Monday, January 9, 2012

Bite Me!

‘Well, there I was yesterday in the grocery store. Now, because I am such a hip and with-it senior, I usually pay with my credit card with it's magic chip. However, I was not getting much and decided to use cash. I instantly became the dreaded senior that used to be in front of me (that we all experienced and all hated and all rolled our eyes at) counting out the exact change. It never even dawned on me that I had graduated to the ranks of the penny pincher until hours later.’

I found this in my email, sent to me by Ethel. The image it created in my mind made me both shudder and laugh hysterically. It also, however, made me realize something else; something not freaking funny at all. Think about it… who else fiddles with coins at the tills?

I remember watching the grubs walk into the store with their piggy banks, hoping to cash in their coins for paper money. After much eye-rolling, the clerk finally agreed and dumped the change into a machine that sorted and counted it. I was more than a bit annoyed, because I assumed she was going to have to sort and count the stuff, and it was the time commitment she was a bit pissy about. Nevertheless, the kids had their money, and knew the beauty of digging change out of a pocket to pay. For something important, handfuls of coins would be dropped into the clerk’s hand – for that, she did have to count and help them find the right amount, the line of shoppers behind clearly not impressed.

(Don’t you just love when you have a huffer behind you in those circumstances? You know, the one who shifts feet like she is standing on hot coals, and huffs a huge sigh every twenty seconds just to make sure you know she is waiting, and her time is precious. I used to linger when there was a known huffer behind me. Now, though, they scare me. They can run faster than I can, and god only knows what damage I would do… to myself… if I tried to kick someone’s ass.

Lately it feels like, as we grow older, we become more childlike. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I still am not convinced it is. We start to need help more often, relying on our kids to reach what we can’t, or carry what’s now too heavy. I think it starts with the ‘oh, can you remind me...’ thing then slowly washes over our entire life, until our children are cutting our meat for us, helping us to the bathroom and tucking us in at night. I’m not really so sure I want to be having the grubs cutting my food for me; they might try to slip something in there, like spinach or broccoli, payback for the things we tried to sneak past them. When we did it, we simply wanted to keep them healthy. When they do it, it will be because it makes them laugh to see our dentures get stuck in something crunchy and not boiled into mush. This is not something I am looking forward to.

Yes, I suppose I could step up the care I take of my body now. In some regards, it might just be a tad too late. But either way, that day is coming. For now, though, I think the next time I have a huffer behind me, I might just take out my dentures, hand them to her, and say 'Bite Me'.  

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