National Senior Citizens Day, August 19th, was initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to acknowledge and celebrate the life-long contributions our nation’s seniors. So I believe that achieving “seniorness” is honorable and nothing to hide. However, not everybody reacts so enthusiastically.
For instance, recently my wife said that she didn’t “feel like” a senior. That she was going to defiantly delay seniorhood for quite some time, maybe years. She said to me “After all do I look like a senior?”
Now I have been married for 22, er 24, er 27….more than a score of years, and I knew this was an important moment in our marriage. A straight answer to a question like that was needed and needed quickly. No hesitation allowed upon pain of some seriously undercooked seafood.
So I just blurted it out: “Have you taken the test?”
“What test?” she asks.
“The senior test, the one that lets you know when you’re a senior.”
For instance, you know you’re a senior when most people you talk to end their conversations with the phrase “For goodness sake, Write it down.”
Your wife sends you to the store to pick up a few items. By the time you get the car started not only have you forgotten the items but why you’re in the car in the first place, so you run back and say, “Honey, could you write it down.” You know you’re a senior when she says: “Write what down?”
You know you’re a senior when you show up for your colonoscopy…at your optometrist’s office. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)
You know you’re a senior when you find yourself brushing your teeth with hemorrhoid cream…..write it down.
You know you’re a senior when you discover your seven day pill container is empty, so just to make sure, you double down on your blood pressure meds….and there goes Friday….
You’re a senior when you refer to one of the grandkids as “it” because you can’t remember if Erin is a boys or girls name…..write it down
You’re a senior when your visits to the doctor become more frequent than dinners with your family….and then you start asking the doctor to come to dinner with your family.
You’re a senior when you start calling everyone “Love” or “Hey there” because it’s easier than remembering actual names….write it down.
You’re a senior when you begin to enjoy and appreciate menus with pictures.
You’re a senior when you can’t read instructions anymore so the tricycle you just assembled for the grandkids has all three wheels in the back.
Or during your whirlwind trip across Europe you spend more time staring down at bathroom tiles than palace frescoes.
You’re a senior when most of your major body parts have started to shrink.
You think that wireless blue tooth is something that’ll cure your gingivitis.
And you find it ironic that the only thing keeping you from visiting other continents is your incontinence…..write it down.
You’re a senior when people ask “how are you?” and you actually spend an hour telling them.
Or you realize you’ve forgotten to brush your teeth…because they’re still sitting on the sideboard.
You’re a senior when you get tweeting and twerking mixed up, and dislocate your hip trying to send a message.
You know you’re a senior when you plan your trips around rest stops.
You’re a senior when your pulse hasn’t been detected for two years.
Or when the remotes in your house outnumber the devices you own.
You’re a senior when your hearing test indicates you have become stone deaf, but only in the frequency range of your wife’s voice.
You’re a senior when “A Night Out” means you forgot your keys again….write it down.
You know you’re a senior when your family won’t let you help clean up after dinner, when you nap as much as your cat, when fiber content becomes more important than taste, when you carry more pills in your pocket than spare change and when they tell you they’ve discontinued your blood type.
But there are good sides to senior status. When you’re in a hostage situation, you’ll probably get released first.
And you won’t have to spend any more money on books. Just reread the ones you have for the first time again.
And when there are screaming kids and babies in a restaurant or an airport or park, you know they’re not yours!
As George Burns said: You can’t help getting older but you don’t have to get old. Write it down.
Oh, by the way, I should tell you. My wife passed………The test, the test!