Wednesday Jun 03 2009
The older I get, the better I was
By: Jack Fabian, Special to The News Messenger
Aging is not something you think about until you realize you’re experiencing it. One day, for some reason, you subtract your birth year from the current year, and immediately you think you made a mathematical error. Nobody’s that old! Then you get curious about the warranty. I have the occasional pleasure of speaking to several organizations around town. The one I relate to the best is SIRs, (Sons in Retirement), where the average age is about 76. At that age, the drive-train warranty is long gone and everything else either dries up or leaks. I know that from experience. In fact, when driving to Tahoe or Reno, when you reach higher elevations, there are signs across the highway that light up and say, “Reduce Speed When Wet.” When I see that sign, I immediately reach down and check. I’ve only had to hit the brakes one time. My most recent and pleasurable speaking engagement was with the SIRs group in the Elk’s Lodge in Carmichael. Now this was a big roomful of “Reduce Speed When Wet” guys who were ready to laugh and be aware that the laugh muscles are attached directly to the bladder, triggering the urge to be the last one to leave the room if something gets loose. One of the routine things they do at each meeting is announce the names and ages of all those having a birthday. The oldest guy at this meeting was 92. His social security number was 2. This guy stood up and bragged about the fact he still chases women … he just can’t remember why. Some years back, he was a member of a nudist colony. He fell in love there but he and his girlfriend split up because they were seeing too much of each other. He also mentioned he’d have been two years older but his dad stuttered badly. After the meeting was over, another gentleman who said he was 82, dressed in a brown suit, came up to me to chat a bit. Not many of these guys come to these events dressed in a suit so I asked why he was all decked out in a brown suit. He said it was because he chews tobacco. Now, how can you argue with logic like that? He was divorced at 60 because of illness … they were sick of each other. He claimed the biggest advantage of all this was that he could nap on top of the bedspread. Well, everybody handles it differently but aging is a challenge and timing is a factor. I remember how excited I was when scientists announced that for every man over 65, there were seven women. Problem is it’s too late.