Friday, May 15, 2009

Rant #10: Getting Old One Step At a Time

Twenty-one years ago today, I became a father for the first time. My then wife gave birth to my daughter, and my life has never been the same since.

No, I am not going to bring up the previous rant about child support (although I was assured again today that my stop-payment notice was in the mail), but I would like to talk about getting old.

(No, I am not the guy in the photo.)

Although I am not ready for the scrap heap yet, I feel that at 52, my body is beginning to betray me a bit. My hearing appears to be fine (although at times I do turn up the TV sound a little bit), but my eyes aren't doing as well. I have worn glasses since I am three years old, so that's no big deal, but I simply don't see things as clearly now as I did a few years back. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to have myself checked out, but my eyesight just isn't as good as it used to be.

After somehow managing to avoid a hospital for my first 50-plus years of life, last year, on my birthday believe it or not, I had my first surgery. After experiencing terrible pain in my stomach, my wife took me to the hospital and without going into great detail, I will tell you that I had my gall bladder removed.

But, still basking in my youthful dreams of not doing anything I am told to do, I actually tried to get off of the operating table during surgery, only to be restrained by the doctor and nurses. Now, an older person would not have had the strength to do such a thing, would they?

Today, current cultural references often pass me by, I often have to wait a split second before I get up off the sofa, and I have been called an "old man" by someone yelling out the window after I beeped him as he was cutting me off on the road.

Maybe I am not as old as I think I am. My hair went years ago, but what I still have left hasn't turned gray.

The last time I went to the doctor, he asked me a question that he had never asked me before: "How is my sexual performance?" I know that sometimes men lose their ability at my age--hence, Viagara and all the knockoffs--but at least right now, I can still do it with the best of them (what's the comparison--a porn star?).

I look in the eyes of my daughter and my teenage son, and I see youth and great potential. Me, I've been there, done that, and would love to retire in a few years.

Fat chance. My luck, I will be too old to enjoy it.

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