1. Surprise naps.
You get a phone call from your favorite niece, but instead of running around and jumping excitedly during the conversation like you would when you were fifteen like your niece, you have to find a comfy chair, because talking and walking is just far too much combined effort at one time. As you settle into the chair, you realize that it is very relaxing to not have to use your legs, and your niece really has a lot to say, so you’ll just let her babble while you grunt approvingly every now and then.
Then you wake up, and it’s quite some time later. Your cell phone battery is dead. And your niece has graduated from high school.
2. Pain from body parts that you didn’t even know existed.
All you’re trying to do is stand up from a sitting position. You don’t recall doing anything especially strenuous or odd whilst sitting, but suddenly you experience a startling pain shooting through your… well, you’re not sure what it is, but basic intelligence alerts you that whatever it is, it shouldn’t be hurting like that. It almost feels like somebody shoved an arrow through your… thing. But don’t try to look around and see if an archer is standing nearby, giggling, because then you’ll just twist something else that wants to protest. Immediately proceed to the bathroom and review your prescription bottles for the one that seems the most appropriate for “I don’t know what the hell that was all about but I want a pill”.
3. Leaky plumbing.
I can only speak from the male side of things, but I’m sure there’s an equivalent irksomeness on the female side. Whilst in the bathroom making your selection of prescribed candy that will make your day brighter, you might find yourself needing to tinkle because you’re in the vicinity of water and that’s all it takes anymore for your bladder to stand up and start ringing a bell. But if you decide to relieve yourself, remember that things are different now.
You can no longer squat, squirt and run with no after effects. Things move more slowly. Your pee is just as tired as you are. Be sure that everything is out of the processing chamber before you pull up your drawers. Otherwise, there will be physical evidence that you did not quite complete the mission, with telltale wetness in a glaring location. And if you do get ahead of yourself and have to deal with reputation-killing spottage, be expedient with your methods to rectify the situation, especially in public. You don’t want to be rubbing vigorously at your nethers with a paper towel when the President of the PTA waltzes into the bathroom, camera phone in hand.
4. Car keys become your enemy.
These little jingly bastards will run and hide every chance they get. You know damn well that you put them right there on the kitchen table, yet two seconds later they have vanished. You might as well call whoever it is that you were going to meet for lunch and beg tardiness, because it’s going to take you at least 30 minutes to figure out what you’ve done with the keys. And the worst part of this frustrating situation is that when you do finally find the keys, in the fridge next to the mayo, you will clearly remember putting them there and why. Sad, really.
5. Driving a car is not the thrill it used to be.
Oh sure, there are still times when cruising around on a sunny day brings a smile to your face. And if the destination includes a good time with family and friends, all the better, even if you can’t really remember their names anymore. But more often than not, especially if a freeway or lots of turning is involved, the love affair is over.
People don’t drive for pleasure anymore. They drive with the sole intention of making your life miserable, swerving all over the place, ignoring all rules and regulations, and listening to music that is crushingly loud and apparently concerns Godzilla stomping through Tokyo while some man raps about his bitches and his penis. This is not your father’s Oldsmobile. Or his respect for the law.
6. Everything repeats.
Once you get to that destination, with your family and friends, whatever their names might be, and everyone settles around the table at the restaurant, there are more critical decisions to be made. Gone are the days when you could eat anything before you and then go play volleyball for six hours. Now every single ingredient in every single dish must be analyzed for potential digestive disruption. Those damn vegetables that your doctor thinks you should eat six buckets of every day? No, sir. Unless those vegetables have been boiled down to the consistency of gelatin, they ain’t goin in my pie hole. Otherwise, I’ll have a gas bubble the size of Utah and the embarrassing ability to jet-propel anywhere I walk for the next two days.
And grease? Grease really is one of God’s gifts, especially when it comes to fried foods. Nothing could be finer. But as soon as an ounce of such passes my drying-out lips, it’s like somebody installed a Slip N Slide. That mess races through like Fox News runs from fact-checkers. You might as well strap me to a gurney and lower me over a toilet, because Hurricane Katrina was nothing compared to what’s about to happen.
7. You forget what you just said.
There’s a certain facial expression with which you should familiarize yourself. When coming from younger people, it means this: “Uncle Brian, you just said that two minutes ago.”
8. You forget what you just said.
There’s a certain facial expression with which you should familiarize yourself. When coming from younger people, it means this: “Uncle Brian, you just said that three minutes ago.”
9. Sex is no longer the driving focus of your life.
It’s not even in the car.
10. You no longer care what other people think of you.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the saving grace. Finally, after all these years, all that worrying, all those decisions based on how you would be perceived, it actually doesn’t matter. Do whatever the hell it is that you want to do. Even if you don’t remember it two hours later. Just go look in the fridge next to the mayo and you’ll have an epiphany. Or at least find your cellphone. Who knows. What day is this?
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/14/11. Slight changes made. And for those of you who might feel compelled to say “but you’re really not all that old, you whippersnapper”, let me remind you that I worked for a soul-sucking corporate behemoth for many decades. I’m 174 in Verizon years…
Categories: 10 Reasons Why