Turning 40 didn't bug me. I didn't even flinch at tipping into 50. But when my wife reminded me that my upcoming birthday would be my 60th, I freaked. It felt like I was taking the first doddering step toward the early-bird hour at the cafeteria. I swear to God I thought I was gonna be 59!
"Do the math, dear," said my wife.
Well, math's not my friend, and it certainly wasn't this time. After struggling and counting on my digits (I had to borrow my wife's fingers and toes, as well), I finally came up with 60. Ta-dahhhhhhh!
Everyone had always told me that 50 is the big one. The one where I'd go out and buy a convertible, get hair plugs, and start (God help us all) wearing Skinny Jeans. But 50 didn't bug me, not one bit.
But 60! Man. No wonder my body's betraying me. Let's see...we're looking at getting winded by walking up stairs. Losing hair in the most mysterious of places only to see it migrate to most unwelcome new areas. Forgetfulness ("I didn't put that there!" "Well, then who did? The dogs?" "Yes.").
And it seems like the older I get, the more crap I'm starting to lug around whenever we go on extended drives or trips. I put everything into a bag (but I'll never call it a "fanny bag." That's for you young whippersnappers.). What's in the bag, I hear everyone asking? Well, there's moisturizer, a top-of-the-line, retractable back-scratcher (I call it "The Claw"), several different chargers (why can't these impertinent young enterprising punks make one charger for everything?), a Kindle, a bottle of ointment for itchy skin, and soooooo many pills.
Back in the day, I went from no pills to a multivitamin every day. Arranged by my wife, that seemed like a big change in lifestyle for me. Now, I'm taking more pills than Seth Rogen at a party. I'm taking pills for bones, for heart strength, for eyesight. Hell, I'm even taking fiber and that's the one area I've never needed help with. I'm as regular as a cuckoo clock. I don't even know what half of the pills are or what they do, but it takes up a good chunk of time every morning, swallowing handfuls of the blasted pills.
My eyesight's getting so bad that I really don't like to drive at night. Things get blurry and you never know when my addled old man brain might take a detour and get lost.
When I first moved into my 'hood, I was the young whippersnapper, the old neighbors around me dying off left and right. Suddenly, I'm the grand ol' man on the block, the neighborhood historian. When did that happen? Even worse, when I talk to the new youth splattered around the block, I find myself embarrassingly trying to sound younger than I am. "Hey, that's cool" and "I'm down with that" and "What's up?" and "Twenty-three skidoo, kiddo!" (Okay, I'm kidding about that last one. Even I'm not that old.)
For God's sake, I'll absolutely know I'm pretty much finished once I start watching the CBS ("Chronically Bitchy Seniors") network. Even worse, I might actively seek out "Matlock" reruns.
As I sit here writing this, in my gravy-stained Mr. Roger's sweater, my fingers cracking like a playing card clipped to the spokes of my bike back in the olden days of yore, I have to wonder how in the world I'm ever gonna handle 70.
Wait...I gotta go. There's some damn punk kids playing in my yard!While we're chatting about old things (my back hurts!), check out my historical ghost saga, Ghosts of Gannaway. Not only does it take place in the '60's (peace, brother), but a dual timeline plays out during the Great Depression (kinda what I'm facing now). Oh, and it's scary, too.