Okay, young people, listen up! You don't know about being old until you are old. It is annoying, at least for me, to have some young person say, "Congratulations on your birthday. You're (fill-in-the-blank) years young." I'm not anything young. I just haven't completely deteriorated yet. • I have mentioned before that commercials for retirement living facilities always show old people who are vigorous, active and ready to run a marathon. They don't present a true picture of most of us. We prefer our own homes and go into a "facility" only when all else fails. The operative word being "fail."
It is true that old folks have slower reaction time than younger people, but that doesn't mean you can count on how slow we are. When I back out of a parking spot, don't just speed up to get past me, either on foot or in your vehicle, because you "know" how slow I'll be. You are risking bodily harm for both of us.
It's also not a good idea to try to outrun a train to a crossing. You should never assume you know how quickly either of us can stop. If you ban us from driving, you better be prepared to pay a chauffeur to take us everywhere we need or want to go.
We have a friend who is much younger than we are. He lives in Switzerland. In a recent email, he said he looked forward to seeing us there this summer. I'm sure he meant to be encouraging and optimistic. But he knows (we've told him) we simply cannot make the journey — or live in our house there anymore. WE'RE TOO OLD! Deal with it!
You are unhappy if you have to endure being behind me in a checkout line. I use a cane even in the line. When it's my turn, I have to find somewhere to prop up my cane where it won't fall over. That accomplished, I get out my wallet and fish out a card.
It's too bad you have to waste several seconds because I'm slower than you are. Tough!
It's not surprising that old people are characterized as "grumpy." We are grumpy because you young people are so impatient.
Don't you guys worry about your karma? Being chronically impatient with old people won't do your karma any good when you get old (if you do). Keep trying to beat that train to the crossing and you won't get old at all.
If you check out early, you won't ever get a senior discount in a restaurant and you'll never get to do things I did, like watching your grandson, on national TV, competing for the title of American Ninja Warrior. He made it to the national finals. He's a very impressive athlete. Go, Arthur!
Ah, the joys of decrepitude!
Sheila Stoll is happy to hear from readers but cannot respond to individual queries. Write her at PMB No. 309, 7904 E Chaparral Road, No. 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.