Sue came in complaining about her aching back and about being tired after spending a hot day weeding the garden. I said, “Well, stop acting like you’re 50.” I’m pretty sure we had something I don’t like for dinner that night, or at least I did.
I didn’t mean it as an insult; it’s just that getting older sneaks up on you. Some days you wonder, why can’t I read more than a few pages of a book at night without falling asleep? I used to be able to read for hours at a time. “I’m old” wasn’t my first thought. When you ask someone to twist off the cap on a jar of salsa for you, “I’m old” isn’t your first thought. When people start talking about spending the winter in Florida, “I’ll never do that, it’s for old people” won’t be your first thought.
It’s not as if Sue and I are old old, but we both wish we were only 50 again — back when we could get out of a chair after watching an hour of TV without feeling like someone had rabbit-punched us in the kidneys. Back when people passing us on the freeway didn’t flash us rude hand gestures for going so slow. Back when we only had one doctor, and we knew his name and what we were paying him for. Now we get bills from doctors we’ve never heard of for tests we don’t remember taking.
“Was that the one where they stuck that thing down my throat, or the one where they stuck that thing up the other end?”
“No,” Sue says, “that was last month. This is the bill for the MRI on your knee.”