You’re getting old when you wake up and don’t remember it is your birthday until you get on Facebook and see that your friends and family remembered it.
Well, you can’t be that old if you know how to turn the computer on and how to get into Facebook, can you?
So not to worry, since every day that you get out of bed you are a day older, and it isn’t even your birthday. What’s the big deal anyway?
When you are my age, special days don’t mean the same as they did when you were not quite as wise. Now you look at each day as very special.
After all, you made it to the floor, without falling out of bed or dropping your false teeth, the ones you forgot to take out for their nightly cleaning. And you remembered who you were when you saw that face in the mirror and wondered, “How can I still look that bad, after 10 hours of sleep?”
You get to the kitchen without your glasses and without stumbling over the recliner. Better yet, after pushing four buttons on the coffee pot, you found the right one to turn it on. You heard the drips and smelled the aroma, telling you that you really are going to be able to move those old bones enough to get to the doctor appointment today.
Coffee down and glasses found, you wonder what else you have to do today, thinking if I forgot that it was my birthday, I must have forgotten something else. I’m usually more organized than this.
Then, after four trips to your closet, you found clothes that fit and “almost” match. Next, you make several rounds in the bathroom, apply a heavy dose of makeup, not only on your face, but on the bruises on your arms, knowing for sure the doctor will wonder if you have been in a dog fight with someone. (Well, he should know you live alone, and you don’t own a dog, and that brown spots and bruises come with the territory.)
Of course, the doctor will know you are older when he sees your chart and says, “So today is your birthday. What are you doing to celebrate?”
Your answer: “I’m paying for your new convertible, so I assume I’m getting a ride home in it. I really don’t have the money for a taxi today.”
He looks at you, quite concerned, knowing for sure you are getting older, and that you might need to take the competency test before you leave the office. He pulls out a sheet of paper, and asks you to put the numbers 1 through 12 on the circle in the center of the page, making a clock. You do it, perfectly; then he asks you to put the hands on the clock indicating it is 10:45 a.m. You do that, only to remind him that 10:45 a.m. looks the same as 10:45 p.m.
Ah ha, you’ve got him in a tight spot.
In disgust, he throws his hands up and says, “I give up, you got me on that one. You are in good shape, maybe better than me. You’re dismissed. I’ll see you next year, and by the way, we’ve called a taxi for you. It’s ‘on the house’ today. Have a great birthday.”
The yellow cab was at the curb waiting, but the top wasn’t down.
Oh well, that’s life in the slow lane.
Becky Williams Buckman is a poet and freelancer, a member of Summerville Writers Guild, and Bethany United Methodist Church.
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