Column: Speeding on highway of life

Strange changes take place as we travel down the road of life. Some of these things we experience are the result ...

Strange changes take place as we travel down the road of life. Some of these things we experience are the result of either growing awareness or a gradual decline into senility. I choose to describe this process as expanding maturity because it sounds nicer.

One of the changes I have noticed is that my regular barber frequently lies to me much more than he did a few years ago. A good example of his prevarication took place when I dropped in for one of my infrequent haircuts.

I didn’t notice whether or not he had swept the floor around his barber’s chair prior to my arrival, but part way through the haircut I noticed a disturbing amount of gray hair on the floor. When I inquired as to the origin of the hair, he replied that it came from my own head.

I responded that his answer is a distinct falsehood as I know perfectly well that I don’t really have gray hair.

Imagine my shock when he turned the chair around so I could view my own image in the huge mirror on the wall behind his chair. I could easily see that the little hair remaining on my head was definitely very gray. How did this sneak up on me? I told the barber that it was premature graying. He just laughed and said I was 75 years old and wouldn’t likely ever mature.

Other irregular occurrences have also repeated themselves more frequently in recent months. Let me explain.

I like to think of myself as a gentleman and treat my dear wife with the respect she deserves. That includes leaving my teeth in until after I kiss her goodnight as part of our nightly routine.

However, I have let my manners lapse recently and have given her an occasional smooch after removing my dentures. Her reaction tells what I need to know – that this approach is not much fun for her.

It’s also embarrassing to forget to put my dentures back in my mouth before leaving our apartment and only discover this oversight when someone at morning coffee points out that I seem to be missing something.

I sometimes find myself wandering around our apartment dressed in only my briefs, and that’s alright as long as I don’t forget to put on some trousers before I leave.

No teeth is one thing but there’s just no telling what sort of reaction it might inspire if I showed up for morning coffee without my pants on.

Any of you over the age of 65 or so will have noticed how everyone on the road drives faster than you. We all used to drive a respectable speed, but now everyone else is driving too fast for us. It’s really funny how the car I drive now is capable of fairly high speeds, which I never even think about, while some of the old beaters I used to drive were barely capable of keeping up with the flow of traffic. And like most other young guys of that time, I pounded the devil out of those poor heaps.

Altered hearing ability is another area in which confusion can rear its ugly head. I am constantly reminding my dear wife that she mumbles too much but she simply replies that I am going deaf. My usual response is, “What did you say?”

She actually thinks she is speaking clearly and fluently. I think she just can’t hear herself mumbling, but I meant those vows we exchanged many years ago about sickness or health and I will continue to love her despite of her emerging shortcomings.

Sandy Macdougall is a retired journalist and former city councillor.


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