Life begins at 50 ... at least that’s what I keep telling myself
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By David Critchlow Jr.
AARP executives must think a person’s memory is totally shot at age 50.
Why else would they send me weekly notices that I’m eligible to be a member?
Also known as Association of American Retired Persons, the organization informed me — and now constantly reminds me — of the benefits of my aging with millions of the 50 and older age group as one of its members.
But it’s not just AARP. I received an email from the Association of Mature Americans, which apparently wanted to help me celebrate my birthday by inviting me to join its organization. I only had one question for them: Would I have to give up my membership in the Association of Immature Americans?
While reading a story about the Senior Olympics, I noticed I am now eligible to compete, so I studied the various events in which a 50-year-old, 6-foot-6, 250-pound man might have a chance to excel. Running, racquetball, basketball and tennis were among the first sports I came across.
An email I had received since turning 50 offering tips on preventing hip fractures helped me eliminate those options from my list.
The listing of the long jump, high jump, triple jump and pole vault brought a smile to my face that would probably spread to the other competitors if they saw me attempt any of them.
What about the discus, javelin and shot put? While I can certainly see hurting myself attempting these, my greatest fear would be lodging the discus or shot put in someone else’s head or impaling someone with the javelin. Needless to say, these events don’t make the cut, either.
Finally, I found shuffleboard, which I thought might be about my speed. I made the mistake of mentioning this aloud to someone, who really deflated my ego when she said, “Don’t even think about it! Those 70- and 80-year-olds will whip you all over the place in shuffleboard.”
Fine, then, so I’m not ready for the Senior Olympics. I don’t really think 50 is old enough to be called “senior” anyway.
For some reason, however, others seem to want to remind me that 50 is getting on up there.
My thinking on age is along the same lines as legendary baseball pitcher Satchel Page (or was it Mark Twain?), who said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
So why is it others have to try to bring me down?
When I was still a young pup of 49 with a couple of weeks before my birthday, my driver’s license was about to expire. “You better go on and get it renewed before you forget,” my thoughtful daughters suggested.
My wife has been doing her part in helping me adjust to this next part of my life, obviously concerned for my aging teeth. She bought me special Crest® toothpaste that takes aim at “surface stains, tender inflamed gums, weak enamel and tooth sensitivity,” which are apparently commonplace among the 50 and older crowd.
Why not go on and get me some dentures and be done with it?
My wife, who is older than I am but somehow claims she hasn’t reached her 50s, has always reminded me, “I may be older, but you’ll always look older.”
After a recent car accident in the area, a local policeman indicated in his report an “elderly man” had been involved, with a witness referring to him as an “elderly man” as well. So how old was the “elderly man?” He was 53. What!!?
That guy is middle aged. I’m middle aged. What’s the big deal?
“Middle aged?” someone responded. “You’re only middle aged if you really think you’re going to make it to 100 and there’s certainly no chance of that.”
On the bright side, there are some kind people out there who have told me, “Life begins at 50.”
My response: “Whatever .... I’ll have to think about that later. Right now I just need a nap.”
Editor David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.15.13
David Critchlow Jr., Just A Thought