Feeling It

Richard Quinn

IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED: I feel old. Never mind that I am old. Until recently, I didn’t feel old. One contributor to my changed mood: At 78, I’m now the same age as my father was when he died 34 years ago.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I started feeling old. The onset of the pandemic and my recent health scare are likely candidates. Before the past two years, never did I worry about my health.

I also know my appetite has changed. It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating, but rather I just don’t want to eat as much. I’ve joined the ranks of seniors taking home doggy bags from the restaurant.

My wife and I were recently at a diner for breakfast. I leaned over and said to her, “What are we doing? We have seven-figure assets and here we are asking for takeout containers so we can get two meals for the price of one.”

She replied, “Maybe that’s why we have what we have. Our generation looks at things differently—don’t waste anything.”

I’ve also been afflicted by that dreaded indicator of old age—the nap. It’s not that I plan to nap. It just happens. If I’m home around 3 p.m. and sit down, it’s lights out.

Not too many years ago, I used to observe—not exactly kindly—the actions of the old folks on the vacation tours we took. Their mobility was poor, they seemed challenged by technology, they complained a lot and a few were just a tad obnoxious with their demands.

My mobility has slowed a bit, but it isn’t too bad. I’ll admit that getting the golf ball out of the cup is now as challenging as getting it in. I do complain, mostly about the actions of younger generations and politicians. As far as being obnoxious goes, I try my best to avoid that. But I find that, as I age, I’ve become more outspoken. What have I got to lose?

These days my roving eye focuses mostly on a cool car or a cute puppy. My wife of 53 years shows her extreme confidence in me—or my age—by occasionally saying, “Did you see the outfit on that blonde?”

I also seem to be freer with money as I age. But my wife would disagree. I just had a tire blowout and the new tire cost $377. Before I could finish my full rant over the cost, my wife said, “Oh, stop complaining, you act like you’re a pauper.”

Just spend your money, she added, what else are you going to do with it? So we went out to dinner.

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