HAPPY MEDICARE TO ME!
Last Saturday, I celebrated (sic) my 65th birthday. My present was a Medicare card. Yes, it’s happy Medicare for me!
Now that the Federal government has issued me a Medicare card, it’s official: I’m an old geezer.
For many years, I have dilluded myself into thinking that I was really just a middle-aged baby boomer. Last year when I turned 64, my much younger wife reminded me that the Beatles once sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”
I replied that I would rather remember Bob Dylan’s classic song, Forever Young.
But the receipt of a Medicare card is not the only sign that I’m now, to put it gently, a senior counselor. At my birthday dinner the other night at one of my favorite restaurants, the wait staff brought me a birthday cake for dessert. It had only one candle on it. Not 65 candles, just one solitary candle. When I asked where the rest of the candles were, I was told that when you turn 65, you only get one candle. The fire marshal will not allow you to have more.
When I tried to bribe a waiter to bring me 64 candles for my cake, he responded, “The smoke will set off the fire alarm!”
Another sign that I’m an old codger is the fact that last weekend, many friends congratulated me on being “65 years young.” Not 65 years old, mind you. 65 years young.
You know you’re old when on your birthday, people start substituting the word “young” for old.
You remember when you turned 21? Did anybody congratulate you on being 21 years young? Of course not. You were 21 years old and proud of it!
The next sign that you’re definitely getting old is when people start saying to you, “Boy, you look great!” What this actually means is, “Boy, do you look old! We have to start telling you you look great!”
But there are certain advantages to being an old geezer. First, I’m entitled to senior discounts on absolutely everything. I used to get mad when a waiter or waitress would smile at me at a restaurant or at the counter of a fast food outlet and condescendingly say, “You’re entitled to the senior discount!”
But I don’t get offended anymore. I want a discount for everything I eat, everything I wear, and every trip I take.
I’m just mad that Starbucks doesn’t offer a senior discount for lattes.
And the other advantage of being an old geezer is that, as my 29 year old son told me, “Dad, you’re now at the age where you can say anything you want to say, and the rest of us just have to deal with it!”
Moreover, I still have my car keys, so not only can I say anything I want to say, I can drive myself to McDonald’s and get a senior discount on French fries! And if my doctor tells me not to eat French fries, I will respond, “Hey, I’m 65 years young! I’ll eat anything I want to eat, and I won’t pay full price for it!”
And so as I drive along life’s highway with my left turn signal permanently on, I will remember the admonition of Bob Dylan (who is 76 years young) that my heart always by joyful, my song always sung, and may I stay, forever young!