Getting Old Ain't Hard to Do

While many people will scratch and fight and basically do anything they can to avoid getting old, there is a small minority of individuals (okay, just me) that actually enjoys aging. I’m guessing it’s because as a child I was blessed with three glorious old men in my life – my two dearly departed grandfathers and my writing idol, Andy Rooney.

I love old men, with their lax hygiene and their stubbornness. I love their rambling, pointless stories about multiple unnamed characters. I love their complaining about anything and everything. And I especially love their old man cars.

Oh my, do I ever love their old man cars. Give me a Lincoln or a Mercury any day. If I had the money I would single-handedly save the American car industry. I dream of one day owning a Cadillac and putting a box of tissues and a navy cap on the rear shelf. I love that fabric roof top that looks like a convertible but isn’t. I love driving a little too slowly and drifting over the center line a little too much. And I love getting mad at anyone that tries to tell me to pay attention to the road.

But my big problem is that time moves so damn slowly. I’m just not getting old fast enough. It’s taken me practically a whole lifetime to get to be my current age and I’m not sure that I have the patience to wait until I’m officially pronounced old (I’m calling 70 old these days).

To ease my fractured nerves, I’ve been thinking about some of the signs of aging so that I can anticipate and celebrate them as they happen. You know, I’m just looking for a few positive markers to keep me motivated during my long journey.

So today, I’m excited for the day when I can no longer feel the roof of my mouth.

Let me explain. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant (I was a cook for 7+ years) then you know that soup can never be hot enough for an old person. No matter how bubbling, boiling or scalding the soup is upon delivery, it absolutely won’t be hot enough for an old person. I’ve served thousands of bowls of soup in my day and I have never once heard an old person say “that’s too hot!” (Although I did once hear an old lady say “that’s hot!” like Paris Hilton and it haunted me for months.)

Since the same exact thing happens with old people and their coffee, my educated guess is that old people must lose all sensation on the roof of their mouths at a certain point in their lives. My palette, on the other hand, is still as sensitive as a baby’s bottom. In fact, just yesterday the roof of my mouth got all “skin-y” from an overly vigorous toothbrushing session.

Speaking of coffee, why do old people drink it with everything? Next time you’re in a diner sneak a peek at the old people and you’ll see that they all drink coffee (black, maybe decaf) no matter what time of day it is or what they’re eating. Coffee and an english muffin? Sure. Coffee and a tuna fish sandwich? Of course. Coffee and spaghetti? Why not?

So, as I was saying…wait, what was the point of this essay again?

Hey! I really am getting old! Hooray for me!

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