Old Age: the View From the Lobby

Probably I should have lied when the Michaels Craft Store employee asked if I was old enough for a seniors’ discount; I’m sure that’s what started it.

This summer, I had a health scare, exaggerated by Mr Google’s ominous silence on the subject and further complicated by two other health problems that cropped up at the same time, one of which impinged on improving the major one.

Since most of my friends are between 10 and 33 years my senior, I received plenty of help from those I confided in. It’s called a Holter monitor, said one. Orthotics might help, said another. We can give you a lift to the show if you’re afraid to drive, said a third. I’m blessed.

Turns out I’m fine. Still and all, having had three reasons to see my GP in one year, I do feel that I’ve now checked into Hotel Senior Citizen, or at least had a good look around the lobby.

Are you somewhere in the lobby too? Disqualified from the Youth Hostel, but still a long way from the Penthouse Suite? I’ve come up with the following criteria to determine if we might be age mates.

1. You now spend nearly as much money on breakfast at Tim Horton’s as you once used to pay for your monthly phone bill.

2. You’ve wondered, “Where’s my wallet?” or “Where’d I put my glasses?” between two and five times in the past month.

3. You overhear the words “a hot date,” and automatically finish the phrase with “square,” thinking of your favourite source of dietary fibre.

4. The science-oriented kids in your high school got calculators for Christmas.

5. You realize that your best physical feature is now your underarm hair: neither wrinkled, nor grey, nor saggy, nor overweight, it’s just as soft and silky and auburn as it ever was.

If you answered “yes” to at least three of these criteria, we may have an era in common. Meet me at the hotel pool! We’ll both look fine if we remove our glasses.