I belong to many groups. Some of the groups that I am a member of are by choice, such as living in a condo development and having to suffer the fresh hell of the Homeowners Association routinely. Other groups I have no say in whether to join, such as the family unit I was born into. One group that I am a member of totally against my will are the Senior Citizens. I have chosen to pick and choose which elements of this group I wish to be a part of. I resist many common stereotypical sacraments and customs of the elderly. Many of these cliches are accurate founded.
While I will accept a reduced price at the movie theater, I refuse to eat my dinner at 4:00 P.M. to save a dollar. I will gratefully take a seat offered up out of respect and courtesy on the subway or a door held open for me but I will not enter the gate of a retirement village, regardless of who is holding the door and pushing me inside. Those are the Grim Reaper's anterooms.
Seniors normally enjoy the company of other blue hairs over decaffeinated, artificially sweetened, coffee, conversing through dentures about grandchildren, hip replacement surgery, and difficulty peeing. I prefer the company and vitality of young people, which is one reason I began attending Coastal. Sometimes, I actually forget I am old until I look with horror into the mirror. But I still have my teeth.....most of them.
I have not, nor will I ever join AARP, which seems to be a rite of passage for codgers like myself. Triple A, another group I voluntarily belong to, gives a better discount at hotels and restaurants than AARP and they will tow my car. AARP will not.
Get caught in a conversation with an elderly person and you will get a better weather report than Al Roker can provide. I don't understand the fixation on the weather that my contemporaries have. Are they preparing to sail to England on a raft? They stay mostly indoors, so it is the same weather year round. I have feigned deafness and unfamiliarity with English just to avoid these exchanges.
Because I was a career military person I am eligible to join other groups that I choose not to, such as the VFW and American Legion. Though they have cheap alcohol, the price you must pay is listening to old farts tell war stories that never happened about places they have never been, all claiming to be Special Forces or Green Beret, when they were actually cooks and clerks, that no one ever admits to being. No thank you.
Upon reaching geezerhood, it is a custom for many northern people to migrate to the south. I guess southern geriatrics stay where they are. Defying convention, I moved from Wyoming to Myrtle Beach at the age of 48, while I still had most of my faculties and some of my hope. I love to fish and play golf but I have been doing both for my entire life, so they are not something I picked up since moving here to help me enjoy in my "golden years."
I have to accept growing older, but rather than sitting around waiting for more body parts to fall off and eventually to die I prefer Dylan Thomas' approach. "Old age should burn and rave at close of day," and not leave their turn signal on for ten miles.