I have always dreaded old age. I cannot imagine anything worse than being old. How awful it must be to have nothing to do all day long but stare at the walls or watch TV. So last week, when the mayor suggested we all celebrate Senior Citizen Week by cheering up a senior citizen, I determined to do just that. I would call on my new neighbor, an elderly retired gentleman, recently widowed, who, I presumed, had moved in with his married daughter because he was too old to take care of himself. I baked a batch of brownies and without bothering to call (some old people cannot hear the phone), I went off to brighten this old guy’s day. When I rang the doorbell, this “old guy” came to the door dressed in tennis shorts and a polo shirt, looking about as ancient and decrepit as Donny Osmond.
“I’m sorry I can’t invite you in,” he said when I introduced myself, “but I’m due at the Racquet Club at two. I’m playing in the semifinals today.”
“Oh, that’s all right,” I said. “I baked you some brownies…”
“Great!,” he interrupted, snatching the box, “Just what I need for bridge club tomorrow! Thanks so much!”
“…and just thought we’d visit a while, but that’s okay, I’ll just trot across the street and call on Granny Grady…”
“Don’t bother,” he said, “Gran’s not home. I know, I just called to remind her of our date to go dancing tonight. She may be at the beauty shop. She mentioned at breakfast that she had an appointment for a tint job.”
I called my Mother’s cousin (age 83), she was in the hospital… working in the gift shop.
I called my aunt (age 74); she was on vacation in China.
I called my husband’s uncle (age 79). I forgot, he was on his honeymoon.
I still dread old age, now more than ever. I just don’t think I’m up to it…