The Geritol Waltz


Happy birthday to me! (Also to Katie Couric, Nicholas Cage, author Zora Neale Hurston, my childhood friend Cindy, and my future son-in-law; but mostly to me.)

So far, 58 doesn’t feel much different than 57 – just a few steps further in the march toward Social Security, or as I have dubbed it here, the Geritol Waltz.  I’m not sure kids today have even heard of Geritol. which makes the reference all the more demonstrative.  How better to portray the dread of growing irrelevance than by alluding to a product that is also passé?

Here is an algebraic representation of the current equation that is me:
[(10 assorted pills, capsules spread throughout the day + 8 old lady brown spots on my hands + 1 new knee) / (1 old knee + 2 old hips)] x 50-too-many pounds.  Not a pretty picture.

The funny thing is, when you discount the various aches, pains, creaks and gas, I really don’t feel any different than I did.  I still like to party and have fun.  I continue to enjoy crosswords and Scrabble.  I am interested in and by my work.  And,of course, I still have an astonishing vocabulary and a rapier wit!  Somehow I never, ever saw myself this old, and am still both perplexed and bemused when I say my age aloud.

As this year winds down to its inevitable finale and yet another birthday, I will vow to be content — in my situation and my years.  I will endeavor to embrace this place in my life with introspection, gratitude and perhaps a little élan.  (But I will not buy a big red hat to wear out in public.  I just won’t.)


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