Someone has obviously made a big mistake here…
Me: We have to pull together to make sure vulnerable people are safe.
Daughter: Mama, you do know YOU’RE one of the vulnerable.
Well, I took a happy trip up the River Denial, and managed to convince myself a mistake had been made with that one. It lasted until last weekend when a nurse sat down with me at Crosshouse Hospital (see that story here) to fill out the intake form. Only… somehow there were a lot of new things she wanted to know.
Gone were the questions about my units of alcohol, tobacco, and drug consumption, my chances of being pregnant, and other exciting lifestyle commentaries. Instead, she had very different concerns.
Nurse: What hours do your carers look after you?
Nurse: Can you read your prescription directions?
Nurse: Are you continent?
Me: Are you serious?
Apparently, the NHS decided I must need professional care, medical assistance, and adult diapers.
This explains the shift in my unsolicited online adverts from products guaranteeing increased size and/or performance of various personal organs to photos of piles of revolting stuff breathlessly offering to completely empty my bowels overnight, or ways to safeguard my old age through creative home financing.
[Of course, getting old comes with some advantages — as
I admitted in my book, Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies]
The Top 10 Best Reasons To Get Old
Every time I go to New York, I learn something new. Last time, I learned I’m one of these people.
I know that because every single time I got onto a subway, people leaped up to offer me their seat. My baby is a college graduate, and the only happy event I’m expecting is the release of the new iPhones. So that leaves me as the three-legger. Wait… WTF?
But do you think for one minute I’d admit to undeserved and unnecessary impersonation of a senior citizen? Hell, yeah. That ‘priority’ seat was mine.
That’s when it hit me. There are actually some good things about getting old. I haven’t made an exhaustive list yet, but here are a few I’ve just come up with.
Not even counting the fact that it certainly beats the alternative, the top ten great things about getting older are:
10: On vacation, your energy runs out before your money does.
9. Nobody expects you to learn things the hard way so you can build character.
8. You don’t sweat the small stuff (and not just because you can’t see it any more without your good glasses—which you haven’t seen in months and so you mostly just wear the ones from the Dollar Store that you buy by the dozen).
7. Old people get released first in hostage situations. (Probably because the terrorists get tired of being told to “Speak up young man!”)
6. You can mess with your kids’ heads by telling them you’ve decided to sell your house, buy a boat, and sail around the world. (Bonus points for working the phrase “In my remaining years” into that conversation.)
5. Senior discounts. People just look at you and knock off 15%.
4. You start to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth out of all that medical insurance you’ve been paying for all these years. This is an important topic that you feel certain everyone around you would like to hear more about. Much more…
3. Stretch trousers: your middle-finger salute to the Fashion Police.
2. It’s so easy to get laughs. Just use very modern slang, mention your latest social media app or Stories on Snapchat, or talk about a GIF you made—but end each sentence with “Dear” or “Sweetheart”.
And the top reason it’s great to get old?
1. Even though your memory has always been crap and you’ve been forgetting things all your life, now people just chuckle about “senior moments” and totally forgive you.
[NOTE: On the way to the airport the next day, two young men politely argued over which one should offer me his seat. Another man asked if I was going to the airport—you think it was the suitcase?—and stood nearby so he could tell me when I was within two stops because the speakers weren’t working. Geezerhood rocks!]
This book needs to come with a warning: “Caution: Do Not Eat Or Drink While Reading this Book! You will spew food or liquid everywhere when you laugh out loud.”—Kassandra Lamb, best-selling author of Kate Huntington Mysteries