Acting Age Appropriate

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - January 21, 2009
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I think I’ve started out 2009 on the wrong foot, or perhaps on the wrong age. I’ve always thought of myself as young at heart, but lately I’ve developed some habits and quirks that indicate I’m on my way to senior citizenship. Some are subtle while others make me look like the poster boy for AARP.

It’s probably become more apparent to me because I’ve been spending a lot of time with our kids over the holidays. Our soon-to-be 20-year-old son was back from college during winter break and our 11-year-old soon-to-be 19-year-old daughter was on her school holiday.

I’ve never gotten so much grief about how I’m acting like an “old man” than I had these past weeks with my family. It made me start looking at the things I do to see if in fact I am becoming a “geezer.” One of the first indications started before the election last year.

Instead of listening to cool tunes on my car radio, I started listening to talk radio stations. When I was a teen, I used to constantly complain because that was all our father ever listened to in the car. He would to listen to Tom Dancer, who used to “blow up” callers who didn’t agree with him.

It didn’t dawn on me until my kids started complaining and said they’d be willing to listen to opera or classical music rather than the talk jockeys I was listening to. Another big indicator of age advancement was that I suddenly turned into the electricity marshal of the house.

That means I go around the entire house turning off lights, TVs and other electrical appliances. With today’s energy-conservation efforts that doesn’t sound too unusual, but what makes it an age thing is that I complain out loud, curmudgeon-like, as I go around doing it.

I tend to overdo it like most things I do, and sometimes turn things off that are still in use or turn off lights while my wife is still in the room. That’s when I get compared to her dad, who is in his mid-80s. I retort that I’m honored to be compared to such a great man.

The other night was the capper when our son and I drove to the supermarket to buy some snacks. As I entered the parking lot, I spotted a parking space opening up right in front of the store.

Before anyone else, I jammed the car into the stall and started celebrating like I just made a Super Bowl game-winning touchdown. My son stared at me while shaking his head. I then realized that when the highlight of my week is getting a close parking spot, I better re-evaluate my lifestyle.

Maybe I still have hope, although when I blow my nose into a handkerchief and it honks, I’ll start looking for a retirement home.


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