I remember when I was a kid playing in the front yard with a group of neighborhood kids, we all ended up sitting in a circle talking back and forth, when one of the girls mentioned that it was her Daddys birthday.
This started everyone discussing their parents ages, everyone’s parents were twenty something, and it was like I had won a prize or something because my Mom was the youngest of the group.
We all excitedly passed around comments like “tell your dad Happy Birthday”, “is there going to be cake”, “when is the party”, “can we come”, and then the dreaded question arrived “How old is your Dad?”
She looked at the ground and said “my Daddy is thirty” we all dropped our heads for a moment of silence, before the discussion turned to comments of how no one could believe how old her daddy was, we couldn’t imagine someone that old having kids, needless to say there was no cake for any of us.
When I was fifteen I remember my Grandmother celebrating her fiftieth birthday, in my mind that was ancient but she still got around good, she was still working everyday and this was just a sign that she was doing pretty good for fifty, but again all of the kids my age just knew fifty was already over the hill.
When I turned twenty and my Dad turned forty the same month, I gave him a birthday card signed with an affectionate, “Happy Birthday, just think you are now twice as old as me” that was a good year and I had fun giving the “Old Man” a hard time.
When I turned forty he gave me a birthday card signed simply, “I am not twice as old as you are now, look how fast you are catching up” and every year since he makes me laugh when he asks “how much older than you am I this year?”
I hit my fiftieth a few years back and the AARP propaganda pamphlets began filling my mailbox, this made me question if I had become old yet, I haven’t fallen for the propaganda as of yet but will accept a senior discount when offered one.
Fifty-five will be coming this June, and now seventy sure doesn’t look as old as it once did, heck I’d settle for being thirty once again, even if the neighborhood kids did think I was ancient, heck I’d even share my cake.
One of the last times I saw my great grandmother she was in her nineties, she had been a little wobbly and was supposed to be taking it easy, Cindy and I found her on the front porch of her home sweeping with a straw broom, “What are you doing Granny?” “Just sweeping off this porch”, You are supposed to be taking it easy I told her to which she replied, “This is easy, I should be able to sweep off my own porch, because I know it wont sweep itself”
She sure made ninety look good.
I suppose being old is just a matter of opinion relating to how young you are when looking at a particular age.