“Silver Alert: We have a missing housewife. She’s 5’5″ tall, heavier than she looks, blonde hair with grey roots. Last seen careening down a hill in her old neighborhood riding a 21-speed bike. She’s wearing a purple helmet, orange madras shorts and white Keds. Likely has bugs in her teeth. Family is anxious to find her because laundry is piling up and the refrigerator and pantry are empty.”
My favorite part of the afternoon is picking up my six-year-old daughter from the bus stop and talking to her about her day at school. Recently, her big news of the day was learning the age of her first grade teacher. My daughter happily exclaimed that Mrs. H was 25 years old. I said, “Wow, she’s young. Do you know that I am old enough to be her mother?” She responded with a laugh, “Are you kidding me?” Then, I took the analogy one step further and said, “Now I’m really gonna blow your mind. Do you know that I am old enough to be a grandma?” Her jaw dropped and she had a look of astonishment on her face. After a few seconds of silence she asked hesitantly, “Are you in the elderly?”
Elderly?! I’m only 47 years old! Then I panicked as I realized that I’m a lot closer to 65 than 21. I also started thinking about how old I look and how old I act. You’re only as old as you feel right? Well, think again. If you are showing any of these tell-tale signs, you may be “in the elderly.”
You can’t text without your reading glasses. It’s just a fact of life after you turn 40. I’m not being rude by not responding right away. I just can’t see a damned thing.
You wear street clothes when you exercise. I have a bad habit of leaving my street clothes on when I take a bike ride around the neighborhood. My street clothes are flanked by my purple bicycle helmet circa 1990. As I rode up to a circle of neighbors during a recent evening gab fest, my husband made a joke because my helmet sits on top of my head like a mushroom. But safety comes first and I am too damned cheap to invest in some modern safety gear. My route is mostly downhill (translated: little peddling means little sweating) so I really don’t see the need to dress for the Tour de France.
You shop at Talbots. The advertisements say, Talbots is the classics. I’ve always been a sucker for a cute sweater set. Yes, you may see some of the patterns on your dining room wallpaper or on an old couch, but they are classic and they fit. Perhaps I would do more shopping at Bebe or Ann Taylor if they weren’t embarrassed to stock sizes larger than an 8 on the floor.
You make references to old TV shows. It’s not like I’m constantly referring to Vaudeville, but I do make a lot of references to classic television shows from the 60’s and 70’s. I once had a momentary lapse of memory at a bank drive-thru window. After getting frustrated with the clerk about not being able to pull up my account, I finally figured out that I was at the wrong bank. During my mea culpa, I asked the clerk if Allen Funt was going to jump out. This twenty-something had no clue I was referring to the host of Candid Camera.
You start repeating yourself on Facebook. It’s only a matter of time before I start retelling stories on Facebook, only to have some young punk – who I accepted their Friend Request in a weak moment – point out that I need to magnify my screen so I can see what I’m typing. Tuff Noogies Bucko! I can post the same story as many times as I like. Put that in your Friend Finder and smoke it! (Warning: Using phrases such as Tuff Noogies Bucko can also place you “in the elderly”.)
Since I’m showing all of the tell-tale signs of being “in the elderly,” I’d better pull out the Polident, take a Doan’s Pill and get to bed early. Us elderly people need our rest.