Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Rodeo Clown

It's a real wake-up call when you learn that toys you played with as a child are now considered antiques that collectors are scrambling for on E-bay. Life has a funny way of distracting you, like a rodeo clown saving some poor cowboy's ass from a rampaging bull. While you deal with life's distractions, unbeknownst to you, the years have been racing by. When you're young, time passes slowly. The space between Christmases and summer vacations from school seemed endless back then, and like the fools we are, we thought we would never get old. And then one day the check arrives. Like a tipsy restaurant guest ordering everything on the menu, we are shocked at what we have spent. How did we get to be this old? Does this check look right to you?

When reality hits you realize you are well past the age at which you considered your father to be old. I know, times have changed and the rodeo clown says 70 is the new 50, but that little deception we buy into is driven by pure terror. You might think like a 50 year-old, sure you can dress like a 50 year-old, but your body is screaming 70. Someone must have sneaked in to the laundry room and washed all your clothes in hot water, because none of them fit any more. All those chores around the house that you grumbled about but had no trouble completing when your wife finally sweet-talked you into doing them...suddenly most of these are beyond your physical ability. And surely some evil spirit keeps moving your glasses and car keys from where you're positive you put them.

I believe too that patience is inversely proportional to age. You know your meter has been running for a while and you have zero tolerance for time wasters. People in front of you in lines who insist on chatting up the clerk at the register; drivers who thoughtlessly creep down the street looking for an address; distracted waitresses who bring you things you never ordered...all these poor souls incur your wrath. Maybe all those years of smiling at bosses you know are dumber than you builds up a head of steam in us that has to be released at some point. Maybe we get angry because we know that we are now officially out of the loop. We don't recognize any of the actors nominated for Oscars, any music reference at all goes right over our heads, and we can see technology's taillights way ahead of us as we try to fathom our new cell phones.

Age is not all bad. For instance, you've already made a lot of mistakes in life and if you have a brain, these experiences will not be repeated. (Note: Does not apply to anyone working in government.) This hard-won wisdom allows you to advise your children of these pitfalls, and then stand by helplessly while they do what they want. Age also gets you some free passes in terms of what uncensored thoughts fly from your mouth. You become the poster boy for Tourette's Syndrome, rarely bothering to mull over a thought before expressing it. If you're 30 and you say to the post office clerk: "Hey pal, when your 3-hour break is over, maybe I can get some service here", you might have to back that up with some swift karate moves. But when you're 70, their eyes just roll back and some people in line might gasp, but no fisticuffs. He's just a crazy old man, right?

A little friendly advice...don't let that rodeo clown take your eyes off the ball. Sorry for mixing my metaphors, but there are only so many days in our banks. Cherish your family and friends, safeguard your health, and say a prayer once in a while in case the athiests have it all wrong.


Children's Craniofacial Association

1 comment:

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

I'm starting to come to the age that Dad died, and I wonder how much longer I have.