Sunday, January 27, 2008

And How Old Are You Now, Honey?

Bumper Sticker:
We are born naked, wet and hungry.
Then things get worse.

After attending a lunch gathering of old grads from my old high school, I realized how many times the subject of age came up and how often was heard, “Well, just how old are YOU now?”

I felt like I had just experienced déjà vu – a flashback to childhood. Think about it. Remember when you were a tot and Uncle Ernest would bend down, give your cheek a pinch and say, “Sweetums, just how old are you now?” You would hold up three fingers, smile and hope shiny round metal things (nickels, dimes and quarters) would be forthcoming to trade for candy.

Do we eventually get to the age of again holding up fingers, but having to close and open both hands several times to rack up the right age? Or is it okay to quip, Maxine style, “Nunya! Now go find something else to do!”?

Are we spiraling backwards and going out the same way we came in: naked, bald, toothless and trying to focus on the train-spoon headed to the tunnel-mouth? I just hope whoever is driving my spoon also makes the appropriate noises, “Whooo, whooo, chug, chug.”

Okay, okay, I know there is no way to stop the progression (regression?) into old age. Well, maybe cosmetically some of us can have nips and tucks and look a youthful forty-eight when we’re actually eighty-four, but how many eighty-four-year olds do you know who are still in bowling leagues?

When we reach the stage where we are fed, powdered and diapered, I think there should be warning signs to prevent our children and other younger people from even thinking about hovering over our cribs, cooing, and then inflicting the ultimate torture – pursed lips blowing “ppppffffffhhhhhtttttt” against bare belly skin (as we once did to them).

Youngin’s beware – we could just reach out and bop you with our change purses filled with shiny round metal things (nickels, dimes and quarters). Now where’s that candy machine?

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords


  1. You know it's true leave this world pretty much the way you came in...toothless, hairless, not able to walk and no control over bodily functions; we're just not as adorable. Poop!

    I hope to go out kicking and screaming...which, I guess, is probably the way I came in. Ah, the circle of life....

  2. Do I detect a hint of desperation there Suzz??

  3. This post echoes my disgust with the way the elderly are often spoken to. Even as a bystander I want to bop the person on the head who says while attending to an elderly individual. "Would we like to have OUR dinner now?" or "Would we like to have OUR nap now?"

    You're so right you know in your comedic thinking of someone cooing at us and Pfft-ing our tummies in a final salute.

  4. Many thanks to Joy, Peter and Roberta, for each of you saw through the words and caught on to what I was really saying. It seems there are some subjects that we should only discuss in whispers or not at all … just accept that “these things happen, dear.” Joy, I’m going kicking and screaming, too. Peter, yup, desperation at the though of winding up forgotten in the corner of a nursing home with no Internet access. And Roberta, you hit the nail on the head.

  5. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Reminds me of a joke I heard recently...

    On the first day, God created the dog and said:

    "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at
    anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will
    give you a life span of twenty years."

    The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How
    about only ten years and I'll give you back the other

    So God agreed.

    On the second day, God created the monkey and
    said: "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them
    laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

    The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years?
    That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I
    give you back ten like the Dog did?"

    And God agreed.

    On the third day, God created the cow and said:

    "You must go into the field with the farmer all day
    long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give
    milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will
    give you a life span of sixty years."

    The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want
    me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll
    give back the other forty?"

    And God agreed again.

    On the fourth day, God created man and said:

    "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this,
    I'll give you twenty years."

    But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly
    give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the
    ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave
    back; that makes eighty, okay?"

    "Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

    So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep,
    play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we
    slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten
    years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.
    And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and
    bark at everyone.


    Great site, I really enjoy your writing...descriptive, humorous, and very good. I've bookmarked you now, so keep updating!