Godbey: Getting old sneaks up on us

Published 1:30 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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By Jack Godbey


I remember the 1980s, when I was a pimply faced know-it-all, and I pitied my parents because they were old. I could never understand why they didn’t want to hear me blast Bon Jovi from the stereo in my room. They just didn’t understand why I wanted to rip the knees out of my new pair of jeans or why anyone would want to wear a jacket with zippers all over it.

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I’m not sure when it happened but somewhere along the way, I seemed to have officially joined the old peoples club. One minute I’m at a party yelling, “Party all night” and the next I’m yelling, “You kids turn that nonsense down. It’s too loud”. So, how do we know that we have become old? You can probably tell when you decide that this “newfangled” music on the radio is garbage and pop in a Def Leppard CD instead. However, there may be some other ways to tell. For example, if your friends compliment your new alligator shoes and you realize that you’re wearing sandals. Probably a good indication that you’re old.

Certain phrases have changed meanings since I said them 30 years ago. For example, when I’m smiling because I’ve “gotten some action,” that now means that I don’t need to take my fiber pill today. Pulling an “All-nighter” has now changed to mean that I made it through the night without having to go to the bathroom.

I’ve noticed that I seem to ask the same questions over and over in my old age. It seems that every day I ask, “Where the heck is my phone?” while I get distracted by a mysterious bruise that appeared overnight. I’ve caught myself saying, “Now why did I come in this room again?” at least five times this week. And of course, my all time favorite, “What in the world is wrong with people these days?” seems to come out of my mouth at least twice a day. I remember I used to stay up all night talking to my friends on the phone. Now, I get aggravated and say, “Who’s calling past 9:30? It’s the middle of the night for goodness’ sake”.

It seems that my fashion choices have changed over the years as well. Back in the ’80’s, I didn’t go anywhere without a new pair on Converse sneakers and my trusty jean jacket with rips and tears in all the right places. These days, I seem to be saying, “I don’t care what it looks like, its comfortable” an awful lot. I was going through my closet the other day and bragged to my wife that this piece of clothing from high school still fit me. She said, “I’m happy for you but its too hot to wear that scarf”.

I can remember the time that I seemed to be up for anything. Once the sun went down, the fun began. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still up for an adventure. However, the conditions have changed. Now, when I say that I’m up for anything, it comes with the conditions that I’m home by 8 p.m., what kind of food is involved, what the weather is and of course what the parking situation is. Other than that, I’m the guy to call for a good time.

Getting older comes with advantages, too. The amount of wisdom that I’ve gained over the years is priceless. Now, I have the knowledge to take over the world. On second thought, I’m too tired to take over the world today. Maybe tomorrow.