The Journey




William Mason                                                                                                                                                        January 7, 2011

Dedicated to those who know the secrets of aging well and to all of those young bucks who, at least for the moment, seem to have everything: beauty, brains, and brawn.

61. That’s it. I’ve finally arrived: senior citizen status.


And it’s not so bad: discounts every Tuesday at the local frozen yogurt bar; the assumption that — if you’re a little grumpy — it’s just your age; AARP mailings that let you know someone else knows you’re still alive — even if it’s only some young computer whiz kid; and the comfort of knowing that — in an age obsessed with beauty and youth — you’re like a rare, highly-prized bottle of finely-aged wine … filled with subtleties that only time and experience can bring.


Age spots? They don’t matter. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Gray hair? Hey, sophistication, experience, and wisdom come with a price. Besides, if you have hair, you’re already ahead of the game. So why complain? And if you are completely bald, no problem: That’s often seen as being a little sexy or even slightly dangerous or rebellious — all youthful qualities. Sagging? Come on, you’ve been fighting gravity for a long time. You’re entitled to a few battle scars; they demonstrate courage and endurance — qualities that some younger folk could use a little more of.


Truthfully, there’s only one thing that sucks about getting old — and it’s not gout, arthritis, or even Alzheimer’s: Forgetting some things can be a strangely endearing, and a little pain gives you a great excuse to avoid the things you don’t want to do anyway.

No, none of that matters.


It’s the hair …


Not the gray stuff on the top or side of your head, or the bushy material that accents your eyes. It’s those pieces of straw that grow out of your ears or nose — those coarse, obstinate, infinitely recurring growths that must be plucked or cut. Either way, it’s a pain in the butt … assuming you can see well enough to get at them.


So to all of you youngsters out there … laugh on. Go ahead and make the jokes about the old guy with gray hair who can’t remember where the yogurt place is, or the old lady with dyed hair who puts her purse in the refrigerator … just like my own mother once did. Go ahead and make the jokes about loud music and early bedtimes — without sex.


Laugh on, my young friends. Because someday you’ll be pulling gray straw out of your ears, or long, black hairs out of your noses … and then you’ll actually know what it really means to grow old.

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(c) Copyright 2010, 2011 William Mason. All rights reserved: The work titled "Straw" (the reflection directly above) may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission from the author.




Last Updated On 2011-10-15 20:40

(c) 2010 William Mason. All rights reserved.