55. Meh.

55 pic

It happened. I woke up another year older. It is inevitable, except for that one, unwanted, alternative.

I am not finding 55 to be all that exciting. While it does carry a few new things with it, it just seems to be the first birthday that really calls my mortality into question. I don’t to say that it feels like a “one foot in the grave” birthday, but there you go.

Being a selective optimist, I have gleaned a few things that make 55 a “Special Day, full of fun and celebration!” (Sadly, being a selective realist, I also gleaned a few not-so-exciting consequences.)

• I am now officially old enough to move into a retirement community here in Arizona. There are a few problems with that: First, those places are overrun with old people. Second, I haven’t had time to brush up my shuffleboard skills, and third, I still have a teenager that they won’t allow. Any takers?

• Senior discounts begin to kick in at 55.  Chik-fil-A: 10% off. Albertsons: 10% off the first Wednesday of every month. UPS: 15% off.  Dress Barn: 20% off.  McDonalds: Discount on coffee.  Obviously some discounts are better than others. Anyway, the list goes on and on, and I plan on milking them to death. I mean, why be proud when you can save 10% at IHOP?

• Today I get to be inundated by people asking me if it is time to change the name of my blog. (Happens every year.) This year I can point to a recent study that shows that people in the United Kingdom consider 55 to be the beginning of “middle age” with 69 as the new old.  Now all I have to do is figure out a way to move to England.

• I get to grow old with my true love. I just have to do it sooner than she does.

• That prostate exam that I was supposed to get at 50 is still looming. (FYI: This begins the not-so-good part of the list, lest there be any confusion)

• I have begun noticing that there is an acceleration of hair growth in unwanted places at this stage in life.

• I can ignore people more than I already do, and blame it on hearing loss, or dementia, or apathy – all age-related afflictions.

• This birthday also reinforces the idea that retirement is merely an elusive dream, and I will probably still be working until I’m safely dead, or at least until I’m busy toiling in the field and realize that the guy next to me has been lifted up. (link).

• I get to watch people flex their emoji muscles all day long as they send me birthday greetings. Impressive stuff.

• As the wrinkles get deeper, and the hair gets whiter, I can make the sexist play that I look more “distinguished,” rather than just “old.” (One of the advantages of being a guy.)

• Today will also consist of hitting up several of the best restaurants in my area for free meals. Waffles and ribs for breakfast at Joe’s Farm Grill? Don’t mind if I do!

• On a side note, my first birthday wish came to be yesterday, all the way from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Thanks to Jennifer, time zones, and Facebook friends.

I know that some would argue that 55 is not old, and I should quit acting like a baby about it. To them I say, “It’s my birthday, and I can do what I want.”

And then there are these lyrics from John Mellencamp’s “Real Life.”

I guess, it don’t matter, how old you are
Or how old one lives to be
I guess, it boils down to what we did
With our lives
And how we deal with our own destinies
But something happens
When you reach a certain age
Particularly to to those ones, that are
Young at heart
It’s a lonely proposition when you realize
That there’s less days in front of the horse
Than riding in the back of his cart

Moribund, much?

Thanks to all of you, my friends for the birthday wishes that have already come in this morning, and those that will roll in later today. I will try and respond to each of you, as time, or senility permits.








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  1. When I was 55 my EC and I stopped at a Wendy’s on the way home from youngest son’s track meet to grab a bite. I did not know whether to be thrilled or upset when the girl at the counter gave us a senior discount without even asking us if we were seniors…

    1. That’s happened to me too. Rather depressing. Although I’m a lot older than 55 and I’m sure I look it by now.

  2. I’m just a few days behind you, but I didn’t realize 55 was when the discounts started kicking in. So thanks for that info, I thought I still had years to go for those discounts. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad!

  3. Well a very happy birthday to you.. I love reading your posts. The only good thing about getting older is the senior discount and free exercise. You haven’t seen anything yet, just wait till you turn 70! Yikes scary ..Keep up the good work,

  4. We have plenty of room here locally and the ward would love to have you and the family. I’m sure we could find yo somewhere to live if you are serious about the move to England. You could be my new “older brother” (I am 2 years behind you!)

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