Senior moments to recall, maybe
In a couple of months, I will qualify for the senior discount at the IHOP restaurant and probably a lot of other places in the little town near Clear Creek Ranch.
Part of me hopes I am never in such dire straits that such a discount is vital to me, and the vain part of me hopes they will “card” me for a few years to prove I really qualify. With more baby boomers hitting 55, I imagine restaurants will take a cue from the Social Security System and raise the minimum age requirements.
As a direct result of my pending senior status, I am making only one New Year’s resolution: No reminiscing – none of that “Why, I remember when” stuff. I might make an exception if everyone in the room is my age, but not if youngsters (age 45 or less) are about.
Youngsters, unless they are budding historians, don’t want to hear about a time when all the telephones had dials and no one had answering or fax machines. The call-waiting feature was known as a busy signal. They can’t imagine a time with no VCRs or instant replays, when all the TV screens were black-and-white, but all the actors therein were white. Sure, gasoline was only 25 cents a gallon, but back then I was making $1.25 an hour, $10 for a full day’s work.
Only a select few will care that people actually planned their vacations, and in some cases their whole lives, around the Grateful Dead concert tour. If everyone of my generation who says they were at the original Woodstock concert had actually been there, local police would still be unsnarling the traffic jam. Ritchie Havens would be on stage singing a manic version of “Here Comes the Grandson” or perhaps great-grandson.
Sorry about that. Now that I am getting in touch with my “older side,” I tend to ramble on a bit.
Another thing I do more these days: write things down. All those jokes about senior memory loss, aches and pains, showing strangers that puckered surgery scar, squinting to see things at arm’s length – they all resonate with me now. In my good ear, anyway. Especially the memory stuff.
Here in the ranch kitchen there is a large puppy-and-kitten pin-up calendar on the wall. The bottom half has large squares where we jot down important dates and appointments. This time of year, I transfer our notes from the old calendar to the new one – things like birthdays and when the tax bills are due. But not anymore: I have a removable transparent overlay printed with the stuff that remains constant from year to year.
Because of my impending senior status, I shifted everything forward a month. For example, I am reminded of April birthdays a month early, in March. At my age, I need the extra time to react. Maybe that’s why I’m wide awake at 4 a.m. most days. It is all part of the senior thing, like early-bird dinners or being there when the stores open in the morning or arriving an hour early for a dental appointment.
I used to wait for the bank to open to make sure my direct deposit check arrived on schedule. Now with my online banking account, I can check on that from the comfort of my home at any time – 4 a.m., if I like.
Which gives me plenty of time to get to the bank when they open to make sure their computer agrees with mine.
Mike Drummond is a Nevada County writer whose column appears on Tuesday. You can write him in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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