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My stomach is so delicate Rolaids give me heartburn. For fifty years, I could eat anything I wanted at any time of the day or night and go to bed and sleep like a baby. Now, at my age, things have drastically changed.
If I eat a taco with mild salsa, not the hot sauce, the spots of which fall onto your new shirt every time you wear it. The sauce that is so hot it can burn a hole in the fabric, but the mild sauce, the one that has little or no bite to it. If I eat that concoction after seven o’clock at night, by midnight Montezuma gets his revenge. My chest is on fire, not to mention the other end of my anatomy, the part on which I sit. I feel as if I need to have it cauterized.
In my twenties I often ate, after a night of drinking to excess, two hot dogs, french fries, or a pizza and french fries after midnight; went to bed and slept, or passed out, the whole night through. The following morning I would wake hungry and extremely thirsty. In my twenties I only weighed a hundred and thirty seven pounds, and had a cast iron stomach my father said.
What is age? It is fast forward time, this is what age will do to you. The hair will thin on the top of your head and go south while hair will appear in the oddest places, like the top of your nose, in and on your ears. You will go from shaving just your face to shaving your nose and ears. Your eye brows will grow excessive hair, and if not trimmed properly, they will become the shade for your face.
Some people, I’m not one of them, do not want to grow old, so they search for the Fountain of Youth. The Fountain may be mythical, but don’t try telling some of these guys. They buy bottles of hair color…I have to laugh when I see one of these old geezers with black hair and mustache when they should have grey hair like the rest of us old fogies.
Don’t you love it when you look at the back of their head where the hair is thin or bald, and it looks as though they used stove blackening? I would like to be able to say if they only knew what they looked like…but they do know what they look like if they have a mirror in their home. “Vanity, vanity all is vanity.”
Did you hear about the senior citizen who lost his wife and after six months decided to look for another woman companion? He bought new dentures, whiter ones than the teeth he had. He colored his hair black, and had a face lift, smaller hidden hearing aids installed, and he bought a new Lincoln. He went to Florida, and the second day after he arrived he met a twenty five year old woman on the beach. He immediately fell in love with her and she with him. They were married two weeks later in a small chapel wedding. On their way to the hotel for their honeymoon, he was struck by a truck and killed. He got to heaven and saw God.
“God,” he said. “Why did you do this to me? I meet a beautiful girl on the beach, we fell in love and got married, and then before I have a chance to have a honeymoon I am struck dead. What’s the story?”
God looks quizzically at Bill and says, “I’m sorry Bill, I didn’t recognize you.”
Age is not a state of mind it is a fact. It happens to all of us. It is how we treat it that counts. In my case, I have gained a lot of weight since my twenty first birthday. I now weigh two hundred and plenty on a five foot ten inch frame. Stop! No fat jokes, please. I have heard them all. ‘You have got more chins than a Chinese telephone directory.’ Or, ‘you’ve gained an extra chin since I saw you last.’ Then, you are so fat when you step on the scale your fortune card says; come back later. Alone.
Your knees buckle, your belt won’t is another sign of old age settling in on you. Your back goes out more often than you do.
In this day, of exciting technological wonderment, doctors can replace about any part of your anatomy that is necessary, and add a few more years to your life. They can also bill you for same. I had open heart surgery a few years ago and, the bill, which, thank God, I didn’t have to pay was over sixty five thousand dollars. I got an itemized bill from the hospital and was amazed they had charged for everything down to bandages and acetaphetomine. The acetaphetomine was billed at six dollars and fifty cents each.
Time is a funny fragmentary period. It waits for no one, doesn’t even slow down for bumps in the road of life. I went to bed one night I was eighteen, and when I woke I was seventy four, or that is how it feels. Where does time go? It is a mystery. When you are eighteen, and still in school time drags, the weekends might just as well be a year away. After you retire you hate to see the weekends. Time flies faster than an SST. I remember my mother saying the older you get the faster time goes. She was right. I would like to compare the days of my youth with the days of my golden years.
When I was a youth, I woke at seven o’clock by the tugging of my mother as she pulled my legs onto the floor after three verbal attempts to rouse me from slumber. Then came the pulling off of the covers from my frozen body, and one leg onto the floor next. I finally made it to the table. I ate a meager breakfast, washed up and headed for school. First class nine o’clock, history with a woman who must have studied the science of monotones. Her voice could put anyone on the planet to sleep in minutes. Next Algebra, the worst subject on the planet, and boring to boot. Who cares what X equals or if it connects with Y or W? How is that going to help me find a job after school? Noon time, we had forty minutes for lunch.
My mother packed sandwiches for me, she was a terrible cook. I got a D in lunch. I tried swapping sandwiches with some of my classmates. After the first few days of school, I learned my mother’s sandwiches were used to poison the rats in the school lab.
Summer vacations took forever to get here, and then became the fastest three months of the year. During Summer vacation, I slept until noon and still had to be excised from the bed for lunch. All of a sudden I was out of school and working. Now I looked forward to Sundays off and half a day on Monday. The work week went slow, the weekends fast. I was twenty years old when I said I had only forty five years until retirement. I spent most of my time wishing for my sixty fifth birthday. It came soon enough and passed as quickly.
Time is still, after all these years, twenty four hours a day, and is not likely to change anytime soon.
I watch television and go for the mail now that I am retired. I don’t know which is more exciting, going for the mail or watching CSI reruns.
I get a kick out of seeing some of the old movie stars guesting on talk shows. They have toupees, victims…er excuse me, recipients of at least three face lifts and the whitest teeth imaginable, fake of course. Some of them have had so many face lifts that if the folded skin ever unwound he would be blowing his nose at the knee caps. Then there are those matinee idols who don’t try to cover their age. These people I admire. They have more wrinkles than a dehydrated prune. They don’t have crows feet they have Vulture tracks. Their teeth are like stars they come out every night. Nothing is funnier than to see an old man with orange hair, almost as funny as seeing an older woman with blue hair. Maybe the word should be scarier.
My night stand looks like aisle six at Rite Aid. Teeth, hearing aids, pills, facial tissues, eye glasses and two bottles of Tums. But you know what, I wouldn’t go back to eighteen again if they paid me. I have pleasant memories and a lot of dreadful ones, but I keep trusting the Lord my God to see me through every day.
I thank God I have long since abandoned alcohol and tobacco, not to mention numerous other destructive habits. God Bless your day one and all!