I’ve never understood the point of denying one’s age, especially among people with whom I graduated. I mean, one of the main reasons I attend my class reunions is to gawk at my decrepit former classmates and thank the dear lord I’m holding it together so incredibly well.
And while attending my own reunions is a real gas, going to J0el’s is even more fun. At the last one, the organizers were giving away tennis balls as door prizes. I couldn’t figure out why, since Joel’s high school didn’t even have a tennis team, nor did the attendees (other than Joel, of course) look like they could so much as lift a racket. Then the announcer said they were in sets of four and already had holes pre-cut.
My philosophy about aging includes taking advantage of the perks. For example, I enjoy using my age as a ready excuse to avoid activities. I’ve been able to bow out of all kinds of responsibilities that the younger set feels obligated to attend.
Unfortunately, as I’ve aged, people have begun to assume that I actually want to make Jello salads for church suppers, attend Red Hat Society meetings, aquasize, get a fish tank, make a quilt, research my genealogy, travel in an RV, complete an adult coloring book, join a Bunco group, play bingo, take up a crocheting, or leave the house.
When Joel gets various mailings about the AARP, I’m all over those things. The benefits are amazing. And though I, myself, am a great number of years away from qualifying for senior discounts when eating out, I am sure to announce loudly to the waiter that Joel’s meal should definitely be reduced.
As I’ve aged, my body has become like a fine-tuned machine. I don’t have to check The Weather Channel to find out how warmly to dress. Between my bum left knee and my arthritic right elbow, there exists a weather prediction system that is so precise, I can call out the forecast before Joel gets a chance to holler it from the other room. I’m not sure why he finds this so annoying. Is it my fault that a minuscule drop in the barometric pressure triggers my precision instrument of a body?
Despite all of these bonuses, I still have a number of friends who are in denial. One grandmotherly acquaintance, who is 88 years old, regularly goes to the senior center to play piano for, and I quote, the “old folks up there.” She delights in telling me how much those elderly people enjoy the entertainment, and she’s right: they do.
Another guy recently told me he and his wife went on a “no-kids-allowed” educational tour for the first time. He reported that, though he’d initially worried that being among only senior citizens on the vacation might make him feel strange, he had actually enjoyed himself. The guy has adult grandchildren.
People have so many stereotypes about aging, and thus far, I’m not finding them to be true at all. I think it’s unfair that old people are sometimes portrayed as whining complainers. I’ve been whining and complaining all my life. And furthermore, I have never, EVER been regular.
And another thing: my older friends don’t drive slowly. They drive way too fast. My 97-year-old friend got pulled over a while back, and the police officer did not say she shouldn’t be driving at her age, he actually said she should not be “driving her age.” That is a true story.
There are plenty of other unfair stereotypes about getting old, but I forget them at the moment. If listeners can figure out all this new-fangled technology, feel free to remind me by interacting at facebook.com/littlespouseontheprairie or on Twitter at SpouseOnThePrairie@ValerieKuchera.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go start dinner in the slow cooker so it will be done by 4:30. See you next week.