I’ve been an old person for a long time, probably since I was a kid.
I’m so old I’ve actually written this column before, somewhat recently, but I don’t remember what it said and I feel like I’ve got some new stories to share, so bear with me.
I’ve always liked solitude, sleep and reading books. While other kids were using the ol’ “I need a drink of water” trick to get out of bed every five minutes, I begged my parents to let me go to sleep. I accompanied them on a serious dinner to Luby’s to tell them I no longer wanted to go to summer camp. I did it again to tell them I was no longer interested in Girl Scouts. I had the Luann platter with fried fish – both times.
But now this cycle of old age has become evident. When you have to ask the waiter at Chili’s to turn the music down, you are old. When you squat down on the floor to grab a book off the bottom shelf and can’t get back up again, you are old. When people call you “ma’am,” they are being polite, but also you are old.
Which leads me to a story that I wish was my own but it’s not. I stole it from a guy named Patrick – God help me, I cannot remember his last name – who was a page designer at the Huntsville Item when I worked there in 2000, fresh out of college and back when page design involved a glue stick and Xacto knife.
So Patrick had this story about walking through a mall and hearing the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police playing over the speakers. Two little tween girls were shopping for prom dresses and Patrick overheard one of them saying, “This band totally ripped this song off. The Puff Daddy version is so much better.”
Oh. My. Goodness.
I think my parents must have felt this way when I thought Tiffany recorded the original version of “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
My nieces and nephews wanted to watch “Footloose” at Christmas and I had to explain to them that there is only one version of “Footloose” and it stars Kevin Bacon not some has-been from “Dancing with the Stars.”
If you’re going to do a remake or a sequel, do it right and use the original cast. It’s always a bad sign if the sequel has all new unknown actors.
I embrace my old age and I pray that I have some experience, strength and hope to share with others. I try to get better every day and I try to cherish the precious moments with loved ones and close friends.
I went to lunch last week with my friend Brigid Stevenson, who, at 72 years old, decided she wanted to become the chaplain for the Sealy Police Department. She does 12-hour shifts riding along with local officers and is there for them as a friend and listener. I think that is awesome, and I wish more people would take that kind of initiative. How inspiring.
I actually Googled “old people quotes” to see if I could find something clever to use in the headline for this column and I came across this gem from Ann Landers: “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”
Ain’t that the truth?
Use moisturizer. Go to church on Sundays. Call your mother, and if your mother is deceased, call someone else’s mother. Be kind. Let the other guy be right once in a while. Give hugs and say “I love you.” Clean up your side of the street, and the rest will fall into place. I promise.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.