When I’m 64
A birthday occurred recently that catapulted me from my very comfortable time in my fifties to a much more prejudicial decade of life. Since I was a little child there was only one appropriate synonym for a sixty year old… and that is OLD. Though I went quietly into this retiring, defining demographic, I must confess I was not pleased.
Though I am sixty, I have the body of a 58 year old, who was glad to give it to me. I have been told I have the mind of a three year old, so I guess overall I am roughly 37 but my hips are sore, so that can’t be true. Mourners try to appease me by spouting clichés that are intended to help me cope.
“Age is just a Number!” was the first one. I agree age is just a number, in the same way that death is just a state of mind.
“You are only as old as you feel!” is another chorus many were singing, as again they tried to distract me from choosing my grave stone font.
During the Christmas season I am invited to social gatherings. Well the truth is my wife is invited to many social gatherings and often the invite includes “and guest” so I tag along. Some choose to use comforting metaphors at these wine and cheese parties. They convince me that, like wine and cheese, you just get better with age. I smile and then eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of wine. As I age I find over consuming wine makes me even more charming, while cheese helps with my digestion. Nobody ever refers to the crackers at a wine and cheese party. Unfortunately like aging crackers, I am getting soggier, saltier, stale and more fragile with age.
If sixty is the new fifty, and 8:48 p.m. is the new midnight, as bedtime now eliminates the viewing of the third period of any hockey game, I must put more effort into maintaining my youthful attitude. Just acknowledging the existence of grandchildren, makes this difficult to do.
I enjoy speaking to young children as I find, unlike my educated adult friends, they do not use a lot of big words that are difficult to understand. If I can distract them from their phones, video games or other devices that discourage human contact for over twenty seconds I celebrate that brief interaction.
During this time of year fighting with the general population for a parking spot at the mall invigorates my youthful disposition. However when I enter the mall I no longer ridicule the mall walkers as I seem to be getting closer to that option.
When I view very old pictures of my very old relatives it turns out that those very old relatives were not that old at all. They just looked very old. People in their sixties from a time where black and white photographs were the only option, really did not seem to worry about the aging process. This is an opinion more than a fact but I now fear that though I think I have maintained a shred of my youthful look, my children and their friends now see a very old person when they look at colour photos of me.
On my 60th birthday I made a decision to age gracefully. I started jotting down a list of things to help remind me of this decision. Well that list became a fifty-page document of so many things I must do to be graceful, that the mere volume made it impossible to remember. Of course I also forgot where I put that list. My memory is getting so bad, I could plan my own surprise party.
As always, when I am forced to face something difficult, I turn to my music collection to help inspire me. Unfortunately both of my children have embraced the turntable resurrection and all of my albums are gone. They did leave me a very scratched copy of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, so I desperately reviewed that record for solace. “It’s Getting Better” seemed to be mocking me. “With a Little Help from my Friends” seemed like the perfect inspiration, so I called a few friends to help me retain that fountain of youth. Wow that was very disappointing as most of my friends are bloody sixty too. Talking about hip replacements, knee replacements and wrinkle cream didn’t exactly jettison me into a mood of renaissance and rebirth.
One thing I am very good at is giving up. I remember precisely the moment I gave up while listening to that record. When the track “When I’m Sixty-Four” touched the needle it was over for me. I did however feel the lyrics were a little dated, so I have edited them for my old friends. As a little Christmas gift, I have also included my video of this edited version. Merry Christmas to kids from one to ninety-two. Please don’t tell me I look like a seventy year old, that can be your Christmas gift to me.
When I’m Sixty-four
(Apologies to Lennon and McCartney, but far more importantly to their lawyers)
When I get older, in a few years, four to be exact.
Will I win the lottery to help retire? Bathrobe, slippers sit by the fire.
Financial planners shaking their heads, walk me out the door.
Will I feel younger? Will I feel hunger? When I m sixty four.
Ah children will not move out, they get older too.
Update my resume, Part time work will do!
I am not handy, can’t mend a fuse. Things sure cost a lot!
Clipping out the coupons for a bar of soap.
Lost my car keys. Am I losing hope?
Credit card payments, I can’t afford, geez my hips are sore,
Learn how to fake it, hope I will make it. When I’m sixty four.
Every get together with my family and my friends are things, that I cherish most.
Time to change my view!
Take care of the ones you love, that’s all one can do.
Just got distracted over reacted that’s what people do.
Focusing on the things that won’t amount to much.
Stay in shape by staying in touch.
May not be wealthy, but the family is healthy, now who could ask for more?
Will I get fatter? And will it matter? When I’m sixty-four.
Will I get fatter? And will it matter? When I’m sixty-four.
More of your incredible talents on display here, Dennis! Merry Christmas!… oh, and Happy Birthday!
Merry Christmas to you and yours Fay. Thanks again for reading this one.
You never cease to amaze me, Dennis. That was a great rendition and a very thoughtful Christmas message. Merry Christmas to you, Kim and the whole Ford Family Circus. ❤️ 🥂
Debby thanks for reading this one. A very Merry Christmas to you and all of your family. Enjoy the holiday season.