Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bingo boy

My mother, who died six months ago today at the age of 102, used to say that what she hated most about being old was that people patronized her. “Most people assume I’m either helpless or an idiot,” she would say. Mom was most definitely neither.

Control shift.

I belong to a gym six miles south of my house. I often ride my bike there and back, sometimes stopping by my mother-in-law’s assisted living community, which is on the way, for a quick visit, as I did today.

I knew the residents play Bingo on Sunday mornings, but figured they would be finished by the time I arrived. They weren’t – the game was still in progress in the activity room. I was plopped in an easy chair in the elevator lobby outside the room when a thirty-something woman appeared, carrying a vase of flowers. I assumed she was going to see a grandparent – she was too young to have a mother or father in assisted living.

“You didn’t feel like playing Bingo?” she asked sweetly.

“No,” I replied, shaking my head, thinking it was easier to leave it at that.

“Well then,” she smiled. “Would you like me to help you into the game room so you can play with your friends?”

I know I have crows’ feet. I know my hair is silver. I don’t go around trying to pretend I’m younger than I am (I'll be 64 next month) but, as a long-lost fraternity brother used to express disgust so eloquently, fuck that shit. Are there any guys reading this who’ve tried that hair color for men they sell in drugstores?

If so, does it wash out in case you don’t like the results?

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