A warning to anyone approaching 50, the official age of seniordom according to the AARP: Hit that age and soon it’s patch, patch, patch.
No matter how hard you work to take care of yourself, turn 50 and suddenly you’re taking pills for everything from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and baldness to peeing too much or not enough, maybe even for toenail fungus.
There’s a pill for everything these days except for remembering to take all the others.
Remember how you use to make fun of older folks’ absent-mindedness? When Aunt Sue forgot where she’d left her house keys? The day that your dad took the train home from work, forgetting that he’d driven to the office that morning? That time Uncle George left his teeth in the Congress Hotel’s men’s room?
It ain’t funny anymore.
“Senior moments” we call them. And unless you have a Senior-Moment Strategy, such absent-mindedness may be downright embarrassing.
Here’s some help:
- Deny everything. Probably the most popular strategy around. When a senior forgets her keys, she simply denies ever having any. When a wife complains to her husband that this is the third time he’s watched the “new” movie he’s watching on TV, he simply tells her she’s crazy, and what does she know about movies anyway.The trouble with denial is that you look like such a jerk, something that comes naturally to too many seniors already.
- Be creative. Instead of denying that you’d seen the movie before, twice, tell the ‘little woman’ that you’re extremely interested in this particular genre of film and need to study its ‘darker inner workings.’
Forget your car somewhere, and take a bus home? Just say that the car’s third cylinder’s doohickey was overheating, or that the license plate suddenly expired, or that you found all the tires flat and the shop needed overnight to fix them. In other words, never tell the truth, never admit to anything.Careful, though. Getting too creative can boomerang. Like blaming your brain fades on “Rotting Brain Syndrome” or “Mid-Life Losing It Disorder.” Such phrases are difficult if not impossible to say with a straight face.
- Get physical. This works well when you’re caught red handed in a senior moment.Take the everyday experience that you’re talking with someone and you can’t remember your husband’s name. Embarrassing? Not if you simply faint dead away! Your senior moment goes undetected.Or suddenly jump and yell, “Did you feel that? I’d heard there was a seismic fault here.” Any outrageous action will divert the listener’s attention away from your woolgathering mind.
- It’s a conspiracy. Can’t find your car keys? Teeth? Socks? Toupee?
Loudly accuse your spouse of moving everything around and ask why s/he can’t leave things in alone. Blame everyone and anyone.Forget your anniversary? You couldn’t help it, you poor sap. You already were forced (by work, by the government, by your spouse, by aliens) to have too much on your mind. You suffered from a debilitating case of mind overload.Can’t remember your name? Blame it on Procter & Gamble’s secret soap additive – the one that causes threads to squeeze waistlines with each washing, cutting off blood to the brain. Memorize this: “Maybe it’s true what they say about P&G’s link with the devil!”
- It’s the generation gap. Usually, a senior moment has to do with drawing a blank about the recent past. You never forget your third-grade teacher’s name. Or your first girl friend. Or your Army serial number. Right?It’s stuff that’s happened, say, only in the last 30 years that are tough to remember. So, If someone asks you about something that goes back only 25 years – like the name of your third kid – ask how can they expect you to know. Then go into a generation-gap rant.Blame your kid for your not knowing his name, what with the way kids change all the time. A good ranter can carry on for hours, long after anyone remembers the question they asked.
So, there you have it. A way out of any embarrassing, popcorn headed, out-to-lunch senior moment.
Of course, you’ll be thought the fool. But that’s the way the world sees seniors anyway, so the downside is slight.
Remember: Lincoln was right. You can fool some of the people all the time.
And you know how foolish seniors are!
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