Age is a title

Old-man-sizedWhen does one become a Senior Citizen?

I’m 68 and there’s no ducking it anymore.
I’m one by just about every definition.

But when does one actually get the title?

If you believe AARP it’s 50 when it starts flooding your mailbox trying to sign you up.

In some restaurants, it’s when you qualify for their Senior’s Menu, which is designed to sell food not give you a break.

Those Senior plates have less on them than some kid’s menu items.
I guess they think we’re never hungry.

The feds always pegged it at the age you start collecting Social Security, but that number is all over the place these days.

It used to be generally considered to be 65 back a long time ago when that was the mandatory retirement age.

Now, people are working into their 70’s and retirement is looked at as the first foot in the grave.

If it’s when women stop glancing at you, then it’s your mid-40’s.
Unless you have lots of money or you’re famous.

Big companies must think it’s the late 30’s because all their advertising is aimed at people younger.

Older people apparently buy nothing but Polygrip, enemas and Depends.
At least according to them.

People who study these things say older people feel younger than their age, while younger people define “old” as much younger than the old folks do.

How screwed is that?

In Chicago, people over 65 don’t have to pay the sewer charge.
I guess the Mayor figures old folks don’t poop.

Movie theaters give discounts to seniors.
I guess they think we can’t hear the sound track and we’ll be napping anyway.

If you think about it – there are “old” people who are very young – and young people who are very old.

I guess it’s all in your head.
I’ll forget this whole thing in about an hour anyway.

Faucets and marriage

The wife and I went to the hardware store yesterday.

Her latest project is renovating the smaller of our two bathrooms.

Fancy walk-in shower, new vanity and sink, the works.
When she gets it into her mind to do something, resistance is futile.

This smaller one is the bathroom I use.

She wants to fancy it up for guests to use.
It’s the one visitor’s aim for first.

As for me, I don’t care – I just use it and get out.

She gets the big, master bathroom.
Two sinks, long vanity, clothes area, separate toilet and bath area.

Mine is a closet by comparison.
Everything jammed into a 8 by 10 space at the end of the hallway.

Guy’s always lose when it comes to bathrooms and closets.
It’s the price for being married – but that’s okay.

So, we’re at the store buying a bunch of stuff.

For her, she goes by price first.
I go by what I like, how it looks and build quality.

You can imagine how that went.

We end up getting a new sink faucet that she liked, but good quality, which I liked.
That’s what they call compromise.

Then we went looking for some combination towel rack and grab bar.

At my age, I figure I’d like something to hang on to when getting in and out of the soon-to-be fancy new walk-in, white with grey swirls, marble shower with dual spray thingies.

I sort of wanted them to be black to go with the soon-to-be dark tile floor.
It’ll add some contrast to the walls.

She wanted white.

We compromised – she got white.

After getting the paint and some other stuff I went looking for a replacement power screwdriver.

That’s a whole other story for later.

The art of compromise in marriage is stick to your guns until they start to get angry – then give in.

Next week I begin my dog’s grave.
It’s time.

You look like your dog just died

There’s a reason that expression exists.

Losing a dog is a sadness so profound that it’s useless to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it.

People ask why I’m looking sad and telling them opens the floodgates to them sharing their personal-loss stories.

Comparing personal tragedies is not a good thing.

I would never say my sadness is equal to that of anyone who’s lost a job, a home or a child.

I will say simply that in losing my best friend, my sorrow is complete.

No one, nowhere, will ever love me like my dog did.

As pet owners know, you can’t just replace your lost loved one.

Pets aren’t like cars or refrigerators.

The timing is different for everyone, but you must wait until the time is right and until then it will hurt – although a bit less each day.

This kind of loss leaves you searching for answers.

I didn’t find any.

Sharing makes nothing better.

It doesn’t replace a wet nose, a joyful face, the endless presence of love that follows you everywhere.

But still, sharing eases pain.

As in “real” life, mourning the loss of a pet doesn’t get quite the same regard as mourning the loss of a person, and perhaps it shouldn’t.

No one can tell me that right now, however.

The simple fact is dog’s have a shorter life than we do.

We have a dog, we will be there when it dies.

Uncertainty is something we use to ignore death.

The probability of death is always there, but as long as it remains a fuzzy possibility, it’s possible to ignore.

Once it becomes a certainty, there’s no way to hide.

We’re all fighting a losing battle with death, and the outcome is always the same.

Time heals all wounds.

The problem is, when things are bad time seems to stand still.