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So Old Now, the Joke’s on Me

[NEWS OF A BLOG FRIEND: Amber, who is the granddaughter of Milt of Milt's Muse, left the following note on another post:

Heya Ronni and everyone else, I feel completely stupid but I have lost (husband erased) all the emails those of you sent to send on to my Grandpa, and since this is the only way I know how to contact everyone I came here! I really want to say thanks to Lucy, Jehnet and Joann and of course Ronni, I also believe there was a Claude in there too, your kind words and showing of support never fail to surprise me.

Grandpa is still doing as best as can be expected. He is on some heavy pain meds and uses a wheelchair when he needs to get around. Otherwise he pretty much stays in bed. He doesn't get on his computer anymore, but talks with my Dad quite often. Next time I talk to him I will ask for a weather update for you all and hopefully Ronni can get it posted were everyone can see.

Again, I am sorry that I lost everyones personel email and I would love it if you all emailed me again so we could write!

Thanks again everyone. Milt's grand daughter, AMBER

You can write to Amber at adamnambernestATmsnDOTcom.]

category_bug_journal2.gif Every now and then, on the way to the grave, something happens to make you think life – or at least, aging - just might be, as some suggest, nothing more than an elaborate cosmic joke. Remember this ancient one-liner:

I’m so old that when I bend over to tie my shoes, I look around to see what else I can do while I’m down there.

Well, it’s not funny anymore.

Just recently, very recently – it never happened before I moved to Maine in June – that very thought has crossed my mind several times. Once, I really was tying my shoes and wondered “while I was down there” if that rubber band I’d seen on the floor was nearby.

On another occasion, I was on my hands and knees retrieving cat toys from under a table and saw that the cat had thrown up again. What crossed my mind was, “damn, I wish I’d brought a fistful of paper towels with me.”

I don’t mind declining capability so much as discovering that all those old folks’ jokes I don’t like are turning out to be true. It won’t be long now before I’m wearing fuzzy slippers and flannel nighties – well, actually, I always have; I just don’t let people see me in them.

As Elaine at Kalilily Time recently pointed out, what makes the jokes funny (yes, even some of the demeaning ones) is the grain of truth they contain:

Life begins at 50. That may be so, but everything else begins to wear out, spread out or fall out.

You know you’re old when…

  • your joints are a better predictor of the weather than the guy with the Doppler Radar on television
  • you no longer think of the speed limit as a challenge
  • a 30-year mortgage sounds like a pretty good scam
  • you haven’t heard of a single band on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
  • a band you once thought was on the cutting edge of cool is inducted into the rock-and-roll hall of fame

Every one of those has occurred to me without being in the form of a joke.

There was a time in my life when an early dinner was considered the height of fogeydom, and I wouldn’t be caught dead arriving at a restaurant before 8:30 or 9PM. But I just made a date with a new friend to have dinner next week and we arranged to meet at 5:30PM. Next thing you know I’ll be reporting to you on the Early Bird Special at the local Denny’s.

My younger self is pointing a finger at me and laughing her ass off.

Comments

Now you can laugh with and not at.
:-)

That was funny and soooooo true. I have been bending over doing my toenails and thought maybe a salon pedicure, which I have never had, was going to be a good idea soon, and yes, laughed at myself when I thought it.

Rain, I'm with you, pedicure sounds good ;) Much less tiring than working at it. I liked the post Ronni, it is so true.

Great post. I am now eating lunch at the local Senior Citizen Center--even though I'M NOT--oh, never mind. We live in the country and this is the logical spot to meet, chat, and hear the news. But, I am beginning to wonder if I need to hire someone to do my eyebrows (and my toenails). I saw a spectacular silver stray the other day.

Remember those hideous, unfunny geezer jokes that the way overrated Johnny Carson used to do years ago? Then he became an old person, dying from an awful disease and it wasn't so funny anymore. Interesting how what you did in the past can come back and hit you in the ass.

besides a few smiles, i enjoyed this as a window into the changes going on for you in your new environment. some seem part of aging, others a result of geographic shift?

I don't comment often though I read TGB everyday, but I must say that I had my morning's chuckles here today! Actually you don't even have to be that old to wish you'd remembered something while you were at it down on the floor!!

Hey, don't knock those Early Bird Specials. They save you a lot of money.

Ronni, This is why I never miss your blog...it always makes me smile or think or both...and yes I can still do both at the same time!!!

I bought a greeting card recently, to keep for myself, because it made me laugh so hard at the shop:

"we spent our young life making fun of old people. Now we are so screwed."

Sort of not-so-instant karma!

Good post Ronni..
and Kenju...that card is hilarious :)

PS Ronni,we just got back from dinner at a local chain restaurant(Houston's)..We went at 5PM to avoid the crowd, the lines and the swingers...:)

Good golly Miss Molly, what have we come to???

Just tonight, on my 71st birthday, my son phoned and in the course of our conversation about the connections, or lack thereof, on my CPU which sits on the floor, as I plot my method of communication on Ronni's PhoneCon, I said I'd have to get down on the floor with my flashlight to examine the unit. He immediately became alarmed about my doing so. I tried to reassure him that I thought I could still get back up, but would call him immediately (half way across the U.S. from me) if I ran into trouble.

Yeah! We do have to keep laughing at all these changes. Besides, remember, we're releasing healing endorphins into our bodies when we laugh. LOL at this post.

Thanks for keeping us healthy, Ronni! Did you find that rubber band? If not, you better get down and look for it. Keep a chair or stool close by if you need a bit of help arising!

Ronni, you are right about humor containing a grain of truth. That's what makes the joke funny (blond jokes excepted,of course). But on the other side of the coin, a snappy retort can neutralize the humor on the limitations of aging. I read about an elderly man who went into a nursey to buy a Magnolia tree. The young patronizing salesman told him that they didn't bloom for ten years. To which the man replied, "Good. Give me two then."

lol toooooooo funny!!! and far too true!!!

And don't forget this one (a fave of mine): You know you're getting older when your back goes out more than you do.

Speaking of early bird specials, the Rolling Stones played a concert in my city last week. The venue opened at 4:00 and the concert began at 6:00.

Thanks Ronni...yes the body changes but think about the 'story' we tell ourselves. If we bent over in our forties and felt a cramp or a creak we might have said, "gee guess I am letting myself go -- better exercise" ...but we buy into the age story including the jokes and then age becomes a cause of decline rather than one of several explanations...it takes some practice, but I am learning to wake up and muse that my body must be learning something new rather than 'oh god, the older I get the harder it is'....etc etc etc. Let's not make decline in old age a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yeah...I think you've proved that what goes around, comes around....eventually.
Thank you so much for the update on Milt...that was great of his granddaughter to keep us posted.

The advantage of being "mature" is that we don't take as much so seriously anymore and can laugh at ourselves. As that famous cartoon character, Maxine, once said, "Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up!" Thanks for the chuckles this morning.

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