26 March 2015 – Thursday ~~ Featuring “Samuel Grubb, OM”

OLD

By Sam Grubb

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Well, I guess it happens to all of us. It creeps up when we’re not looking and when we realize what’s happening, it’s too late. Generally speaking, getting old isn’t all that bad. It comes on so gradually that we become accustomed to the hair that slowly turns white, the belly that becomes rounder, the heavy breathing at the top of the stairs, the aches and pains that gradually appear so that we can learn to ignore them. Anyone who is over 50 can add to this list ad nauseam. Under the harsh light of reality we can see the symptoms, but most of us, me too, ignore and deny all the signs. We still see ourselves as middle aged at the worst, and even younger after a gin and tonic. We harbor these illusions that we can still play football and baseball and all kinds of active sports, if we really wanted to that is. Many of us still harbor the illusion that we are attractive to the opposite sex. Incidentally, this causes some highly amusing and often pathetic scenes, especially in cocktail lounges, where the illusion is reinforced by liquid courage. Denial is the key to enjoying old age. As long as we can cherish and believe what the mirror and our driver’s license pictures are trying to tell us is a freaky distortion, we’re just fine.

It all started yesterday quite innocently. It was the hottest day of the year, so far. So in the afternoon I went to the swimming pool to cool off and relax. After a nice swim, and doing several laps just to prove what good shape I’m in, I climbed out of the pool and let the breeze cool and dry me. It was just perfect! Then I happened to look at my chest. Talk about being shocked! It was just like being bonked on the head in an old Abbot and Costello movie. The hair on my boobs, which have grown almost to the point of needing a bra, had turned white! It must have just happened overnight. Completely WHITE!  There was also a 2” square section of white hair next to my belly button, while all the hair surrounding it remained brown. The white hair stuck out like a lighthouse beacon. It was a horrible aha moment.

My denial system folded like a cheap tent. I saw the soft belly, all the white hair, the spindly arms and legs, and more facial wrinkles than an old hound dog. I started remembering all the times recently when I would walk into a room, and forget why I was there. Then there is the issue of people’s names. So far, I haven’t forgotten my wife’s name, beyond that it’s a crap shoot. All of the jokes about old people just came true.

I guess that the good news, if there is any, is that knowing I’m old will help me accept things as they are. It’s ok to order from the senior menu, because that is enough food to fill you up. It’s ok to accept all those senior discounts, and even read the AARP letters that come in the mail. It’s ok to realize that you really do need a siesta in the afternoon, and going to bed at 9PM is also normal for old people. It is comforting to know that I’m not young and struggling to make a living, but retired and enjoying life. It ain’t much but it’s all I have to cling to.

Love ya’ll
Sam

5 Responses to “26 March 2015 – Thursday ~~ Featuring “Samuel Grubb, OM””
  1. Mike Carroll

    Loved the article and just turned 50 this year so have to stRt recognizing that most of what you wrote is true. Sometimes I still believe I’m attractive if I see myself in the right funhouse mirror!

    Can only hope that I can get to San Felipe soon to enjoy my last days !!!!!!!

  2. La Gitana Rasta

    . . . you, as usual, OM, are right on point!! i smile still, remembering tha first time i woke with stiffness in my bones.

    but, as these young whippersnappers will one day — hopefully — learn to appreciate, old age is a privilege, and those of us fortunate enuff to make it to our ripe old age most certainly enjoy not having to be on someone else’s schedule and to enjoy two or four siestas whenever we bluudy well feel like it. 😉

    so, “Thanks for tha memories!”

    ~*.)

  3. Carolyn rRchardson

    Love your writing, Sam, and its sadly ah so true! I was always amused when Dan and I went to an afternoon dance in Sacramento a few times, and he chuckled at all the ‘old’ people, using canes and walkers to get into the dance hall, over to the refreshment table, and to the restrooms–and then were out on the dance floor the next moment waltzing and cha cha cha’ing with delight and abandon, sans walkers and canes! I chuckled, because Dan was as old if not older than all these other ‘old’ people! The only difference, he didn’t see himself as old, and thus far didn’t need a cane nor walker. Age is most definitely in the eye of the owner! Thanks for another good story most of us can most certainly relate to, Sam!

  4. Kat

    Great story. Cracked me up. Thanks, Sam.

  5. Margaret Downing

    I saw some recent photos of myself and … Thanks for sharing your insights. Next step, wisdom?

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