Friday, June 20, 2014

Singing The Birthday Blues

With apologies to Sir Paul McCartney

Today I turn 64.

I am not normally depressed or dispirited when the calendar rolls into June, marking another landmark birthday. I reached 30, 40, then 50, and even 60 with acceptance, gratitude (beats the alternative), and a good dinner.

This years birth date is different.

And it is all Sir Paul's fault.

I was doing fine aging, if not with grace, with a sense of the inevitability and relentlessness of the phenomenon.

But that song. That one particular song rewinds continuously in my mind, a few words altered to fit my life.

When I'm 64...

Now that Im older coloring my hair
Started years and years ago
Will you continue to send a Valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
Dont worry wont be out till three
In my warm bed Ill be
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
After Im sixty-four?

My granddaughter told me I am shrinking. I do not agree. I am not shrinking - yet. Actually, she is the one changing.

All of seven years of age, she notices these things, but does not always realize the reasons for the differences. The distance between the top of my head and hers decreased since the last time we were together. One day our heads will meet and then she will surpass me, continuing her upward ascension. By then I probably will be shrinking. She will look down on me and I will look up at her.

But hopefully that occurrence remains years away.

Today I am 64.

I am still handy, tending a dish
When our tummys growl
I can buy us sweaters for the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will anyone need me, will anyone feed me
Past age sixty-four?

64 is not considered a milestone birthdate.

It does not mark the opportune time when I can collect full Social Security.

I still have another year until Medicare eligibility.

Traditional retirement age is 65.

I already qualify for senior discounts at the movies, some stores and New Jersey mass transit, but must pay full price for a seasonal beach pass one more year.

I have had my AARP card much too long already.

Turning 65 is such a momentous event in our society there is a checklist to ensure the transition is completed as easily and seamlessly as possible.

Nothing seems to change at 64.

Except that song...

I met a friend for lunch the other day. On her birthday. We are planning a joint celebration marking next years auspicious birthdays.

I will start looking for our special occasion song.

Meanwhile, enjoy Sir Paul and the Beatles.