Getting Older

By: Dennis Bates

Yesterday I celebrated my 63rd birthday. Thanks, but that just sounds so old. I know it’s all relative. Some of you are older, but 63 not only sounds old, it starts to feel old. All those aches and pains add up. When I travel anymore I have to take an extra bag for creams, ointments, pills and extra prescriptions in case I forget where I put the originals.

I am eligible for senior citizen discounts in motel rooms and at restaurants, and when I tell the check in clerk at the motel that I forgot to bring my AARP card to get the senior discount, she just smiles that patronizing smile and says in her best nursing home voice, “That’s okay. I trust you.” Why doesn’t she just say, “You don’t have to prove you’re old enough. I can tell?”

When I try to flirt with the cute waitress, she’s not offended. I want her to be offended. She should be. My intentions are not honorable. But she’s amused by them and the worst of all, she calls me Sir. I don’t want to be a Sir.

I want my face slapped, at least metaphorically. It makes me feel young, like I could if I would, which I wouldn’t, but I want to think I could at the very least. And I want her to think that. Instead, she appears to pity flirt with me, and that’s the last thing I want. At least blow me off like you would if I were younger.

Last weekend we went to a restaurant in Sikeston, Missouri, when we visited my mother in law. The restaurant bills itself as “The Home of Throwed Rolls,” and the whole reason you go there is because they serve fresh, hot rolls in a unique way.

The young servers stroll up and down the aisles announcing in a loud voice that they have fresh rolls. If you want one, you raise your hand and the server literally throws it to you. The local myth is that the high school baseball coach used to train his players by making them work there to sharpen their skills.

Maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t, but the servers throws are amazingly accurate and they will throw the rolls from any part of the restaurant. Sometimes they even move back a little before they deliver the rolls, just to show off.

I saw a new cart of rolls come out of the kitchen and I raised three fingers in the air to indicate I wanted three rolls. When nothing came my way, I raised my arm again figuring he didn’t see me the first time. Still no rolls, so I stood up and waved my arm. The server nodded to indicate he saw me and I prepared to demonstrate that I still had good hands.

The young man then walked to our table and handed me three rolls. Handed them to me! He threw four in a row to some prepubescent girl sitting at the table next to me and two more to a six year old boy there for his birthday party, but he handed them to me.

To say the least, I’ve never been more mortified in my life. Handed them to me! Why didn’t he just cut up my meat while he was there? Us old people have trouble chewing, you know? Even those of us who still have our own teeth.

Talk about feeling old. The next thing I’ll find out is the woman I’m sleeping with is getting social security. You know the woman I’ve been married to more than 40 years. Wait a minute….

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