Thursday, April 14, 2011

Slumdog seniors....

I went to a birthday party the other night. Actually, it was three birthday celebrations rolled into one. As we age, we have to multi-task more, not less, as you younger folks might think. The theory is, I guess, that there is less time left to us so we'd better make the most of it. Or something like that.

The party was for three men who are all within 5 or 6 years of each other, hovering in their low to mid-60s. We gathered at someone's home, BYOB in hand, and enough cash to contribute to a couple of pizzas. We also don't like to cook or do dishes once our kids are grown. Let them sweat in kitchens for their families. We're done. It explains the predominance of grey hair in restaurants between 4 and 6 PM. Also, Wheel of Fortune comes on at 7.

Naturally, the conversation  meandered around the topic of age for a while. The usual jokes about increased forgetfulness (how many times can I lose my keys in a 24 hour span, anyway?) and stereotypical topics for "seniors," meaning us instead of high schoolers. I have found, by the way, that men are no less coy about their age than are women, just louder and more obscure in their smokescreens of deflection. Add up the years for men and then start subtracting levels of testosterone, I guess. The next step is to pull out all the little blue pill jokes, the ones that all OTHER guys have to use, never the teller of the joke. And WHY do the advertisements show a couple sitting in two different bathtubs, holding hands across the divide? No wonder they're having trouble connecting. Get in the same tub, folks, that might help! Sheesh.....

A woman will at least tell you flat out she isn't going to reveal her age, if it's important to her. In my case, I made the decision at age 61 that my hands were going to give me away anyway, so I might as well put it out there. I think I'm young in other ways, and I want women to see and hear what to expect as we head into our personal sunsets. Not that it's the same for everyone, but that's the point: Younger women need honesty from those of us who are a bit ahead of them on this path. We need to give each other as much information as possible, instead of ducking the digits on our personal calendars.

Oh, yes, how the rest of the conversation went at the birthday party the other night (see, I forgot what we were talking about). As we sat around the party pool watching the plastic shark with sunglasses ride the current, the topic quckly turned to filing for social security. Should you file as soon as you can or wait? If you wait, will it still be there at all? Will you? What to do, what to do.

Retire? Stop working? Do we even have such a choice any more? Medical care. The VA-style of care vs. private pay?  This hospital or that one?

Somehow outhouses came up. Don't ask me how that happened. I truly don't know.  Most people reading this right now have never seen an outhouse, much less used one. Portapotties are the closest thing matching an outhouse today, but they are CHOICES in most cases. Not so with the outhouses OUR grandparents used, and maybe a few of us depending on how far we grew up from an interstate highway. It was the outhouse or.....well, we don't want to take that thought any farther.

There was continued discussion about one hole houses or two (WHY would anyone want a two seater outhouse??), how often they were moved, the types of "toilet paper" that was used, and practical jokes with these quaint facilities, of course. (And, yes, Slumdog Millionaire did come up.)  How does one "lock" an outhouse door? Did you have to paint the thing?

There were one or two others topics dicsussed that I won't even mention here. I wish they hadn't been mentioned then, either. Let's just say that we did not discuss the state of the nation or its budget, Japan and nuclear power plants, green cars, or anything else remotely topical, not even "paper or plastic." I'm amazed to recall that the weather never even came up, usually the number one thing on seniors' lists of critical information. I'd have even settled for that instead of the outhouses. As a result, I drank one too many beers to deaden the pain and then couldn't sleep later.

We did play a simple dice game, using quarters as booty, and I won both games. Couple that with this column, I don't think I'll have to worry about being invited back. Darn.....

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully you don't have millions of readers or your posts would be personally responsible for young folks' suicides. They would see no reason to reach their senior years, especially with modern indoor plumbing.

    Wasps, mud-dobbers, and their nests, is what I remember about Outhouses. Could be dangerous living! Two-seaters? Obviously they were "aiming" at a his' and her's arrangement with a "targeted" goal in mind. I will leave you to figure that out. (Hint: Elvis Costello song title: "My Aim Is True.") Don't make me spell it out for you.

    Now, "Get Happy" so you will have something fun to write about next time. Yes, you can! You can do it!