Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Who is this old man in my bed?"

Today my man celebrates his birthday. This is one of those "MILESTONE" numbers. You know, one of those we used to associate only with our grandparents. As you know we are traveling at this point so in honor of The Big Guy's big number today, I'm rerunning a post I wrote several years ago about him getting old. (I figure it's safe. He has no access to a computer on this trip so he should never know!!)

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Everyone talks about the things that make them feel old but I think the biggie in my life lately has been the fact that I’m now married to what appears to be an “OLD” man. How did this happen? I mean, I know a few years have slipped by and, after all, he was a bit gray when we first met. (He found his first gray hair by age 21! His dad was white-haired by age 40.)

There have been little age-isms sneaking up on us all along the way. There were the obvious signs - reading glasses, which he insists get worn low on the nose and angled, an array of “daily“ pill bottles on the counter for blood pressure, sugar issues, cholesterol and arthritis! Then there were the little petty things that a wife notices (and friends are too kind to mention - at least in front of you.) Things like insisting on using exact change in the grocery store if he has it. I never thought I’d be with the old guy holding up the line to count out 21 pennies! Or, for that matter, the one handing off the stack of coupons and then questioning whatever one might kick out. Of course, he very carefully reviews his receipt as he gets it to be sure they didn’t overcharge for the produce or such. Yes, I’m with the dude swimming in the ocean in a white T-shirt and baseball cap because “he burns easy.” (This began only a few years after we began dating!) In more recent years, he’s also worn those little nylon swim shoes into the water to protect his touchy tootsies. Then there’s the specially shaped neck pillow in bed and the afghan draped over his lap in the evening. Oh yeah, and the evening “naps” in the Lazyboy!

Don’t even get me started on the bed habits. I didn’t know it was possible to snore in all those positions! I try to sleep through the clearing the throat routine in the morning. We saw Bill Cosby do his live routine about this back when we were young. We thought it was hilarious then. I should have realized he was just further along the timeline than we were.

There is an upside to your hubby getting older. They generally need to make more restroom stops frequently. Cross country trips are much calmer when you’re not always the one saying you need to make a pit stop. Few have been my idea for several years now. I just enjoy them as they occur.

Well, sometime in this past year I’ve had disturbing thoughts about him getting really old. There have been numerous times at restaurants, malls, festivals etc. when I realized the elderly man walking toward me with the old man shuffle was MY man! I’ve worried when he came in from shoveling snow or working in the yard, huffing and puffing and a bit flushed from the exertion. There have been times when he made the strangest noises while sleeping that I actually watched to be sure he kept breathing. (I don’t confide those moments to him, of course.) There was the time it dawned on me that he was now several years older than my dad was when he passed on.

(***The bad news is, he didn’t rob the cradle. I’m only a few years younger. What does that say about ME?)

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