The golden years aren’t so golden

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 18, 2004

If you believe that I have a bridge in New York up for sale, sorry to inform you that title is crock, a lie and any elderly person, if honest, will admit it.

Start out watching family members trying to be secretive while getting across the idea Mother’s getting old. Or how about &uot;Uncle John acted just like that before he went to the nursing home. I hate to see it happen.&uot; Next sister starting to get ready to go and can only get stronger.

Meanwhile things you try to say begin to slip away. You begin to ignore it. Why can’t you remember simple sayings? Everyone knows you knew that! So now you avoid statements that you think will shout old age and the words, &uot;Put her away.&uot; Strangely, reason slips away and stupid thoughts come to mind. Will you get put away in an attic? You know that isn’t true but things are changing.


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Let’s take a good look at your body. If truthful haven’t you acquired a wrinkly look? Also some unusual pains? One day you say, but only to yourself, &uot;I’m getting old.&uot; It hurts to admit it. Now you look for additional signs, not daring to discuss it with your family and admit they were right. Not easy.

Finally you feel so lousy and go to see your doctor. He examines you, asks some questions. &uot;And how old you are?&uot; Better learn some manners! Never ask a woman her age! He pats you on the shoulder. Doctors are good shoulder patters when they have to give you the good news you’re now old. He prescribes vitamins and a pill or two. Golden years, here we come.

If you haven’t already retired you do it now. You’re in the group but hope it isn’t too obvious. Forget that. You see it when you go to the movies. This I took seriously. I went to a ticket seller; put down a five dollar bill; got much change. I told the woman a mistake was made. I was so pleased with my honesty. She replied sweetly, &uot;That’s the senior citizen price, Madam.&uot; It’s true! I’m one of &uot;them.&uot;

Not a happy camper, but I accepted it nevertheless.

Next period – walking different. Had to use a walker. Pick it up, put it down-one step. Kind-hearted strangers offered help. I wanted to scream, &uot;Leave me alone. I can do it myself!&uot; But you can’t. New pains come calling and turn what once was a good figure into a dimply one equipped with unusual pains.

All these delightful things are the golden years. You can have them. You can deal with it anyway you see fit, but for me,

I feel this was the first time God goofed and didn’t put enough thought into it. The only good thing is that it only comes once.

Florence Arena writes an occasional column for the News-Herald.