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Three score and ten or more

Monday, December 12, 2005

Back to seventy plus

Back to seventy plus
No one seemed much interested in my ramblings on opening up and looking objectively at all points of view (in case somebody knows some truth that you or I don’t know) so I’m going back to a review of some of the things that are involved with being three score and ten plus years old.  I spent some time thinking about this on one of my two or three times a year trips to the Medical College of Georgia where they try to keep my old body ticking.  It is a two hour drive so I have plenty of time to think.  
Good Things about being seventy plus:

  1. You can wear a black leather jacket, and no one mistakes you for a juvenile delinquent.  (I have had a couple of wizened old Harley riders look at me askance)

  2. You reach the stage where nationally known specialists call you by your first  name.  Today I was dealing with my glaucoma guy and the neurologist who “treats” my neuropathy.  The have begun to treat me as if we were old buddies.

  3. You know how to do things that confused the heck out of you just a few years ago.  Today was the day for a “Vision field test”.  You hook your chin in sling, put a patch on one eye, and look in a little gizmo where you stare at the center of a white dish and push a button any time miniscule white dots show up on the periphery (I know that you would never guess that this tests your peripheral vision, which is, apparently the first thing to go with glaucoma.  The first time I did this, I staggered out of the office like a drunk, and was still seeing little lights for about half an hour.  Now, like the old vet I am, I just stick my chin in the sling and start pushing buttons with aplomb (Actually I push them with my thumb, I don’t even know where my aplomb is located).

  4. Nobody thinks you’re drunk when you stagger down the hallway trying to get from Eye care to the EMG lab in three minutes or less.  Today I even collected a very attractive black nurse who took me by the arm and walked with me till she was sure I knew how to get where I was going.

  5. You have an excuse for almost any kind of stupid behavior, and you get to park in the handicapped spots (actually the spots are not all that handicapped, they are just available for handicapped old geezers.)

Of course there are still some unadvertised disadvantages.  I went to Sam’s Club while I was in Augusta, and as I wheeled my empty basket down the aisle where they give free samples (today, chunks of broiled boneless chicken breasts, precooked chicken filets, little cups of clam chowder, and something cold, in a cup, that tasted like spiced koolaid and pieces of taquitos)  all the serving ladies gave me the gimlet eye.  I suspect they thought I was a local homeless man come in to scrounge a free lunch (except for the homeless bit, probably not far off the mark.)

I will give another report on over seventy sometime soon.  My next report will be on the high school production of Rebel Without a Cause that I directed in 1959.


At 6:14 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Back in college a Sam's club came into town and I got a free membership. At the time I was pitching pennies for Ramen Noodle broke so I often went to Sam's for a meal. I also hit the obscure bar on the outskirts of town for their free appetizers on Friday with the purchase of a beer (cheapest) until they (appetizers) were gone, stopped in at buck burger Wednesdays at another place but always brought my own cheese since they charged another fifty cents for it and ate at the local all you can eat chinese buffet for $3 on Thursday. I found that if I skipped breakfast and lunch before eating there, I could eat enough to get full and probably not have to eat until next day's lunch. I eventually made my way through college and those experiences have sure made me appreciate the plentiful food that I have now.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Richard, maybe I aged prematurely because I can relate to your observations. Doctors definitely treat me better and call me Mister instead of by my first name.

I first realized that I was no longer young when I tripped on the sidewalk on the way to my car and a bunch of teens ran over and asked, "Are you all right, sir?"

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

That would do it.


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