Shaken, Not Stirred: Septuagenarian

January 29, 2017
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred: Septuagenarian

#Shaken, Not Stirred.

A blog by Jim Bond.

I turned 70 today. And I’m cranky.

I know, I know, it’s a milestone to be proud of. Rather than a milestone, for me it’s a millstone. I don’t want to be 70.

In my judgment, (however flawed it may be at my age) I think women are better at passing through these portals than men are. In my judgment, women are substantially better at a number of things than men are. Women attend their 70th birthday celebration carefully coiffed, elegantly attired, smiling sweet smiles and graciously accepting compliments and wishes of ‘many more’.

Today, I’m Jeff Dunham’s ‘Walter’, without the braidable nasal hair. I probably won’t shave today.

In past weeks I’ve watched the postman stepping up from the driveway, cutting across some beautiful landscaping that was put in last summer. I’ve yet to yell ‘Get Off My Lawn!’, but tomorrow I might, since I’m now 70.

Twenty years ago I wrote an article entitled On Turning Fifty for a Muskegon magazine. On the day I passed that milestone I was doing an on-camera TV commercial in Traverse City, portraying a recovering heart attack victim for an HMO. There I was, plodding, loping, wired up, bare-chested on a treadmill.

I speculated in that article that when I reached ‘old age’ I’d be on-camera, doing a chairlift commercial.

Ha, ha, ha. The arrogance of youth.

I’m angry that I no longer have the vigor I used to. Cutting the grass in the summer has become a chore; I’ve put off refreshing the kitchen and breakfast room; I used to hand wax my car twice a year. It hasn’t even been washed in a couple of months, the ‘wash me’ message written by an elementary school student one day a few weeks ago has even faded away. I’m grateful when the dryer contains clothing that’s still damp. I don’t have to fold it yet.

I’ve become a procrastinator. I never used to be. In the past I’ve been almost frenetic about starting and finishing projects.

I’ve always been a collector. Family heirlooms are important to me. Over my lifetime I have collected massive amounts of books, vases, expensive die-cast collectible car models, artwork, and objets d’art (otherwise referred to as gewgaws). I’ve never met an antique store or yard sale I didn’t like. There’s brass, copper, silver, and other shiny stuff. I’m a two-legged raccoon.

But recently I’ve started to divest. When my grown children come to visit, I want them to leave with one of my treasures if at all possible. I’ll be selling book collections soon; there will be a rather large yard sale in the spring. I’m tired of dusting all this crap.

I used to comment about attending high school reunions, listening to the ailments my cohorts were experiencing: diabetes, heart ailments, knee and hip issues. I was always very respectful and sympathetic, with a cocktail and cigarette in my hand. Since experiencing health issues of my own recently, sympathy has evolved to empathy.

In my dreams I’d like to be the septuagenarian who walks the neighborhood in a corduroy suit, tie, and fedora, passing out freshly baked cookies to the neighborhood children. But I’m not, nor will I likely be.

I have not reached the point of the legend about Beethoven’s death at age 56. It’s said that on his deathbed he raised his fist in defiance to the heavens before he drew his last.

Nor do I hope to.

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