“No, what do you hope?” she asked, not looking up from her book.
“I hope I don’t become one of those boring old geezers who bores people to death with their stories. You know, the ones who go on, and on, and on, and on, and just never know when to stop even though the eyes of everybody in the room are glazing over and they are desperately looking for an excuse to leave. Know what I mean? I mean, seriously, know what I mean?”
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening,” she replied, her eyes glazing over.
Actually, I fear many things about getting old, and becoming a bore is merely one of them. Ill health and death are kinda up there, too as well as estimating how much time I have left and why some females can continue to charm me as much as they did in high school despite the fact we’re virtually of pensionable age.
Another inexplicable aspect of age is that odd propensity of certain males to wear their trousers above the waistline. Where do they get those pants with the really long crotches? And at what age does a guy get up and decide to wear long crotch pants that day. A day that comes about, I reckon, about a decade past the first cardigan purchase.
Anyway, this is all uncharted territory for me. But, in spite of any denial I might want to call upon, signs periodically pop up that the old celestial clock is moving forward, whether or not I like it. Just like everybody else, I am getting older by the minute. I had a sign just a while ago.
I was chatting with a clerk at my local supermarket. Something I like to do since I still suffer from the misapprehension that I am charming and handsome and maybe even dashing. And she’s a person I like to chat with as she is chatworthy, smart, pretty and coquettish and has an incurably infectious giggle. About 35-ish, I would guess.
“I love the smell of Certs,” she said, as she was stocking the confection shelf at one of the checkouts.
“But,” I said, “Is it a candy mint, or is it a breath mint?”
“Huh?” she replied, a look of bemusement on her pretty face.
“You know, like the old TV commercial: ‘Certs is a candy mint – Certs is a breath mint. It’s two, it’s two, it’s two mints in one!’. You must remember that.”
“I don’t remember that,” she replied. Then she uttered those heedless and hurtful words: “I think it must have been before my time.”
Feeling crestfallen and a bit more aged, I continued with my errands in the store with just a little less spring in my step.
On the other hand, there is hope. In fact, if popular culture attests to anything (and I rarely think it does), then old fartdom is the new chic. Oldsters are not only vital and interesting, they’re also sexy. I like to keep that thought in mind. It helps me through trying times, like my Certs moment, though I do hope the word ‘codger’ or phrase ‘stupid old buzzard’ didn’t cross her lips when she was recounting the tale to some of her youthful colleagues later.
It is indeed an interesting time in terms of human longevity and ages that were considered ‘old’ when I was a kid aren’t regarded in the same way. The response now in hearing that somebody of, say, 75 has died is: “Gee, that’s not very old. How sad.” Of course, that’s me thinking that, my checkout clerk might have thought, “Wow, I didn’t know he was that old!”
Yet, look at some of our cultural icons. For instance, Harrison Ford is still slashing through jungles and is regarded with credibility and as a ‘hunk’ even though he is surely pushing 90. Well, I do know he’s older than I am, at least. The Rolling Stones are still the best damn rock-and-roll band ever and Keith has been dead for years. Madonna is the same age as my grandmother was when I was a kid. Granny didn’t have any of the bearing of Madonna – thank God. Deborah Harry is well on in her 60s and I still have wanton thoughts aobut her, and Helen Mirren is pushing 70 and she still rings a lot of male chimes.
At the end of the day we carry on and the key to it all, and this I do believe, is to ‘think’ young, but take advantage of whatever maturity we might have acquired along the way.
Now, before this becomes tiring and boring, I shall end it.