddened to discover that some people I counted as friends over the years do both. I’ve gotten cranky with them, and in some cases they are no longer my friends.

Other times those things that make me cranky are little and local, like littering. One day last week I was behind a 40-something mother and her pre-teen son as they exited a convenience store in Tallahassee. Both of them had bought big gulp type sodas (huge cups) and were unwrapping their straws in the parking lot. I watched in horror as they tossed their straw wrappings on the ground.

Before they got into their car, I said, “Excuse me, I believe these belong here,” as I bent down and scooped up the wrappers, dramatically depositing them into a trash can that was literally two steps from them.

Now, the instant I said that I thought, “Oh crap, they’re both bigger than I am.” But I casually strolled to my car and drove away while they remained sitting in the parking lot. Who knows, maybe they learned something? Or maybe they took down my license plate and are plotting to take me down. But if they follow me to Doright Manor, I’ve got one thing to say, “Get off my lawn!”

Peace, people.