I think we (my wife and I) do a pretty good job at pretending this aging stuff is happening to other people, but not, heaven forfend, to us. We live each day as fully as possible; we eat healthily, we exercise, and we admire one another, especially when compared with our “seniors”—“he’s actually younger than we are, but he really looks much older.”
But the other day, we encountered one of those arresting moments that cause the curtain to be parted on our game. We received our notices that our drivers’ licenses needed to be renewed (every five years, like clockwork). So we got hold of the signs cheat sheet, so we wouldn’t fail to recognize what a stop sign looks like, when the word “Stop” is removed (why do they think you should be able to recognize a warning sign when it has no words on it?) We did our homework diligently and then came our appointed day. We drove over to the Drivers’ License Bureau. What happens, I wondered, when people fail the test and they have to drive home with, essentially no license? Do they tow your car and make you get a taxi???
So, we went in. I took the test, missed one blank sign (a left leaning triangle thingie), took two eye tests, and managed to pass the one with my glasses (my ophthalmologist told me that he didn’t care whether I wore glasses for driving, since my eyesight seems to be about the same, with or without my glasses. Apparently, the license bureau doesn’t agree (maybe I could get them to speak with my eye doc). But, at least I passed. Then I sat with my wife awaiting the picture guy. He joked that he would give me a great picture, retouched to make me look younger, instead of like the usual Alcatraz felon (oops, another aging sign--Alcatraz hasn't been a federal prison for decades).
So, after having both passed our renewal exams, we left the building to drive home legally. Our license is good for another five years—that would be December 17th, 2015. And then it hit me. On December 17th, 2015, I will be 81. That’s eighty one for god’s sake. I’ll be an octogenarian—80ish, as in 81. Holy mackerel. How did that happen? I know, they say that 60 is the new 40 . . . yeah, yeah. So, what’s 81 . . . the new 79???
Wonder whether the Beckhole and Sarah Barbie will still be around then?