Posts Tagged ‘senior’


Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time

August 16, 2013

Aging gracefully, one skin-tag at a time


I’m a senior citizen….

April 17, 2012

….but I take showers; taking a bath in a field is for wimps…

I’m a “senior citizen”, which means I receive a discount at the donut shop without asking. That may be nice from a cash-flow perspective, but it doesn’t do much for my ego. Sometimes, just to be a schmuck, I give the kid in the paper hat a pained glare and swear I don’t qualify. It’s kind of a kick to see which ones have the stones to call my bluff and which ones look around for Mom or someone to fix it.

Like it or not though, I DO qualify, so I make the best of it by looking for things that are funny about the process of rusting and falling apart like my old pick up truck. In fact, that’s what I tell people, that I’m starting to rust, make funny noises, and have things fall off just like my truck did before it….I can’t talk about it. Very sad. Of course, some of the noises aren’t very funny under certain circumstances. At least, that’s what I’m told.

From the daily scoop on my computer and in the morning paper, I keep up with the news, rumors, and inevitable replacement of the previous day’s latest great technological breakthrough with whatever Walmart will sell out of by morning.

From the comfort of my rocking chair on the porch, I contemplate the universe as I know it, throw peanuts to the squirrels, and watch the tireless neighborhood kids practice the skills they will need to conquer the world, or at least to survive its rather capricious meanderings through time. They’re amazing and annoying at the same time.

Those steering the ship right now, too young to think about retirement yet but too old to get away with referring to themselves as young go-getters on the way up anymore, are up against some interesting challenges already and don’t quite seem to know how to proceed. Check out their marketing behavior for some hints.

Tuned in to the fact that the boomers are starting to retire and will soon carpet the world with grey hair, today’s media barkers hawk arthritis medications, Life-Alert transmitters, and nursing home packages around the clock. Nobody sells laundry soap any more. It’s crazy. On the one hand they blow off about increased life spans and on the other they pummel us with all of the accoutrements one would need out in the pasture of doom.

Out of eight back-to-back TV commercials, six of them will be for some medicine, salve, or balm we allegedly can’t live without, or some other product from Hypochondriacland. The funny thing is, the current retirement crowd has already been around the block and knows the drill, so we’re not likely to be sucked in as much as they’d like us to be. Those following in our tracks, however, if they can keep up that is, poor wimps, will be so paranoid by the time they can retire that they’ll be checking into mausoleums instead of condos on the golf course.

Speaking of pastures, to drop back a bit, what’s the deal with all of these people sitting in bath tubs out in the middle of a field because they did a few ED pills? First of all, the young men in those ads look like they’re oozing testosterone, and they don’t even have ear hair yet! Good grief, where are their fathers…..?…..probably down at the beach shopping the bikini mall in their stead.

The market minders don’t know what they are doing. If they want our money, they should blow in our ears and convince us that, in spite of rumors to the contrary, we really are as vital and indestructible as we were back in the day instead of pushing all the woe is me crap. That’s going to backfire on them; already has, if they believe their own shtick. If their plan is to tap into our legitimate aches and pains and sell us on a dozen or so others we hadn’t thought of yet so they can reap the largess of our Medicare coverage, they might want to think again since they are the ones that will be stuck with the bill. Talk about dumb!

And when they start to shift into focusing on padding their own soon-to-be-enjoyed nests, which we all do…..human nature, you know….. it may dawn on them that they are a minority. What an interesting turn of events. Imagine all of these trembling, paranoid, pill-popping folks sitting in their pastoral bathtubs….while we, their elders, are getting chucked out of McDonalds for being rowdy, or down at the beach checking out all those 85 year old chickee-poos in their yellow polka-dot bikinis.


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Open letter…

November 21, 2009

…to the gum-snapper checking me in at the doctor’s office and the little snot handing me back my credit card at the gas station…

Dear Mr. __________,
Mrs. __________,
Miss __________,

We have never been formally introduced, but have come to engage in a casual business exchange where it is both convenient and polite to address each other by name. In that regard, I would like to let you know that I prefer to be addressed as Mr. _________ in such relationships. I, in turn, would prefer to address you similarly.

In fact, though it may seem a bit archaic in this day and age, I grew to adulthood in a world where such forms of address were the norm, and I have never quite dropped the practice. To this day, I find it awkward to address anyone other than my family or closest friends by only their familiar names or nicknames.

That said, I would sincerely appreciate it if you would indulge my idiosyncrasies and address me as Mr. ________ instead of my first name until such time as we become fishing buddies, husband and wife, or in-laws.


Mr. __________



Sartorial progressions …….

October 4, 2009

Did you ever notice how people age? As a woman ages, her chest appears to get closer to the ground. As a man ages, his chest slips behind his belly like a tectonic plate or leaves for Miami or something. Some, like me, at least according to my daughter, never had a chest in the first place, so claiming “it sank” tends to be a flat tire regarding the spare tire.

The minute the estrogen poops out, a woman goes from a 36-C to a Cross-Your-Heart Cargo Net. Similarly, as improved judgment and a fear of death increase in inverse proportion to the testosterone level, a man finds himself searching for longer shirts and shorter pants at first. Later, a pair of trouser legs and collar with sleeves would suffice quite nicely.

Men seem to shrink into their skivvies from the neck down after the age of seventy. All the hair on a man’s head migrates to his ears and his back, and he loses any semblance of hips he might have once had. During middle age, a man can wear his pants somewhere between his knees and his navel, leaving an exact replica of his belt buckle permanently embossed in reverse and upside down on his overhanging abdomen. As middle age becomes history, however, the belt buckle migrates north until it could easily be mistaken for one of those string tie medallions.

Women, on the other hand, become all hips. My grandmother went on an Elder Hostel trip once and visited a famous canal. It was nearly a disaster, because when she got out of the bus to walk over for a look, this klaxon horn started going off and warning lights started flashing……

I remember my grandfather. He was a pair of pants with a belt-line somewhere around where one would normally expect to find a shirt pocket full of cigars and a leaky fountain pen. He was short. I always expected him to waddle around the room singing “Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to work we go…”. I suspect he used to be about six feet tall, but the only thing left was about four feet of legs with a head and two arms propped on top.

In medical school, any prospective gerontologist surely must be warned that he or she must choose between having the ability to smile and laugh surgically removed or agree to be on Valium for life.


Sixty Five….

October 3, 2009

…….I remember looking up from the morning crossword puzzle and, with my pencil, parting the curtains covering the window across the table. Dawn. I glanced at the clock on the kitchen wall above the refrigerator and noted that, as of that moment, I had completed 65 years on this galactic spitball.

Celebrating my birthday with a dish of prunes and a Purple Pill wasn’t my idea of a joyous event, but it would suffice. I sat back and contemplated the first time some young titan of testosterone had mustered the audacity to look me in the eye and file me under c:fart/old.doc not too many years earlier.

I had smiled and reminded him that the primary difference between him and me was that his skin fit better. Other than that we were pretty much cut from the same cloth, I had noted.

I wondered though, on that morning of my 65th birthday. Surely I was not unique, my life having demonstrated quite clearly, at least to that point, that a speck of pine pollen wafting to the surface of Moosehead Lake in north-central Maine had disturbed the surface of that great body significantly more than my existence had influenced one way or the other humanity’s headlong rush toward oblivion, omnipotence, or the nearest bar. Nevertheless, my own assessment of my demeanor and behavior gave rise to the question of how a 65 year old man is supposed to conduct himself. I was new at this “Senior Citizen” shtick.

Was it OK at the venerable age of 65 to lean back and belch as long and as loud as one could?

Did other 65 year old men pilot four wheel drive trucks through the woods, driving with one hand and conducting Mozart as it booms out of the radio with the other?

Was it OK for a 65 year old man bellow “Eat me” to the strains of Handel’s Messiah when someone in a Massachusetts SUV passed him on the right in the breakdown lane and shook an insulting fist at him?

“These are important questions,” I decided.

I vowed to contemplate them carefully, and if need be, make some minor adjustments in my behavior once I reach 66….