Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Plea for Understanding.

From the old to the young:

Why do we oldsters take forever at the counter. picking up our change?

Because we have lost a great deal of sensitivity in our finger tips, and we can't quite feel the edge of the coin; much less do we have the ability to fight through the arthritis to engender finger suppleness and knuckle dexterity to flip the coin into our pockets once we pick the coin up.

Why do we always seem to have food stains on our blouses and shirts, like pigs?

Because we can't see as well as we used to; we can't see the dropped food or drying residue on the favorite shirts we wear day in and day out; also neatness primarily being a tactic to impress work colleagues, our Moms or the opposite sex, we're not working so much anymore, Mom is in the grave, and sex is confined to self-infliction...with no one looking, including ourselves. 

Why do we look so dumb-founded when you talk to us?

Its just that we can't hear you as well anymore. Also, even if we do hear clearly, our brain-synapses don't work as quickly as before, translating the sound into clear cognition. And maybe, to be honest, it is a little bit because of stupidity. Not ours; yours: maybe we can't believe that you would say something so dumb and uninformed?

Why do we always seem so conservative?

In short, because we have more to conserve. It is old saying: "if you're young and not liberal, you have no heart; if your old and not conservative, you have no brain." Let me put it this way: when you've seen so many rainy days, you tend to save more assiduously for them.

Why do we always seem to be picking our teeth and sucking food from between our teeth?

Because our gums have receded, leaving more space between our teeth to have food sticking in there after a meal. That's why the Indians call old people "long in the tooth." Because they have shorter gums and so their teeth seem longer. Facts of life. See how the seemingly undesirable habits of old age are merely logical responses to the practical facts of aging life.

Why do we always wear sweaters, or for that matter, silly sailing hats or peak caps, or golf caps, even when it warm outside; why do we wear blankets when we sit down  to read at night?

Because the capillaries under our most surface skin are dying, thereby carrying less warming blood to the surface of our skin. So we're always cold.

Why do we seem grouchy and complain a lot?

Because our bones ache when its damp, and we remember (with the help of our partners) all the mistakes we've made in our lives. Our hearing and eyesight is failing, the price of everything is always going up, technology is requiring us to learn new things, expanding population is making our life more crowded, and our children are failing us (if not merely disappointing us, they are back home living with us...and blaming us for that underachievement). I finally said to me kids one day when they were really bitching bout me about me failing him: do you think you are what we hoped for when we conceived you? We're as disappointed in your as you are in us. I caught a little break from their complaining about my early parenting.

And finally (turn away, kids,  if your stomach is delicate), when caretakers take us to potty, or bath us, why are our undergarments always stained?

Because the muscles in our penis don't work as efficiently as when we were vital in pushing the urine down and out the tube; nor do the muscles close as efficiently in shutting down the mechanism when all is done; hence, a lot of leaking. As to our backside: just like our face skin isn't smooth anymore, neither are our assholes. They got wrinkled over time just like our faces; and stray bits of make-up gets caught in the crevices of our faces; so does our human waste get caught in the crevices of our ass. Cleansing (witch hazel) pads for both ends are thankfully available in the same section of the supermarket.

So forgive us young folks. We wish we didn't have to operate the bumpy way we do; but the flesh and bones are weak; and the skin is sagging.

Hey, the good news. The way science of aging is developing so fast, maybe, by the time you get our age, perpetual youth will be discovered. And you'll miss experiencing all of the above.

But if not, I hope the above recitation of old-age truths and facts helps you to a little understand what is waiting for you, Have pity on us...especially a little more patience when we hold up the line while we pick up the change from the counter. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it may be tolling soon enough for thee and thy caretaker." And nickles, dimes and pennies are important when you no longer have a job and you kids are off spending all their money on yourselves.


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