Embrace advancing age, or die trying.

I recently got a secret message in the mail. It informed me that I now qualify for entry into a special club, a club that takes most of a lifetime to gain entry. All I had to do was stay alive, which for me, as an ex hope to die junkie,  has been quite an accomplishment. As a teaser, I got a glimpse of what the possibilities could look like: high-gloss photos of an age-advanced person sporting the coveted plastic travel mug stuck with Velcro to his walker. Even more advanced people flashed their pearly white dentures into the camera while purchasing discount movie tickets. I’ll make sure my dentures are slightly crooked with a gold crown.

The first message was immediately followed up by a different  message from the stiff  competition, “Pre-paid cremation, for piece of mind.” If they want to talk about piece of mind, they should also be talking about glass jars and formaldehyde.

How would I be able to hold accountable after they take my money, and wouldn’t It be a cost saver if I just jumped into my wives kiln now? Now that’s a business with low overhead. So many questions and too few answers.

I was so excited with these conflicting messages that I almost lost control, another feature of old age that I hear awaits me.

Talk about depressing.

I could make a stand like my mother, who would say, “I’m an adult,” a little too surly and insist on paying full movie ticket prices.

Mom often said, “Getting old is no picnic.”

I guess I’ll have to cancel that wicker basket purchase.

My mom qualified to be in the club for thirty years. But, she stayed sharp mentally by doing daily crossword puzzles.

“What a five letter word for racist?… Oh…Trump.”

I already don’t feel as sharp as my mom. For example, last summer after a swim in the lake, I realized my car had been stolen.

“Oh my god, somebody stole my car,” I yelled to anyone who would listen.

“You should call the cops,” one insightful citizen said. The area was instantly abuzz with neighborhood watch captains with their walkie talkie’s ready to leap into action.

I took that suggestion while my wife called the bank and canceled all her debit cards because her wallet was in the car and she too is getting older.

“Yes officer, that’s right… stolen!” I ranted into the phone until my eyes cast a gaze up ahead a bit. “What’s that? my name? I’ll have to look at my I.D. and get back to you,” I stammered and hung up.

By gollie, there it was, someone had returned my car in pristine condition right where I had left it. Damned if the landscape didn’t look the same as far as the eye could see.

“Stand down everyone, there it is, i’ve recovered it”, I said.

I was feeling pretty qualified for my honored invite right about then.

I should be grateful that I’m teetering on the brink of old age, I tried to join the Toe Tag Club for years, which was getting pretty crowded in the circle I ran with. Despite my best efforts, I rose up to live another day. Now I don’t even want to join that club. My secret name for the new club is, A.O.P.P.C. Association for Old People Preparing to be Compost.

My wife is an honored invitee, too.

“If you join now, we’ll send you the deluxe model  A.A.R.P. canvas tote bag,” they promised.

I guess she can retire her Louis Vuitton now.

A signpost for me was that for years I was hounded by my family doctor to send in the dreaded stool sample via the U.S. mail. I didn’t want to do it, I thought it would be disrespectful to my sister who had been braving the elements to deliver the mail for years. Plus I just couldn’t get over the fact that the scoop provided looked just like those mini ice cream cup scoops when I was a kid. I finally relented folding up like a K-Mart lawn chair, sent in the extra large sample (what is that, corn?)  and waited for the bad news.

My doctor finally called and said “I’ve got some bad news, the test results are in, your shit stinks, other than that your healthy and completely abnormal.” What a relief.

Some images of old age just never leave. Ten years ago, my wife and I looked at a house for sale by owner. Every time the elderly guy took a step he farted. Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack. It sounded like his shoes were full of water. I know he had a hearing aid, but no one there was in need of a smelling aid. If I ever get to that place, I’m putting the ghost of Jack Kavorkian on my speed dial. I’ll let one slip every once in a while, sometimes in public, a drive by, BAM! But I’m not getting that bad if I can help it.

My wife says, “ nice going Gasanova.“

I like to think of myself as more of a Fartacus.

When I got out of prison, I looked hungry and was pretty thin. I had never been to Costco, home of giant boxes of everything, where people went in for a hotdog and came out with a bicycle. I was amazed that I could eat ice cream or whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it, I felt almost free. I wasn’t privy to the ins and outs of a healthy diet or digestive trauma that laid in wait. And then, I developed a problem. I.B.S. Oh, the horror, silly string, ten times a day

The culprit, as identified by my super sleuth nutrition savvy wife, was high fructose corn syrup. Once eliminated from my diet, the problem was solved, sort of. Now I read labels, eat healthy and lessen my chances of one day having to rely on Depends fecal dams, which are the gold standard amongst the incontinent and have a success rate far higher than their less expensive competitor Maybes, where you just never know.

So much to look forward to in life as we enter these “Golden” years.

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