Baby Old

I am 60 years old. Well, maybe. I was born on March 9, 1962 sometime in the early morning hours, so I might still be 59. But it’s imminent.

It’s 4:30am and I just got up to pee. That’s what we men of a certain age do between 2am and the time when you 50-something whippersnappers get up. And we do this nightly. We are seniors!

A few years ago (that means it was ten years at least), I heard someone refer to this age as “baby old.”

“You’re not old,” he scoffed! “You’re BABY OLD!”

I accept this without argument, though I might like to ask this gentleman (if he’s still alive) what the next phase is so I’ll know how long I’ll be baby old. And what comes next? Toddler old? Adolescent old? I’m pissing myself off by even thinking about this.

Bodily functions are top of mind for those of us who are at any stage of old. How long will our parts last? That’s one thought I’ve been having since my mid-50s when I noticed people older than me exchanging their original joints for new ones made of titanium. Evidently, this is important to improve your pickleball game.

There are times when the knee-hip thoughts come up. For me, it’s the uncomfortable interval between a seated position and reaching a standing one, an uncomfortably long interval that was once a tiny moment. I now know why Archie Bunker had a favorite chair. This is an important place for older people, a kind of temporary home.

Forgive me for complaining, but it’s my right. I’m old.

My wife, Beth, has been dealing with me turning 60 by saying things like, “I can’t believe I’m married to a sixty-year-old man!” She follows this up with questions such as “How does it feel?” and other such things which have caused me to wake up from a nap I was enjoying while looking straight at her.

Boys and men have been trained to keep our yaps shut about our women aging. I think I was 15 years old when my mother started complaining about her wrinkles or her weight. I knew without being told, “keep your mouth fucking shut, young man.” This is the best advice I can pass on to anyone reading this who might want to have sex with their wife in this lifetime.

Of course, I have noticed how our bodies change. Surprisingly, though, I really don’t care that much. And that’s a strange but lovely part of getting older. I’m learning how to not give a hoot about certain things that I thought were going to drive me nuts.

Back to my point, though (we 60-year-olds wander). I have noticed how our bodies are changing and yet I still participated in consuming the largest possible bag of peanut M&Ms available on the planet over 24 hours. Why? I’m not sure. Do I have to think about it? Nope. No one’s gonna make me if I don’t want to. Well, maybe my Doctor.

Speaking of doctors, I tried to schedule some dental cleanings for Beth and me, yesterday. We’re both overdue and I thought, “we’re in Weaverville for one month. Let’s get this done.”

The price of a dental consultation including x-rays, a cleaning, and a conversation with a man who will probably have hairs growing out of his nose is now well over $300. This is true in Weaverville, NC,  Yorktown Heights, NY and I’m guessing Mayberry RFD.

I told the dental receptionist with the southern drawl that “I have to talk to the boss before I commit to spending that kind of money.” Going into the living room, I knew what was going to happen. I would tell Beth about the $650* we needed to pay and we could then have a topic of conversation for the next 30 minutes about how prices have changed in our adult years.

And THAT, my friends, is where I’m going to leave this for today. Being old means we have seen a lot. We’ve seen gas prices rise from less than $1 per gallon and we’ve seen the music industry go from records to eight-tracks to cassettes to CDs to digital subscriptions and back to records, again.

Old is a merry-go-round. We’re sitting down, going round in circles and the ride stops when someone else says so. We may or may not grab the brass ring and it’s up to us to make the best of the ride. As we turn ’round, our loved ones, standing by the exit, are waving at us and waiting for us to get off. They’ve already taken the ride to its end and we will soon join them.

May your ride be full of laughter and joy and may you know that if you live long enough to get your hips or knees replaced, you’ve actually grabbed the ring. Now, go and have a nice nap.

*the price went up $50 while you were reading this.

Comments

  1. anniesez

    Happy birthday Scott!! I’m not far behind you, that’s why I’m determined to make every day count! We are lucky to be alive and live in a free country. You’re having a great experience that most people never get to do. I’m so proud of you guys for taking this big step. Enjoy every moment and get your teeth cleaned!!

  2. Patricia S.

    Well, you young whippersnapper, you JUST WAIT until you are on the threshold of the next decade (I can barely pronounce the word "seventy") and then write another moaning post! LOL! Still, we are the lucky, privileged ones; I keep reminding myself that. Those of us in relatively good health and in good shape should thank our lucky stars because think of the alternative. Of course, all we and our contemporary friends seem to talk about is our failing selves, body, mind and souls. Must be a rite of passage. Do enjoy your birthday and ask Beth to spoil you rotten!

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