You know how when you’re young and you buy a birthday card for a friend who is the same age – you think cards making fun of old people and the ones with the Grim Reaper on the cover are hysterical? And then when you get a little older, you suddenly don’t find them all that humorous?
Yeah, I’m at that stage.
I have a card box at home filled with cards for all occasions. And whenever I need to send a birthday card lately, I seem to bypass those Grim Reaper cards. Sadly, I think they might be hitting a little too close to home or something.
Not only that, but I seem to receive more and more joke e-mails about aging and senior citizens. I try to laugh – really, I do – but with the last batch I couldn’t quite pull it off. The right side of my lip started to turn up a little bit, but then the whole thing sort of turned into a grimace. So I gave up trying to smile and actually harrumphed instead.
No wonder old people are sometimes called cranky – people keep reminding them that they’re old! (Harrumphing, you should know, officially qualifies one as old. Young people do not harrumph.)
I have a friend who’s 16 years older than I am and we’ve been friends since the 80s. That put me in my early 20s and her in her late 30s. Our friendship may have been a little unconventional due to the difference in our ages, but we made it work. She’d been recently divorced and wanted to find someone who was ready to go out and have some fun and show her where the happening places in town were. I fit the bill perfectly!
With age also comes wisdom and I realize now how very patient she was with her young, immature friend. I must not have been too obnoxious, though, because we remain friends to this day. Now we’re both way older – and way wiser!
Anyway, going out and doing things that single women do together – shopping, meeting new people, double-dating and so forth were great ways to bond and become good friends. A couple of times I even spent the night on the couch at her condo if it was late and I didn’t feel like driving across town to my place. (This is code for “overindulging” but remember, I was (a) young, and (b) behaving responsibly by not drinking and driving.)
I swear I don’t remember this, but about 10 years later she said to me, “So…Jane…now that you’re a little older, do you ever get out of bed in the morning and make noises?”
I was completely baffled and said, “What are you talking about?”
Apparently, at the cocky young age of 23, I’d made an observation that she made a lot of noise when she woke up – I heard her groaning as she got out of bed and then I heard all sorts of cracking and creaking and popping noises from joints that had stiffened overnight.
Oops. Guess I was a tad rude, wasn’t I?
Fortunately, she asked me the question when I was still young enough not to have creaking and cracking joints and I wasn’t yet at the stage where I needed to groan as I got out of bed. And so I vowed right then that I would never be forced to admit that, yes, in fact I did make noises when I got out of bed in the morning.
Nowadays, whenever I’m even a little tempted to clutch at my achin’ back and let out a groan as I rise in the morning to start my day, I think of my friend – and I do my best to keep my mouth shut!
By the way, I have some birthday cards in the card box at home featuring the Grim Reaper. Any takers?!