I've never liked the phrase "Senior Citizen." Except for the discount that comes with it, the title conjures up thoughts I don't want to identify with. I have to admit, when my friend asked me to come to a Senior Mingle the image that immediately crossed my mind included polyester pants with the pleat stitched down the front of the leg, and walkers - lots of walkers.
"They're having a band - we can dance!" she said on the phone.
I heard myself say, "SURE!" I hung up stunned. I said yes?
Well, was I surprised. It was a rockin' funk band. I thought we'd be meeting in the social room of an independent living facility. Was I wrong . . . it was outdoors at a huge park and the band had speakers the size of my car.
It started to get funny when we discovered the long walk down a steep hill. Our conversation went like this: "My feet hurt already." "Yeah, mine, too", "How are we going to get UP this hill?" "I already have to go to the bathroom." "Do they HAVE a bathroom?" "Boy, it's hot." "My legs aren't used to this." "When can we sit down?"
Then the music started . . . two people got up to dance! Fit people. They looked like they biked at least 30 miles a day - and they were tan.
"Let's dance," she said getting up with a groan. "I shouldn't have worn these shoes. Come on - we have to do this."
You're kidding right? I thought. We're going to be right next to the fit people.
To prove I am NO senior citizen I agreed. Down we went to the dance floor in front of 400 people. Now there were four of us - besides one lady who was dancing in the wings. I feared all eyes would be on the senior citizens who think they can dance. I wiggled. She wiggled. Then we went for a hot dog.
So, I'm turning 70! What's that about? Inside I'm in my thirties - only much smarter. I keep wondering who the woman is who lives in my bathroom. Every time I try to look in the mirror she jumps in the way -and- she looks strangely like my mother.
I remember the day I tried to cheer up my mom when she turned 60, "Just think, mom, you're in the prime of your old age." I thought it was brilliant. If looks could kill . . .
I remember the day I got my first letter from AARP! I also remember how ferociously I tore that stinkin' letter into a hundred pieces. I'm NOT a SENIOR CITIZEN! I barked, slamming the lid of the garbage can.
I remember the day I made my first trip to the Social Security office. That day I was surprise to receive a $140 widow compensation check (that helped - right? I used most of it to pay for parking, gas, and the giant ice cream cone I felt I deserved on the way home.)
Then there's the stark reality that elastic waistbands are inching their way into my wardrobe because somewhere between 50 and 60 I lost turned into Sponge Bob Square Pants. Then there's the inner tube I now carry around my waist. In the attempt to stay positive - I figure if I ever wear a two piece bathing suit again I'll just spray paint my roll orange and everyone at the pool will just think I'm just safety conscious.
So, today I eat CAKE! Then tomorrow I again start my low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, fiber-rich attempt at being thirty again. Cheers!