Time flies, maturity takes the bus.
There are a lot of older people around here. According to my driver’s license, I am one of them. The arrival of forty-six hundred pieces of mail informing me of my Medicare eligibility confirms what I have denied to myself. Sixty-five. That magic number is here, and there ain’t nothing I can do about it.
I do old guy stuff now. My current obsession is making sure to set the coffee pot for the morning. This routine task is familiar to those with automatic coffee makers and is essential for a few reasons.
First, there is nothing better than getting out of bed and having a fresh pot of coffee ready to kick off the day.
Second, there is little more annoying than the sound of beans being ground early in the morning. It may have been Einstein who discovered the theory that the earlier the hour, the louder the grinder. Please don’t quote me on that. It could have been my wife who said that. See – more old guy stuff – making up facts and blaming the spouse.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, setting the coffee pot. A perfectly normal routine. Except now I find myself doing it in the late afternoon. Like, twelve hours ahead of time. Who does that? Old guys, or more specifically, this old guy. Who sometimes forgets to hit the timer button. Which is fine. It gives me more time to try and remember if I took my fiber and vitamins. I am not ready to add Ginko Biloba to my routine, but I’m thinking about it.
I have an old guy approach to my wardrobe now. There are “around the house” pants, “around town” pants, and “going someplace nice” pants. And shirts? Tattered collars and cuffs are fine with me, and nobody sees them, so what’s the big deal? When I am out and about town, I zip my sweatshirt up. Blue shirts aren’t cheap, so I wear them until the League of Decency intervenes. Uh oh, another old guy reference.
Those commercials about people turning into their parents? I side with the turners. I am the guy who seeks out the manager at Albertsons to tell him what a great job Angela in produce does. I have said, out loud, “I am not paying that much for a box of instant oatmeal!” Yes, I eat oatmeal, and yes, I use instant because who knows how much time I have left? I am an old guy!
I watch Blue Bloods on Friday nights at 10 PM and try to figure out what they are having for Sunday dinner. I understand all of Anthony Abademarco’s double negatives because I grew up in New York. I looked at the cops with a bit of distrust back in the old days, and now I root for Jamie and Eddie to get through a shift safely.
And who knew The Big Bang Theory was so funny? I love the cleverness of the humor, though I find Howard to be annoying. And I admire how much Penny has grown over the years. Ok, I occasionally admire her other attributes; I am old, not dead.
I watch Saturday Night Live, and, as an old guy bonus, it comes on at 8:30 PM here in California. I understand that not every sketch or musical guest will be great. When I get nostalgic, I’ll find old episodes from my younger days and wait for the magic I remembered from those years. And realize that Saturday Night Live has always been hit – or – miss, even with the legends that came before today’s cast and writers. I still get a bit of a thrill when a musical guest that I don’t know blows me away. Thanks, Halsey!
I fight back against time, mostly with music. My ears are frequently ringing after a few hours of serious headphone time. The right ear goes first, an artifact of standing next to drummers back when I could play a whole gig without Aleve and Icy Hot. The thought of strapping on a bass guitar for four hours makes me want to lie on the couch and find episodes of Blue Bloods. But I can sit and listen to rock, punk, R&B until the headphones need recharging. I don’t get upset when I hear an f-bomb in my son’s songs. I think, “great use of the word to make a point.” I expect to do this until the end, which could be anytime. Until then I’ll try not to exclaim, “What the hell happened to Joe Namath!!!” when he appears on TV to sell me something old-guy-related.
4 PM. Time to set the coffee pot.