The Getting Old Handbook


Rožňava, Slovakia

A thought about getting older.
The day you turn 50 you will become very sick all over and you will stay that way for a year or more but the symptoms will begin to slowly ease until you turn 60 when the real hurts start coming. On or before your 50th, A.A.R.P. invitations will begin flooding your mail box and you will realize you are a geezer, you are a half century old, your life has passed you by (whether it has or not), and you will be lucky just to live until the next day and have no doubt that you will never get out of bed again. Instead of remembering where the bars are located, you will be thinking about where the nearest emergency room is located, along with doctor offices and pharmacies. You won’t travel streets where you know a funeral home is situated. You will start reading obituaries each morning, hoping none of your friends or old classmates are listed but if one of them is you think ‘better he than me’. But, like I said, most of that slowly fades from your mind until you become 60 and you have become a senior citizen entering your golden years and suddenly instead of seeing the Hammer and Sickle lurking as the great Red menace, you begin seeing the sickle in the skeletal hand as the ultimate Dark enemy and you are constantly looking over your arthritic shoulder to see if he has sneaked within striking distance. You may not actually see him, but you know he is there; he is a constant dark spot at the corner of your eye which grows larger as the years go by. Your doctor says it is cataracts, but you know he is only trying to take your mind away from the impending end. You Know! Then is when Wisdom drops by for a quick beer and sandwich. Wisdom is something that comes to most people after they no longer need it. Wisdom consists of one word and that is ‘oh, shit!’. Whoops, that is two words; I forgot to mention that your memory has become porous and is mostly made up of things that happened 30 years ago and those things which happened yesterday apparently didn’t. You will remember the first time you had sex but probably not the last time … unless it was 30 years ago. Life in the fast lane is trying to get to the toilet in time; your life dashes on in its headlong pursuit of comedy, error, and nap time.

Supposed to be near 70°F today; I am feeling much better, Sammy was here yesterday, great food and Sammy will be here Thursday, and I need to elucidate some syllables by way of the magic computer keyboard, expanding Lover.

Thanks to Jola for the photo; the mountains remind me much of my Unakas.

Have a Tuesday!

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Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 11:06 am  Comments (10)  
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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Ken … you are not geezer. You are our wonderful friend. And I don’t know what I can say more. Your today’s remarks are sad but to some extent they are true, I think.
    The photo of Rožňava is one of best works and it was a lovely journey. I’m happy you posted this picture on your blog.
    I’m waiting for your Thursday. Beautiful day for every American family. I look forward to your detailed description 🙂
    xo

    • I wrote the story about aging to be a bit funny and a parody of A.A.R.P. They always show older people as laughing and being totally happy all the time; they only recognize our true situations when they want to sell us something. However, when I turned 50 I was traumatized; not because I was sick–I wasn’t–but because the fact of being half of a century old was an enormous shadow over me for more than a year. I got over and the mental dread of aging it hasn’t bothered me much since then.
      Thanks, Jola.

      • Yes, my friend, the world of ads is simply stupid very often, so your ironical tone is clear for me; and believe that age 50 is much more traumatic for a woman, nevertheless I don’t give up and like you I still try to preserve my optimism.

      • I understand some of the ways turning 50 affects women; my mom acted like it didn’t bother her and Carolyn said it was just another day but they certainly acted differently for awhile.
        Thanks, Jola 🙂

  2. Ha, I will 49 in April. I expect to be getting crap in the mail. Some things I take advantage of. My mind feels young, my body tired and lazy. Wiser and smarter, longer hair, sharper tongue, hair in my ears,back aches and migraines.

    But it can be worse. I could have all that and be a bible thumping republican. Oh the shame.

    • Andy Rooney eyebrows; hair growing inside and on the outside of your nose, more and longer hair growing from your ears than from your butt. Buying AARP auto insurance will cure most of all problems.
      Thanks, Mark.

  3. I read again. Actually this is amusing text! I like this sentence: “You will start reading obituaries each morning, hoping none of your friends or old classmates are listed but if one of them is you think ‘better he than me’.”
    I copied everything and put to special file in my laptop: Ken’s stories.
    I also smiled after reading Mark’s comment. 🙂

    • I am flattered that you are keeping my stories, my friend. 🙂
      You young’uns are just now hitting your stride; I am 67 and still not feeling so old that I worry about it.
      Thanks, Jola.

  4. Nice way of expressing yourself and speaking for many other veterans that feel the same way… Beautiful picture of Slovakia! Very Nice!

    • Thanks, Jeremy.
      It is a nice Slovakian village and the mountains look like home.


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