“Getting old ain’t for sissies.” (Bette Davis)


The older I get the more I am struck by how much things change. I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately probably because my parents are in their late 80’s and I spend a lot of time helping them. The good part about this situation is that my folks are pretty easy to take care of and still have their sense of humor in spite of their physical difficulties. To honor their never-say-die attitudes, I think it’s most appropriate to write something about the strange phenomena of aging. Here are my 10 sure signs that you’re getting older.

Your body hurts for no apparent reason. Back in my younger days I distinctly remember the things that made me hurt like bike accidents, sleeping it off in the yard because climbing the stairs to the apartment was too hard, eating day old pizza because there was nothing else in the fridge or playing touch football in the mud. Those were all very obvious bad choices and had definite consequences. Now I hurt from sitting in an easy chair for 3 hours of watching football. I used to crush beer cans on my head, now I can sprain my finger opening one.

You own several pairs of reading glasses because it’s too much trouble to carry them around. I’m currently up to 4 pair scattered around the house and I even have one pair that are 3X power. I save for those for taking a leak, does wonders for my self-esteem. I mean I’m much more accurate, what were you thinking?

You lecture your daughter on not dating losers and realize you were one of them. I got off easy on this one because my daughter is really picky. She has the bar so high I’ll be lucky if she ever brings one home to meet me. I won’t even have to question him, just shake his hand and congratulate him.

You go into a dark bathroom, so you don’t wake up your wife, to brush your teeth and grab the tube of Preparation H instead of the toothpaste. Lucky for me, I inadvertently stuck the brush in my nose first which tipped me off that something was amiss. Our bathroom is filled with medicines for every possible ailment so I better not go blind.

Your friends ask you to go get a beer and you get “a” beer. When I was 18 I never worried about how much I drank. It was cheap, it was cold and it made all the girls look prettier, what’s not to like about that? Now I’m trying to make that one last for an hour and still worried about driving home.

You hear the words, hot and wet, and you immediately think, “I need to get some grass seed down this week.” OK, I admit it I’m a devoted lawn junkie. It’s probably just part of being a great dad. I just wanted to make sure my son has somewhere soft to sleep it off if he can’t make it in the house some night.

You’re on a diet that actually makes you gain weight. How is this possible? Oh right, the portions they recommend were tested on refugees. No human being in his right mind can eat just 5 Cheetos. I can eat 5  at a time and that’s during the national anthem. When the game starts all bets are off. If you’re a sports fan, it is un-American not to indulge. I’m just patriotic.

You actually pay attention when the “Touch of Grey” commercials are on. I had a full beard for 30 years till it got so grey that it made me look venerable and wise. In other words like an old fart. Shaving it off took 10 years off my looks and was a lot easier than losing weight.

You start thinking that Truman was right about the a-bomb but he should have dropped one on Washington too. My faith in government is gone for good. If I had my way we would just start over and never ever send anyone there more than once.  Seriously, does anybody out there believe that they will be able to retire on Social Security and Medicare? Get a clue, we’re broke.

You start thinking about how quickly your life will be over. This one makes me pause and reflect. I have had a great life filled with fun, friends and family and I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could. My one remaining goal in life is to track down long-lost friends and tell them how much they mean to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without many wonderful people who helped me along the way. To them I say “thanks a million.”

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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