In any case, I’ve been recently suffering from some of the effects of old age. My knees have begun singing when it rains, I pull the waists of my pants up above my belly button, and I’m starting to become forgetful. In fact, when a reader contacted me to let me know that I hadn’t updated the blog since February, I had to ask her for the web address so I could find this alleged blog. Making matters worse, I’ve been contacted by several professors because I’ve missed a few assignments due to me apparently being enrolled in school for something. Hmmm. I hope I chose a good major where I study the cultural impact of “Family Guy” or something to that effect.
If you ask me, you’re not really old until a jury takes a vote and unanimously agrees that you are. That being the case, I think my verdict was reached a few weeks ago. There I was, minding my own business, hanging out with my fish when an AARP registration card arrived in the mail. Apparently, all you have to do is buy one too many bulk orders of Ben Gay and Metamucil off eBay and you’re automatically stereotyped as being ancient and possibly on the market for burial plots, which are surprisingly cheap if you don’t mind being buried in a McDonald’s parking lot behind the dumpster.
Because of the card’s arrival, I decided to do some research on eHarmony and Match.com—not for myself, but for my frog, I swear—and it became really clear to me that the AARP aren’t the only ones who classify me as being elderly. Some of the profiles read, “No one over 25 because I don’t do oldies,” or “If you witnessed Jesus’ birth, I’m not interested,” or “If you like being a part of the crowd because they give you something to lean on, please pass this profile by.” Ironically, the “frogs” writing these requirements were in their forties. I guess I can understand this, though. If you start dating someone your own age, before you know it you’re sharing prescription medications and trying to walk in each other’s orthopedic shoes.
Aging isn’t all bad, though. Personally, because I love a discount, I wouldn’t mind getting half priced coffees and Vienna sausages, or having premium seating on public transportation. I can’t wait to walk into Kohl’s one day and say, “Give me my damn senior citizen discount,” while angrily waving my cane at the cashier. However, I guess I’d at least like to hit 35—or 34 even—before people start trying to take away my license or begin thinking that I’m ready to be “put down” due to old age. This is a very realistic fear of mine since that one time my cousin woke up with two gray hairs, and three guys in a mysterious white van pulled up, threw him inside, and sped off. We haven’t seen him since. He was only 29.
Honestly, I never feel old unless I’m around a group of younger people. I have some friends who are in their early twenties and I never get their jokes or want to do the things that they like to do. They tend to spend all day playing video games or watching “Sponge Bob” and then spend the night over whoever’s house they end up at when they fall asleep at 2 in the morning. Personally, my back is no longer cut out for sleeping on anyone’s couch or floor if I can help it. Also, I’m certainly not fond of asking someone’s mother if it’s ok for me to spend the night or if I can have some Tylenol and borrow an icepack.
I definitely felt old several weeks ago when my little sister decided that she would travel from Virginia to spend her 23rd birthday with me. I was informed of the visit via a text message in the middle of the night that arrived with instructions stating that I was going to meet her halfway so that she could park her car and I’d bring her the rest of the way. Also, she demanded that I make room in my apartment because she was not going to stay at any of the hotels or homeless shelters in the area that I recommended for her. She even turned her nose up at the shelter that received a three-and-a-half-star rating on Yelp. They had a free continental breakfast and everything! Some people are just so ungrateful.
Because of our 10-year age difference, the planning phase for her visit was a tad bit difficult. I mean, what do you do with a 23 year old these days? Do you take them to Chuck E. Cheese and give them a “Hannah Montana” themed birthday party? Do you make an appointment to get matching Justin Bieber and One Direction tattoos? Or, can you simply point them to the nearest gadget that has access to Facebook and call it a day? Decisions, decisions.
After doing a little research, I came up with several things that I thought we could do. We’d start our day with breakfast, spend some time at Dave & Busters, hit a couple malls, and then go to a few movies before ending our day with dinner at a nice restaurant. The plan was perfect. However, what ended up happening is that we went to breakfast and Dave & Busters. Then I came home and went to sleep for the night. No malls. No movies. No dinner. And it was just 6 PM. Definitely and old guy thing to do.
The next morning I woke up to find my newly 23-year-old sister sitting in the living room alphabetizing my CDs. No lie, she literally had about 100 of them sprawled out across the floor. Every now and then she’d say something like, “You’ve got a lot of Mariah Carey CDs,” or “Shoot, I missed this Brandy one. I’ve got to start over.” Of all the planning I’d done, I hadn’t thought about putting that little whippersnapper to work. I really missed out on a big opportunity to have my whole house cleaned. At that point my toilet had been crying out for a thorough scrubbing for at least a year. Crap!!! No pun intended.
In closing, my advice to all of you old timers that are over 17 is to not get disheartened because the history books are containing more and more events that you were actually there to witness. I mean, how many other people can honestly say that they were one of the signers of The Constitution? Surely, that counts for something. So, whether you’re 27, 47, or 152, let’s embrace who we are and what we stand for. Maybe our dreams of one day becoming a rapper, football star, or having our own line of pasta sauce are gone, but we’re still something special in our old age. Regardless of your advanced stage in life, the AARP appreciates you. I should know. I’m not only a member, I’m the president.
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