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Shell Shocked: Old timer, my eye

By Staff | Dec 13, 2017

Why can’t young people treat senior citizens with respect and civility? We may not be young anymore but we’re hardly relics. I’m still able to vanquish people half my age in Monopoly, pickle ball and napping.

In fact I’m considered an expert napper. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and only awake when I need to chase it when the wind whips it around. Sadly, all too often I fall asleep during a Monopoly game and wind up going directly to jail.

There are advantages in being older than Taylor Swift. One of them is the empty nest syndrome. All the kids are well out of the house and having kids of their own. We get to cuddle the grandkids without having to make their sandwiches in the morning and send them off to school. Been there, done that.

We no longer need to supply proof that we’re senior citizens unless we look so youthful that no one will believe us. I remember bringing all sorts of documents with me to the Sanibel Cinema once to prove that I had reached the senior citizen category. I was certain that the ticket agent would insist on reviewing all my documents to make sure I wasn’t trying to get out of paying another $1.50 for the ticket.

I was all excited to go through my first senior citizen purchasing experience but she never gave me the chance. She merely took my word for it, gave me the ticket and said “I hope you enjoy the movie.” How could I possibly enjoy the movie? All I thought about was how this young woman was costing the theater owner hundreds of dollars a night by allowing anyone in who claimed senior citizen status. And I’m sure that included teenagers as well.

Being older has its advantages. I don’t need to be vain anymore. Who cares if my waistline expands a little bit every now and then? Well, maybe it’s more than a little bit every now and then.

I don’t have to worry about my hair turning prematurely gray. It’s no longer premature. In fact, the very word “premature” has no meaning for someone of a certain age. There is no premature anything.

I can also see why many older men have grown beards. Shaving has become so boring. I must have shaved at least 25,000 times in my life. Enough already.

There’s one thing I never tire of though, even though I’ve seen it at also more than 25,000 times. No, it’s not a photo of Betty Grable. No, it’s not a glass of orange juice. No, it’s not the menu at Doc Ford’s. It’s the Sanibel sunset. I’m hoping I can watch it 25,000 more times. Remember, aging is not for sissies. It’s only for the very old.

-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.