Thursday, August 31, 2023

20 ways to tell if you're officially "old"

  • While watching a streaming tv series featuring an actor you haven't seen recently, you can’t believe how old and decrepit he looks. Good grief, he’s your age or only a few years older, he should look better than that! You look him up on Wikipedia and learn he’s 14 years younger than you.
  • Your niece just became a grandmother.
  • You were always amused by friends who took sweaters to restaurants complaining the A/C was too cold, but now you do, too.
  • You won’t go to any venue that features live music because it makes your hearing aids screech, not to mention it is nauseating to see couples your age joylessly dancing to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree.” 
  • You can’t name one Taylor Swift song. 
  • When your new personal trainer asks your fitness goal, you tell him you want him to develop an exercise routine that will help you get your butt back because it has mysteriously disappeared which is why you don’t carry your cell phone — you need the curve of your butt to keep your pants from falling around your ankles and, even with a tight belt, they fall down whenever you put the damn phone in your pocket. 
  • The day before a hurricane is to arrive, you tell your wife you are going to use your chain saw to remove the palm fronds that are brushing against the top of your pool cage which was damaged during the last hurricane, and that you need her to hold the ladder for you. She refuses, saying someone your age has no business being up on a ladder with a chain saw because you’re either going to fall and break your hip or decapitate yourself or her.  When she leaves, you do it anyway, and sawdust gets in your eyes because you didn’t wear protective goggles. The pain is excruciating and you wind up at the emergency eye clinic. Not that I know anyone this happened to. 
  • You’re 150 pages into a book before you realize you’ve read it before.
  • Friends are constantly sending you memes or posting on Facebook (used exclusively by old people) about how swell things were in their youth when kids drank water from hoses and didn’t have to wear bike helmets or seat belts. Yeah, the generation that produced Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump sure knew what they were doing.
  • Your bridge partners, fellow oldsters, can rattle off the order in which every single card was played in round two of game four three weeks ago but can’t remember who dealt the last hand.
  • Hotel clerks ask if you need a disabled room or one near the elevator so you won’t have to walk so far.
  • As you are following a Buick down the highway, the jukebox in your head suddenly goes off, playing this jingle: “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick? A Buick, ’63 Buick.”  
  • Your bank has had six different names in the 43 years since you opened your account, but your account number has remained the same. The most recent check number you wrote was 30487. Not that you write more than one or two checks a month these days —you have all your bills on autopay because you worry you’ll forget to pay them.
  • As you and your wife are singing along to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” she points out that, for 45 years, you’ve been driving her crazy because you’ve had the lyrics wrong.  Simon’s not accusing the guy who’s so vain about having an affair with the “wife of a postman, wife of a postman.” She’s saying “wife of a close friend.”
  • You still have a landline. The only calls you receive on it are robocalls. You have been intending to have it disconnected but you never do because you’re attached to your phone number.
  • There was something else you wanted to list here but you can’t remember it.
  • As you’re finishing a post about the foibles of growing old, you feel a sudden burst of gratitude as you remember friends who would have given anything to live to be as old as you are. 
  • Because you have nothing more pressing to do today, you count the number of bullet points in this post to see if Dryden really listed 20 reasons or if he’s cheating you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The doctor wants to see you

Wednesday, August 2, 10:22 a.m.

Cell phone rings.

Recorded message: Hello. This is Pelican Harbor Dermatology Clinic calling to remind you that you have an appointment at    9 … a … m. on  … Thursday … August …10th. To confirm your appointment, please press 1 at the conclusion of this message. If you are unable to keep this appointment, please call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The Pelican Harbor Dermatology Clinic is pleased to announce the establishment of a new vaginal rejuvenation practice that will be headed by Dr. Alice Spoonmacher. If you would like information about our new practice, please call XXX-XXX-XXXX, extension 23, to schedule a no-obligation appointment with Dr. Spoonmacher, Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at our office located at 14254 Gulf Parkway, Bonita Springs, Florida. Good-bye.

Thursday, August 3, 7:01 a.m.

E-mail received.

To: Thomas Dryden

From: Pelican Harbor Dermatology

Message Line: Important!

This is a reminder that you have an appointment at 9 a.m. on Thursday August 10th at our office located at 14254 Gulf Parkway, Bonita Springs, Florida. Please bring with you a photo I.D and your insurance information. Any co-payment that is due will be collected at check-out. To confirm your appointment, please press “Yes” below. If you are unable to keep this appointment, please call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. If you are having a cosmetic Botox treatment, we remind you that Insurance companies will cover Botox only when it is used for medical purposes or when it becomes medically necessary, so full payment will be due at check-out. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you.

Friday, August 4, 4:58 p.m.

Land line rings.

Recorded message: Este es un recordatorio de que tiene una cita a las 9 a. m. del jueves 10 de agosto en nuestra oficina ubicada en 14254 Gulf Parkway, Bonita Springs, Florida. Traiga consigo una identificación con foto y la información de su seguro. Cualquier copago adeudado se cobrará al momento del check-out. Para confirmar su cita, presione "Sí" a continuación. Si no puede asistir a esta cita, llámenos al XXX-XXX-XXXX entre las 9 a. m. y las 5 p. m. de lunes a viernes y de 9 a 14 hs. los sábados. Si se está sometiendo a un tratamiento cosmético de Botox, le recordamos que las compañías de seguros cubrirán el Botox solo cuando se use con fines médicos o cuando sea médicamente necesario, por lo que el pago completo deberá realizarse al momento del check-out. Gracias y esperamos verte.

Saturday August 5, 8:33 a.m.

Text message received.

Your appointment for 9 a.m. Thursday August 10 at the Pelican Harbor Dermatology Clinic is confirmed. If you are unable to keep this appointment, please call us immediately at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Cancellation with less than 48 hours notice will result in a charge that will be billed at the address we have on file for you. As an added service for our valued clients, during the month of August, we are offering 20 percent off nail fungus, cellulite and tattoo removal —please ask at the front desk for details. As a reminder, bring your insurance information and a government-issued I.D. and remember, copayments are due at check-out.

Monday, August 7, 11 a.m.

Email received.

To: Thomas Dryden

From: Pelican Harbor Dermatology

Message Line:  Urgent!

Don’t forget — you have an appointment tomorrow at 9. a.m. at our Bonita Springs office. Please bring your insurance information, a photo I.D. and cash, credit card or debit card for any co-payment that is due. While you are here, be sure and ask about our summer special on laser treatments to remove unwanted body hair, spider veins and stretch marks. See you tomorrow!

Today, August 8, 12 noon

Cell phone rings.

Recorded message: This is Pelican Harbor Dermatology Clinic, calling to remind you of your appointment which is scheduled for tomorrow at …  9 … a … m. If you are unable to keep this appointment, call — do not text — us immediately at XXX-XXX-XXXX. 

Today, August 8th, 12:10 p.m.

I place a call to the clinic.

Receptionist:  Pelican Harbor Dermatology.

TD: This is Thomas Dryden. In the last week your office has called on my cell phone twice … called my landline in Spanish  … texted  … and emailed … to remind me of my appointment tomorrow at 9 a.m.  I am calling to confirm that I will probably be there.

Receptionist: What do you mean by “probably?”

TD: Well, I could die in my sleep tonight. I could have a car wreck on my way to your office. I could even be abducted by aliens. There are a million and one things that could keep me from showing up at 9 a.m.

Receptionist: There’s no need to be cynical.

TD:  Well, there’s no need to treat your patients like they’re idiots. I like Dr. ________ but this is ridiculous. If I was coming to you as a Memory Care patient, I might be able to understand all those reminders but he’s a dermatologist. This doesn’t just border on harassment, it is harassment.

Receptionist: Look, I’m not the one who called, texted or emailed. That’s our scheduling department. It's their job — you couldn’t believe how many people don’t show up. 

TD: I imagine half of them don’t show up just to spite whoever’s sending these messages.

Receptionist:  I hate to tell you this  — don’t be mad — but you’re going to be receiving one more call this afternoon and a text tomorrow morning. I can’t stop them. They’re already programmed into the system.

TD: I understand, but please let the good doctor know that you need to back off all these reminder messages or I’m going to find another dermatologist.

Receptionist: I will do that. See you tomorrow.

TD: Probably. Good-bye.