Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle....

The other day I was watching a golf tournament and they mentioned that the tournament director, a great guy, had recently passed away at the age of 75. I thought to myself, well that's not bad, he certainly had a full life. Then it hit me...the guy was six years older than I am! Whoa, when did this happen? How can I be staring 70 in the face? It seems like yesterday that I was drinking and partying. Wait, that was yesterday! But I'm getting off the track.

I've written here before about the joys of getting older, but it's the gift that keeps on giving. Last week I skipped not one but two days of my maintenance medication because my routine changed a little. Older people rely on routine to help them remember stuff they are supposed to do like taking pills. I have this little pill box marked with the days of the week so I'll know if I took my pills on a given day. Trouble is by the time I realize that I've skipped a dose it's already too late. I didn't know where else to put the freaking pill box so that I will see it each morning, but then a solution presented itself.

I feel sorry for my poor wife, who by the way shows no signs of aging or slowing down. She never sits, and it's all I can do to lift my legs while she Swiffs under me. She pushes me to not sit at the computer all day and to move around instead. We walk every day, take vitamins, and she works so hard to cook healthy, but I feel like I'm losing ground. She's probably looking ahead to the day when that big sausage and egg breakfast turns out to be my last, and she can find someone in better shape who looks even a little like Johnny Depp. It would be hard for her to leave me before then though, because I'm deaf enough not to hear her dump me, and even if I do, I probably won't remember.

I've also become a major crank, and that's not fair to those around me, especially my wife. In the past few days here are some of the petty things that I've allowed to annoy me: my morning newspaper being delivered late; a new roll of gift wrap paper that barely goes around the cardboard tube once; double-parked cars, a permanent pet-peeve; morbidly sentimental e-mails with pictures of puppies and kittens, not only asking me to read them but to annoy 20 other people by passing them on; people in front of me in the return line who bring back merchandise to stores looking as if it came out of a trash compactor, and then taking up my valuable time trying to convince the skeptical clerk that it came that way in the box.

There's more....telemarketers who cold-call trying to sell me stuff, and who add insult to injury by feigning interest in me with rehearsed small talk: "Hey, those Jets are having quite a season, huh?"; I ordered an art print for my daughter and it arrived in a crushed, wet tube. I complained to the sender that if the print did not dry with no damage, I'd expect a replacement. They kindly responded with an apology saying they were shipping another copy and to keep the first print. Now I'm annoyed 'cause I feel guilty for complaining; my gardener applies powdered lime a couple of times a year as a fertilizer...maybe applies is too precise a word...actually he flings it into the wind, covering everything but the grass and bushes; did I mention double parking?

Now you have some idea of what my wife puts up with. There was an award-winning TV show on CBS Playhouse in 1967 (I looked it up) staring Melvyn Douglas and Shirley Booth who played an older couple fighting to maintain their dignity in the face of physical decline. The title of the show is from a poem of the same name by Dylan Thomas, who wrote it to convince his father, grown weak and frail with old age, to fight against imminent death. Here's the first stanza: "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Alright already, I'm raging. (Did I mention double parking?)


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1 comment:

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

"A permanent pet-peeve; morbidly sentimental e-mails with pictures of puppies and kittens, not only asking me to read them but to annoy 20 other people by passing them on."

Boy, how I can relate to what you say!