Saturday, February 4, 2012

Track Your Age

By Rob Watson

Every time I say my age, 65, soon to be 66, it has a peculiar ring. It never seems to ring true. I have a degree in Math. I can subtract the year of my birth from this year and get 65, I can ask my wife and get 65. I can ask nearly all my class mates and get 65. Still it does not seem possible. Who knew?!

It seems that my age has always been a boon or a bane, never just an number. At the age off 10, on vacation in Colorado I got a discount on ticket prices in most places. On vacation in Hot Springs Arkansas I couldn't go into any of the auction places or the bath houses. I had to walk past the girlie shows at the state fair and wonder what went on inside. ( I finally went, It is not worth the price of admission.) At the age of 16 or so, I had to buy beer from bootleggers, or go with a friend, the son of a printer, who duplicated a draft card and filled in the necessary information. (I mean, as long as you are breaking the law, might as well go big time).

The year I turned 30, I lost track of my age. I had to count it up on my fingers or look on my driver's license, if it was important. Age and brain synchronized again at age 40, for a while. When I got to 46 I kept thinking 47. At 47 I was again lost until age 50. Except for an occasional memory laps I was able to keep track during my 50's. In here, somewhere, I became too old for a real job. I could work on the margins, doing what younger people would not... not unlike an illegal immigrant.

In my 60's things have gone smoothly, keeping track wise. I looked forward to 62, where the Government finally acknowledged I had earned some minor assistance for years of faithful citizenship. (In previous years, the government was reluctant to help during my times of need.) Now, of course, they are calling this "help" an entitlement. Well, Damned right!! I am entitled. I paid Social Security from age 12, taxes from age 21, served my time in the military in time of war, and voted in every election of every kind during my majority. Entitled? Yep!! What irritates me is when the unentitled get my taxes, and call them entitlements. (Borrowing money on the good name of my country and using it to buy votes and the good will of foreign despots, does not sit all that well either)

It is just that 65 does not seem right. The truth is, for all these years I have been looking out on the world through the eyes of a six year old. I have gained in knowledge, in experience, in maturity of thought, loved and been loved, and still... All that is new is a wonder; all that is pretty is a joy, all tragedy is a deep sadness, and all that has never been is a possibility.

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