The time comes for everyone — eventually — when you realise you are getting old. And that there are many things about it that nobody tells you.
Your big toes get bigger. They look the same, but when you dress they now get stuck in your underpants and trousers. You go into rooms and wonder why you are there. Dropped pens and pills no longer fall at your feet but spring away to hide under beds and sofas.
Nobody tells you that encroaching deafness is not just an inability to hear but an ability to hear wrongly. Why has your neighbour admitted he has incompetence pants? Why does church now include five minutes of silent warship? And why does your wife tell you there will be Vietnam and legs for breakfast?
Why is the seven-day pill box you have had for years suddenly inadequate? Pharmacists now recommend a circular container with triangular Monday to Sunday segments; it looks like a family-sized pizza. (I’m waiting for a pill box with a pie section labelled: “Take one after falling asleep.”)
Why do glasses go missing more frequently? I stumbled spectacle-less into the local library and without looking up the woman behind the desk said: “Big-print section over there, dear.” And why after a lifetime of “mister” or “sir” am I now “dear”?
Why do I have phone conversations with healthcare agencies who talk to me as if I’m a slightly recalcitrant seven-year-old? “Now, dear, did you manage to fill in the form we sent you?”
“Yes, I’ve been filling in forms for more than 60 years now.” “And did you manage to sign it?” “What? Where it said ‘sign here’ in bold print, italics, underlined and with a red plastic stick-on arrow pointing to it? Yes, I managed.”
“Oh well done! Now just pop it in an envelope, pop on a stamp, pop down the post office and pop it in the box.” Apparently we don’t go anywhere any more, we “pop”.
Why can’t I get drunk and hilariously entertaining any more, instead of falling asleep, so that a roomful of tanked-up geriatrics looks more like a cocktail party and less like a dormitory?
How much older must I be before someone directs me to the special old coots’ shop where you buy trousers that come up to your chest, Hawaiian shirts to wear under beige sport coats, white shoes, pink socks, and hats that Frank Sinatra cast off in 1956?
Why is the floor getting farther away every year, why does every flight of stairs gain another step every month and why are most of my emails from funeral insurance firms?
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