Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Getting Old, Older, and Oldest! Gosh, How Old Do Ye Think I Am Anyhow?

By John Deering
Pixar. 
Well, now that I am over 60—well over, that is --   what’s next?  Someone has said, “There are three stages of life: Young, middle-aged, and ‘Gosh, but you’re lookin’ good.’”  I firmly believe there are people who take advantage of us more mature folks.  (Imagine that!) Just watch the mail and the phone calls that claim, “Have I got a deal for you! How about a Caribbean cruise? It’s free!” Why, I have never imagined so much money any other time of my life. I won a new car once, but that has never happened again.  Besides these, there are some other indications:  Ann and I start to enter a restaurant or a movie and some nice young men or women open the doors for us. That is considerate; some recent innovation, I guess.

On the other hand, I used to open doors for some people, but they looked old.  We have a neighbor who insists on carrying the garbage can back up the driveway for us.  Again, that is very nice. (Do we look like we cannot carry them?  I guess so. One even has wheels.  The garbage can, not the neighbor.) She also picks up the newspaper out of the driveway for us.  Well, I expect we have some symptoms; however, I think there is some kind of foreign conspiracy going on.

As all of   you know, much of our clothing is made overseas – China, India, Zaire, and (NO? Oh, I stand corrected. Okay!) Niger, Senegal, Myanmar – also known as Burma (Or is it Burma – also known as Myanmar?)  and, well, you name it, but there is certainly a conspiracy. Yes, most clothing indeed seems to have been manufactured overseas, but there is a conspiracy against the older generation of the Western world. I am absolutely convinced of this!  In recent years,   have you noticed how different some parts of our clothing are?


One example is the left sleeves of all shirts, coats, coat sweaters, and such are not in the same place they were years ago.  The right sleeves are in the same place, but the left sleeves that used to be waiting for the left hand and arm to slide right in are not there anymore. They are lower or higher now and more difficult even to find, not to mention to reach. They dangle just out of reach. Yes, the manufacturers obviously have changed the location of left sleeves.  Then there are buttons and button holes. They no longer match.

I remember buttoning a right cuff of a shirt; the button went right in. Not anymore! However the button on the left sleeve never works on the first try. Then there is that top button of the shirt. Despite ties  not being worn so much,  I still  like to wear a tie  to certain places (e.g. church)  which means I have to button that top  button  up , but  that  button won’t  always  button. Finally I get them to lock up.   It is discouraging, though! Parenthetically, belts and trousers must be made in two different countries since half the time the belts are too large for the loops on the pants. Ye gad!  “What’s up?” you ask!  It’s a conspiracy!

Well, hear me out about zippers too. I totally agree that the person who invented zippers was creative and might even have been a genius.   We have them on all kinds of clothing: pants, shirts, skirts, jackets, some shoes, ad infinitum, and they traditionally and consistently have worked.  Now they don’t always work. Getting them into the proper starting place can be a struggle. The two ends used to slide easily together, but they just don’t want to match – sometimes. Then finally and after struggling with them, they do; then you find they don’t always zip  right up without becoming entangled in the cloth next to them. Now, I say this:  having been a father, a grandfather,  and an elementary school principal for years, I became an expert untangler of stuck zippers.

All elementary school principals become zipper untanglers. It comes with the territory.  On cold days, I’d stand by one of the exits and watch to see that all the kids were zippered up before they left school.  Almost every day there’d  be someone with an unzippered  zipper.  I’d stop the child and zipper up the unzippered zipper.

Well, how do we recognize that others are noticing that we are getting old, older, and oldest?  Well, when young men and women open doors for us. Oh yea, I have I already told you this?   Oops! Sorry ‘bout that! (Well, excuse me!)  There frequently is someone near a restaurant table ready and willing to adjust a chair for us. This is very polite too, but how do they know we need this help?   Is it due to our age, maybe? Is it so obvious everybody notices age?  In closing, have your  garage entrances  shrunk?  Ours have too!  Don’t bend any fenders!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you John for writing this article. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was just me with the zippers, buttons and all. Now I know it is a conspiracy. Thank you so much. Yes, I noticed too, that young men and women let me go first thru a door and even hold it. Amazing! I don't consider myself old but I am in your category. People are always offering to do things for me but I tell them I can do it. If I need help I will ask. I really enjoyed this and had a good laugh while reading. Thanks again.

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