It’s official. I am now a senior citizen. The world became a better place (regardless of what many may say) when I came into it 55 years ago this very day. Learning about my newfound senior citizenship was purely happenstance. This past Monday, I was pondering my upcoming age when this horrifying thought occurred to me: When does one become a senior citizen? One Google-second later, my lovely wife informed me of my dire circumstance. Hey, was that a fleeting smirk I detected emanating from my bride’s face? I suppose she does take some delight in lagging behind me by almost a full 18 months. I know if the situation were reversed, I would, too. But I’m certainly not going to complain about having a younger hot wife.
When on earth did I become a senior citizen? (I think we’ve already established that.) But how can this be? Shouldn’t a senior citizen feel old, or at least somewhat seasoned, or an established veteran of some sort or of some thing? I am a veteran of nothing! And I feel young – except for the aches and pains. But I chalk those up to lifting weights every other day and wogging (walking/jogging) with the missus a few times a week. And doesn’t a senior citizen membership come with a litany of medications for survival? I only take an acid reducer, daily, for my tum-tum. How can I be a senior citizen if I don’t feel like one?
What about my looks? I don’t look nearly as old as those other 55 year-old folks, on my television screen, promoting Depend undergarments and ED medications. I see senior citizens among us all the time, but surely I don’t look like them. Could it be that I’m not as young-looking (and as good-looking) as I think I am? I recently read somewhere that a mirror depicts a truer sense of how one appears to another more so than what a picture captures. The reason being (airbrushing aside) is that the viewer has more time, without appearing rude, to stare and scrutinize any and every flaw of a photograph. Time to get rid of all my pictures I guess. I can recall many times while in my thirties, and even in my forties, when people complimented me on looking younger than I actually was. But more recently, whenever I state my age, no one seems to bat an eye. Maybe there’s the demoralizing proof that I only think I look younger than I actually am.
When I was a punk kid, I assumed all people in their 50s were old and decrepit and probably ready to cash it in, but boy was I wrong, and my apologies to all previous generations. If age is just a number, please explain why I must now be classified as a senior citizen simply for having a 55th birthday. I still periodically drink from my coffee mug which says I’m “The Big 30” for heaven’s sake. (I do like my other, more relevant mug a bit more though which states, “I’d worry about getting older if I wasn’t still so darn cute.”)
In the name of full disclosure, I’ve been calling every 24th day of February my deathday (instead of the more conventional candy-coated version) since I turned 40. Something about THAT number just rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s face it; Each birthday realistically means you are one year closer to your impending and imminent demise. Bummer! I’d probably be very worried about all this, if I wasn’t so certain as to where I’ll someday be spending eternity. In fact, for whatever reason, I was once convinced that I was destined to die at the age of 33 – like Jesus. But my Savior obviously had other plans. Regardless of whether or not I look or feel like a senior citizen, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. God willing, I’ll be writing about becoming elderly in precisely 15 years. But for now I’m just a senior citizen. It’s official.