Monday, March 10, 2008

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me

That was a couple of years ago, when I was sixty-four. Almost exactly one month from today, I’ll be sixty-six. I was reminded of that today, when a legal matter came up and the fact that I am 65 was part of the equation.

Retirement age. Senior discount age. Income tax “under the radar” range age. Social Security, AARP. Wearing a hat while I drive and leaving the turn signal on for ten miles.

Let’s see … in my religion (RC, unless things get worse than they are now), you attain the age of reason at 7. You are no longer a cute little kid around 12 or 13 (this has nothing to do with religion). You can drive at 16, as well as work legally (which I began doing without working papers are 14). You get a draft card at 18 and, in Connecticut, you drive to NY state with said draft card proving you are 18 and hit any bar you like. Or, at least, when NY’s legal age was 18. Also at 18, you can, uh, enjoy yourself with someone who is also at least 18 without going to jail.

At 21, you could vote back then. You didn’t believe anyone over 30. Women stopped having birthdays after 39, as did Jack Benny. Elderly women were properly identified as being “of a certain age.” Elderly men were just “old men.” If you made it to 100, your picture was in the paper and there was a party at the nursing home; they'd try to have you blow out the candles or, if necessary, remind you that it was your birthday and the old lady in front of you is your daughter, the middle-aged people are your grand-children and the 20-somes are your greats, with their own kids.


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