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Reflections June 2018

He’s Plenty Happy About Being 70

By John C. Liburdi

I can finally stop worrying about getting old. I’m already pretty darn old, and there’s no need to fret about it. Indeed, I really enjoy not having to respect my elders anymore; that’s because, more often than not, I’m the oldest guy in sight.

Hey folks, I’ve just reached the ripe old age of 70. That means I’m no longer a mere senior –  I’ve become a genuine “old guy.” Admittedly, I did have some mixed feelings as I
celebrated my birthday, but I've decided that this is one baby boomer who isn't going to be a crybaby about some skin wrinkles, inevitable hair loss and minor arthritis pain. The more I think about being 70, the more I realize that there's plenty to be happy about. Here are a few benefits that come to mind.

I can finally stop worrying about getting old. I’m already pretty darn old, and there’s no need to fret about it. Indeed, I really enjoy not having to respect my elders anymore; that’s because, more often than not, I’m the oldest guy in sight. Another plus is that the pimply teenage cashier at the supermarket has finally stopped pestering me for ID every time I purchase beer or wine.

Also, it’s no longer necessary to waste time planning every detail of living. Now I enthusiastically live life to the fullest one day at a time, with complete spontaneity. Likewise, when my wife suggested that we make some resolutions on New Year’s Eve, I replied, “You’ve got to be kidding woman; let’s just keep sipping champagne!”

Now I get to boast about having owned several classic cars back in the Happy Days era, the kind of cars that eventually became cherished antiques. Of course, as a retiree on a fixed income, I simply can’t afford to buy back any of the classic cars I briefly owned in my younger years, but I still get to brag about the ’57 Chevy.

There’s no further need to be a stuffy and boring gentleman. Now I find humor in just about anything, and this has opened new horizons for me. Corny jokes are absolutely hilarious, and slapstick comedy has me rolling on the floor with laughter. Fortunately, being older and wiser, I’m sensitive enough to realize that certain situations just aren’t funny.

At my age, I’m no longer obsessed with sex; this allows me to enjoy the artistic aspects of sensuous ballet and racy plays. Actually, my doctor just told me that my heart is no longer healthy enough for sex. So, besides enjoying culturally rich entertainment, I’m now saving money because I no longer have to pay for those famous blue pills. They’re probably placebos anyway.

People no longer expect me to do all the “heavy lifting.” Although I do stay fit, I never shared my wife’s dream of me retiring to become an overworked farmhand on our half-acre lot. Now that I’m 70, she says, “Maybe we should pay someone to mow our grass in the summer and shovel snow in the winter.” Gee, Hon, perhaps you’re right about me not having a heart attack.

Another big benefit of being old is that I now have a secret code that members of the Millennial generation won’t ever break. Those young folks don’t have a clue about the true meaning of “Put through the wringer” and “The whole nine yards,” or even “A few bricks short of a full load.”

It’s also gratifying to see how my closet full of old clothes has come back in style. I suddenly own an expansive wardrobe without having done any more shopping. And now that I’ve gained weight, my old-time suits fit perfectly as modern day skinny suits. By the way, I think my bell-bottom trousers are about to make a comeback!

There’s no longer a need to be politically correct. I’m not running for government office and I’ll never be promoted as an employee again. Therefore, I say mostly whatever I want, to most anyone I encounter. While my shocking candor often embarrasses my family and friends, it’s all a very refreshing experience for me.

Another joy of being old and completely retired is that I now have ample opportunity to go to the bathroom anytime I feel the urge. What a welcome relief from the high-stress, anal-
retentive work ethic that allowed me to survive multitasking and meet unrealistic deadlines throughout a hectic workday.

Speaking of that, I recently bumped into my former boss at the barbershop. He’s the factory owner’s young son-in-law, an arrogant and incompetent prince of nepotism. It’s been a while since my retirement; so, he didn’t recognize me — an old guy now sporting a gray mustache. At any rate, he addressed me as “Sir” and held the barbershop door open for me. Wow, the boy seems to have finally gotten his head screwed on right!

So you see, being 70 years old is wonderful in many ways; moreover, everyone is obligated to show me some respect now that I’m officially one of society’s elite old guys. You can bet that even Mr. Rodney “No Respect” Dangerfield finally got his long overdue respect when he reached age 70.

 

Liburdi’s books are available at online bookstores and the Kindle Reader.

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