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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  July 27, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

On turning 60.

This November I turn 60 and I’ve come to accept that getting to be 60-years-old isn’t such a bad thing once you accept the fact that:

- With the kids grown and gone, you can finally get into your car, turn the key and not have some group like “Iron Rooster” or “Ten-Ton Chicken” blasting their latest “song” at you somewhere in the vicinity of 130 db. Now, what happens is this: You set the station and, more importantly, the volume to what you like and it actually stays there.

- Your parents were right to be disgusted with politicians of every stripe. In short, you finally admit to yourself that you’ve heard the same promises over and over again, watched as nothing ever really changes, and resigned yourself to the idea that, even though they’re the best money can buy (literally), it’s a near truism that 99% of them do give the other 1% a bad name. Sad is what it is.

- Comfort is now the only thing you consider when buying new shoes.

- When a sweet young thing pulls up along side of you at a stop light and asks you to roll down your window, the conversation is going to go something like this: “Sir (now there’s a dreaded word), could you tell me how to get to…?”

- You recognize the “new” business model or management program being touted at the company is the one that didn’t work when it was tried (under a different name) 25 years ago.

- From now on, you’re going to be asking a lot of people “What was that you just said?” But that’s only because they’re talking in whispers.

- You now believe that all teenagers look suspicious and every one of them seems to be doing foolish and ridiculous things - unlike, of course, what we did when we were young.

- The only thing that’ll get you out of the house after 10 P.M. is either a fire or an earthquake. And, to get you out of that house, the walls had either better be really warm or shaking violently.

- You now find yourself nodding in wholehearted and enthusiastic agreement when you stumble across a quote regarding taxes like the one by Robert Heinlein: “Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.” That’s because the government never seems able to live within a budget like the rest of us have to and, consequently, is always looking for more ways to get its hands ever deeper into our pockets. Approaching retirement, this gets downright scary.

- You think that you have to go back to the Department of Motor Vehicles to tell the nice person behind the counter (the one who said you really didn’t have to speak so loudly) that they’ve made a huge mistake and have somehow put your father’s photograph on your new driver’s license.

- You no longer think it’s necessary to bend the bill of a baseball cap before you put it on.

- When you get onto an airplane and look into the cockpit, you find yourself wondering who let those youngsters in there to play. Worry sets in when you see that they’re still at the controls as the plane begins moving. It gets worse when you recall that their friends are now playing doctor and their cousin was driving the highway patrol car when he pulled you over to politely ask you to keep up with traffic. Your answer to that young officer’s request, of course, was: “What was that you just said? Could you please speak up?”

- At the company softball game, you’ll watch the ball bounce between your legs and go into the outfield at about the same time your muscles receive the command to bend over and try to catch it. Worse, once you’ve bent over, you have an even harder time getting back up.

- Mick, Cher, and all of The Beach Boys look, well, old.

- You watch movies and find yourself thinking that John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and Alan Ladd could knock the stuffing out of Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DeCaprio.

- The thirty-somethings at work start asking what you’re going to do when you retire and, from their none too subtle tone, you understand that they think a date for this event should be pretty well firmed up and published by now.

Need I go on?

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2008 by Larry Simoneaux
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