That calls for a repetition of that old saw: If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!
Or: I don't smoke, chew or chase women, my age isn't so long. It just seems that way.
They say 1922 – when I was born – was a good year. That means I was around before lots of things we now take for granted:
Like television, credit cards, ballpoint pens, gay rights, group therapy, panty hose, contact lenses, radar and much much more.
I keep thinking of the "good old days" when we had five-and-dime stores like Woolworth's where you could actually buy something for a nickel, when an allowance of a quarter a month was high finance and when tinkertoys and erector sets replaced computer games and iPods.
Now e-mail brings us lots of stuff to remind us of days gone by – of penny candy, skate keys, oly-oly-oxen-free, milk in glass bottles with the cream oozing on top, and 5-cent Coke.
Now coke means something else; pot was what your mother cooked in; a mouse pad was where a mouse lived; and a cursor was somebody who used bad words. At 85 Idon't know if I can keep up with the language.
But the alternative isn't so good either, so I'd better be hep to what's spoken these days.
Being 85 is a lot better than being 65. At that age people expect you to retire to a mobile home in Florida or Arizona and become a disgruntled old man. I'm past all of that now, I have a perfect alibi for everything.
I can forget a name, spill soup on my shirt or if my socks don't match, I can just say it's a matter of age. That would get me off the hook. You can't do that if you're younger.
Oh, I miss playing basketball and things Phyllis and I used to do, but I make up for that by sleeping late and being nostalgic. When younger folks tell us about their latest travels to Europe or Alaska, we can say "been there and done that."
The first 85 years have been the hardest; the next 85 will be easier because of the experience. I can do without this danged arthritis, but it's something which comes with multiple birthdays.
I don't golf anymore, and I miss sitting on the bank of the Jim River, listening to the turtle doves cooing as I keep an eye on my fishpole in case I bite, there are some things you can't – or shouldn't – do when you're as old as I am.
It used to be that reaching your 85th birthday was an accomplishment worthy of note, but today it's quite commonplace. I still think it's a milestone, though, and that's why I'm writing this column. I double dare you (an expression from my past) to find a weakness in my argument.
Happy birthday to me!
© 2007 Robert F. Karolevitz