Columnists

Feeling down in a senior slump? Me too!

When I reached my 50th birthday, I tried to deny that it represented a turning point in my life. As I reported then, AARP slipped my membership kit under my front door at the stroke of midnight. I hadn’t thought much about getting old until I bent over to pick up the brochure from the floor and couldn’t get my spine to straighten back up. It made a weird, almost obscene noise as I inched slowly to an upright position.

Those AARP folks know how to make their point. They even print the brochure in tiny type. Research shows that the farther you have to hold the paper from your eyes to read it, the more likely you are to join their organization.

I will turn 75 in March. I’ll get a smattering of birthday cards and a few gifts. But they will be far different than the ones I received when I was younger. I remember at my 30th birthday party someone gave me a wooden cane with a horn on it. Yes, that was very funny at the time. Ha ha. I wish I hadn’t thrown it away. It would come in very handy now, when I walk through a crowded restaurant.

I went into a gift store the other day to look for birthday cards specifically for people of my vintage. I have several friends from college and high school who will be turning 75 in 2022. Sadly, there are fewer now than there were turning 70 five years ago, if you get my drift.

I found cards for people turning 30, 40, 50. But no cards for 75th birthdays. I guess 75 doesn’t mean you are about to pass a milestone—a kidney stone maybe, but that’s about it. Now, if you are having a 75th wedding anniversary, you have it made. You’re golden. Literally.

Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to be turning 75. But the closest the writers at Hallmark have come to recognizing this landmark age are cards that say “Happy Birthday, Grandpa.” I’d be overjoyed to get a card like that someday. I have to talk to my son about making this happen. I can’t do it alone.

And while I’m griping like a surly old man, here’s another thing that bugs me: No one has officially decided when seniority begins. They raise the bar or they lower the bar all the time, and quite frankly I’m in no position to grab onto moving bars. Businesses used to offer discounts for those 65 and over, next it was 60. Then 55, and 50. Instead of lowering the age of eligibility, they should institute a super-senior discount for folks over 75. I’d get in line for that, once I find another cane with a horn.

By the way, please don’t give me that malarkey, “You are only as old as you feel.” If that were true, MCL’s early bird special would apply at any age, as long as you’ll eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.

To our loyal customers: Please jot down how young you feel and we will adjust the dinner price accordingly for our special.

Feel like 50? 7.95

Feel like 60? 6.95

Feel like 70? 5.95

Feel like a teenager: $24.95

As for me, I feel like a kid again. I’ll take the chicken fingers for $2.95.

Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays
on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@ aol.com.