When you turn the corner into "older" several things start happening: regardless of your capacity or capability, you are now regarded as old and fuddly.
We are suddenly getting glossy flyers from a new (read expensive) retirement community that obviously caters to the rich, the filthy rich, and people who actually use words like luncheon and demitasse...the flyers show golfers, tanned, white haired and well groomed, smiling and laughing as they stride across the greens to the 9th hole or whatever, always a happy couple. You just know the Recreation Coordinator is a perky young thing with a clipboard and an electric smile.
Last month we got a an invitation to 'attend" one of those luncheons, RSVP, two hours of food and selling. I shudder at what these places must cost, and I suspect it's also a gated community. I also realized that we would be as out of place at that luncheon as a cow in the front hall.
We now get cheery reminders (recorded, tyvm) from the pharmacy alerting us to our prescriptions, and golly gee, it's been filled. The first few times this happened one of us hustled down the next day only to find that not only had it not been filled, it wasn't even on the list yet. Come back in two weeks, the pharmacist said.
Realtors send us invitations to 'show' our property. No. Just no.
BlueCross sends my husband yearly announcements about his blood pressure, his diabetes, and practically shouts at him in the flyer. "DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE DIABETES? YOU NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN..." yes, yes, twenty years and holding on that, we fine. What scalds me, Im the one with osteo, with reflux, with all manner of little things that someday could be big things. I have never gotten a notice from BC telling me that I need a mammogram, a diet check for the reflux, and observation by a physician for the osteoporosis. I guess, since his name is on the Blue Cross stuff first, he gets the attention.
17 years ago I bought my own car. My name, on the transaction. My money. Damn that felt good. When I went down to register it, it was listed in my husband's name. I may get over that, but not yet.
Some years ago we decided that his life insurance policy, which would come to term the year he hit 94, would be happier in our hands than in the insurance company's vault. I called. They asked if my husband was alive. I said, yes. They asked to speak to hin, to 'verfy'. sigh.
AARP keeps inviting us to join. When we were first married, we got an invitation, which I thought was hysterically funny. I wrote to them and explained that I was 23 and my husband was 24. Come back, I suggested, in 40 years. And they did. =)
Soon enough, flyers from nursing homes, Estate planners, low income housing, and funeral homes. In case one of us died and we didnt know what to do with the body. I'm really looking forward to those, yep.
I tend to use our local Salvation Army store as a kind of guidepost to books; strange as that sounds, usually (but not always) you will find the gorier detective novels by Patricia Cornwell, The DaVinci Code, rip and read gothic/romanc/mystery novels, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King. What is rare, is to find Robert Parker, poetry, Tolkien, most science fiction, Sue Grafton, or Terry Pratchett.
A few months ago in a real honest to pete bookstore I ran afoul of a new set of Pratchett books I had never seen before, 'co-authored with" Stephen Baxter. I bought one, to see what was up. It turns out these have been in the book stores for several years. I got through it, waiting for Pratchett's style and humor to appear. At the end, I got a glimmer of his style as the long awaited finish, finished.
To say I was disappointed is putting it gently. I read a few of the reviews (and contributed my own comments to it) at Amazon, one young woman actually said she loved it, it was one of Pratchett's funniest books, she laughed all the way through. I'd guess she never read it.
And today on one of the SA bookshelves, in what can only be called pristine condition, "The Long Utopia" what I am assuming is the final book in the series. Raises one eyebrow...
Aren't they just having the most wonderful time with all of this, meteorologically, at least: maps and charts and flood watches, warning, surges, tide levels, wind categories, it's a wonder they can sleep at night from the excitement.
And of course with three hurricanes in a row (let us not forget what's-it's-name out there) by the end of this, they will all be totally wiped out. Hell, this is more fun than a blizzard.
Not to mention the three kids I saw on a video this morning roller blading down a hurricane soaked street, yep...or the Denial Guy north of Tampa who is telling everyone that this silly bit of wind has been so hyped...then he went and pushed a mattress against his plate glass window. Just in case. His tone reminds me of people who say, "I didnt get hurt, what are YOU complaining about...?"
Beyond that I can only imagine what it must be like to be halfway up the highway heading for almost anywhere North, and you're on your last gallon of gas, someone says, "daddy, I gotta pee"
and the winds are now 60 MPH and rising.
sometimes he'd get drunk
and remember her name
and wonder where she went
sometimes he'd drive 100 miles to see
if she was home
he'd sit in the car in the dark and drink
and wait for her lights to go on
and then go out
if he drank enough
he'd forget why he was there
and drive home again
Was a time when you could order a book, or a tool, or a dress, from a catalog; send in the check, and a few weeks later there it would be, in your mailbox.
Or you could go to a store and shop. Money changed hands, or checks. Or credit cards.
You were a deeply involved part of the process, from start to finish. If you did the hands-on thing, you got to touch the fabric, the box, the item. Kick the tires, as it were. I still have trouble with the idea of buying clothes online, or fabric. Gotta touch it, smell it, see how it drapes. You talked to a sales person, traded information, sometimes got to the first name stage and you became friends.
Then someone invented computers.
What concerns me, is how easy it was, and how quietly it actually happened. And I do wonder, if the power goes down on that great national grid, what happens to those of us who are virtually locked into it, with automated house functions, cell phones, cars that now have computer components even in the wheels, lighting systems that do the auto dim or bright as is needed...
Does anyone else get a little apprehensive about all this?