Prepare yourself friend, life changes in the shadow of 75

In the event you aren’t yet there (I hope), please permit me to warn you in advance: Much about daily life changes when one finds oneself dangling from the cusp of 75 years astride this tottering Earth.

Thus, today I offer but a few of many deficiencies that have grown from the roots of my own physical and mental acuity deterioration.

Offered in no particular order, they range from small things like growing intolerance for large evening meals, the better to perhaps sleep half the night if I get lucky, to pulling out in front of oncoming traffic or running over the damn curb half the time when rounding a corner. No one I know wants to be that traffic-impeding old man driver, yet there exists irrefutable evidence I am, or soon will be, a pox on the motoring public.

Once capable of scarfing a medium-sized bag of wavy potato chips washed down by most of a carton of dip in a single sitting, I have become chip aversive in old age. The dang things just don’t taste good anymore. So, all I have is an inexplicable ‘meh’ to potato chips.

Thankfully, Cheetos are still forever, but only the ‘quick fried to a crackly crunch’ subspecies of this decadent fruit. Real men, even hormonally challenged old poops such as yours truly, cannot abide those puffy, gross, turn-to-mush-in-your-mouth Cheetos. Ewww! And what of the blister-your-lips jalapeno variety? Those incendiary little suckers are ‘Right Out’ to quote the Holy Hand Grenade speech from our favorite movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

My position on this is not complicated, food ought not hurt. Ever. Period. Some say I’m funny that way.

Crashing to earth in a wiener dog incident of which I am not proud mandated installation of a shiny new, after-market prosthetic ball hammered down into the end of my sawed-off right femur was visited upon this octogenarian-in-waiting, too. The minutia of sad details is too long and boring to inflict upon you here. Suffice to say circumstances conspired to leave me doomed to never again walk limp-free or be reliably stable on my feet.

Of much lesser import, I require less coffee to light my personal burner of a morning. Time was, and not so many years ago, I would be gulping the foul brew the day long. Not anymore. I have no idea why, but it does make drifting off at mid-afternoon siesta time easier.
Remaining on the beverage side of geriatric foibles, beer has become pleasura-non-grata. Can not process the bubbles. Simple as that. Thank goodness the odd glass of merlot or cabernet or zinfandel or pinot noir or gamay Beaujolais still passes my gullet without incident. Gin and tonic remain in play, too, which is nice.

Of greater concern are increasingly frequent mental lapses. Once it was, “Where did I park the car?” More recently the worry is, “Which vehicle am I driving today?” Hard to find your ride when you don’t know what to look for.

Think I’m kidding? One of my most-used computer access passwords is York’s zip code. Easy, right? Of course, that’s why I picked it. But just the other day I had to Google ‘York, Nebraska zip code?’ to get in. I found that disquieting.

Clearly, the old gray matter she ain’t what she used to be.

Here’s another. Regular briefs served well the first several decades of life. Not now. In recent years it must be boxer briefs or nothing … and let’s not even think about nothing.

This next one has become an anthem in life over 70; there is no such thing as too much butter. This drives Good Wife Norma to distraction. “I already buttered those potatoes” she’s told me too many times to count. She fails to understand my position on this matter. If I can’t see it lying there in great golden, gooey globs on the spuds or broccoli or asparagus or green beans or beets or carrots it is, in my world, not buttered. On this I will remain steadfast unto death.

GWN says so much butter is not good for me and I’m certain she’s right. But what would she have me do, live forever? God forbid.
Whining aside, there are a few saving graces about being an archeological artifact trapped in a shiny new world.

Case in point. I have learned it is no longer necessary to stand up and peer out the window to know if it’s raining or not.
Turns out there is an app for that. Who knew? Life is good.

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