The joys of aging…


I am rocketing along life’s path to old age now – as my grey hair gets more obvious by the day, it’s a constant reminder that I will soon be a ‘junior-senior’.  That’s my own description of the 55 to 60 crowd – the gang too old to be called middle aged (at least I don’t think I’ll live until I’m 110), but not yet ‘official’ seniors, eligible for those wonderful seniors’ discounts at restaurants, retail stores, and who knows where else!

And why shouldn’t there be a discount category called “junior-senior”?   We could use some perks to ease the slide into old age.  It’s a pretty scary experience!  First of all there’s the panty-hose thing.  I don’t actually bother with panty-hose very often these days – once or twice a decade is more than enough for me.  But the last time I had to wear them, I kept reaching down to pull up the saggy ankles, only to realize that the saggy ankles were MY ankles!   And no… not just once; I did this over and over, because I’d look down, see the bags, and forget that I’d already tried to “pull them up” several dozen times already.

Which reminds me – I can’t seem to remember anything anymore!  (…except the fact that I can’t seem to remember anything anymore.)  

When I was in university, I never kept a calendar… assignments, tests, appointments, dates (ha! I added that last one so you’d think I was ‘normal’),   you name it – it was all up in the ole noggin – complete with built-in reminders.  PING! – a bulb would flash in my head and a robot version of my own voice would drone – “Two days until that Stats assignment is due!”  Now I just walk from the living room to the den and by the time I get there, I can’t remember why I’m there!

The worst victim of my bad memory is my poor fiddle teacher.  She’s been trying to teach me to play songs by ear for a couple of months now (at least I think it’s been a couple of months…) and it always goes exactly like this.  She runs through the first four bars of the song and then, amidst some frighteningly horrific squealing and screeching, I finally manage to play almost the same the notes back to her.  She smiles her encouragement and plays the next four bars and, again, I eventually manage to scratch out something vaguely similar.  Then she inevitably utters the words that vapourize the entire contents of my head…

“Okay, shall we try it from the top?”  

These eight words reset my brain as effectively as the CTRL+ALT+DELETE buttons reset your computer.  As I stand there rebooting, my face totally blank except for the blinking cursor that is the new twitch in my right eye (yep, did I tell you? I’ve developed a twitch in my right eye…), she might as well be asking me to play the Orange Blossom Special – because I know exactly the same amount of each of them – NOTHING!  So back we go to the start and repeat this whole routine another three or four times. She smiles and encourages me throughout.

“There, you’ve got it!” she’ll say occasionally, even though I’m not even making music, let alone playing the song she’s been working  through.

We usually get about halfway through the song by the end of the lesson, and I take the sheet music home with me to learn the rest as ‘homework’.  But when it comes time to practice, I can’t remember which song in the huge pile of papers is the one we were working on…  and none of the titles look familiar. Ho, well – could practice the scales, I think.

Fortunately, there is a good side to becoming a junior-senior.   It’s the age where you peak out in the professional world – where you’re old enough that people assume you must know something – really, they figure – you couldn’t possibly be that old and not have learned at least some crap, right? Right!  But you’re not so old that people realize think you’re past your ‘best before’ date.  However, it’s sort of like your ‘good looking years’ (you know that brief period between your pimply face and your saggy butt?) in that it actually doesn’t last very long, and you’re not really as good looking as you think you are – so don’t get too excited about it!  Come to think of it – there’s a certain symmetry to ending it all with a saggy face isn’t there? 😉

About Faye Hicks

I am a professor emeritus, civil engineer, animal lover and writer.
This entry was posted in Fiddlin' Around, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The joys of aging…

  1. Bonnie says:

    Love the humour here and can identify with much said….first hit me a few years ago when into Shoppers and offered the Seniors discount at 55!

    • Faye Hicks says:

      Thanks Bonnie for visiting my blog and for commenting!
      Crazy that this happened to you, too – it’s amazes me how tactless some sales clerks can be! 😉

  2. Shadow says:

    I too can so relate to this article. It’s the reality of life. It hit me like a brick a few weeks ago, when I went into a Shoppers Drug Mart and was offered the Seniors discount. I am only 55 yrs old. I was very offended because honestly, I don’t think I even look anywhere near 55! I rudely told the cashier that I am not a Senior! She replied to not worry about it and still rang up the sale with the discount. I guess this is the harsh reality of life that I’m gonna have to face. It’s tough because when I was in my prime of life, around in my 20 – 30s, I was considered very attractive. It’s not that I was conceited or perceived myself as such, but I can only observe the men’s heads turning everywhere I would go – plus tons of compliments. Now, I don’t even get a second look. Men don’t approach me anymore. I have to accept that those days are gone! Yes, it’s a real wake-up call for me. Welcome to the club for the “Junior Seniors” which I have reluctantly joined. 😦

    Shadow

  3. Marilu says:

    Don’t feel bad Shadow I was at the Shopper’s Drug Mart and I was offered the Senior’s discount and I am only 45 years old. It really hit me hard, since I have always looked younger than my age. I was told it was store policy to ask.

    • Faye Hicks says:

      Wow Marilu – that’s shocking! You really have to wonder why they would have a policy that could potentially alienate a huge number of customers. Somebody there is just not thinking…

      Sadly, I too can relate. I got offered the discount on Seniors’ Day at Wallmart when I was only 38! (Thus followed 16 years of expensive hair colouring! 😉 )

      Thanks for visiting and for commenting!

  4. Pingback: Time for me to grow up! « Faye Hicks's Blog

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