Living Out Loud: : You're as Old as you Feel

Dr. Scholl and me -- part two

Remember that callus I told you about a few weeks ago? Well, now it's turned into an ulcer on the bottom of my right foot. While I'm under a good doctor's care, he's telling me I can't walk on it, need to walk on the heel of my foot — can't put pressure on the ulcer. This is a true pain in the ass, Dr. Roof, and you know it.

I sort of look like Frankenstein walking around, and everyone in the office makes fun of me. Sure, laugh at the old man. It's just another reminder that old age is catching up. But please don't tell Kathy this. She'll just get upset.

If you'll recall, for the November 30 edition of this column, I wrote about my complaints and concerns about getting older ("Dr. Scholl and Me"). I didn't get much mail on the piece, but I did hear from a friend who I visited in Ann Arbor this past summer. She seemed a bit offended by the essay.

Below is her letter, with my remarks in bold type.

Larry,

I am horrified, simply horrified. Tell me you are tongue-in-cheek, kidding about all this! If I put my tongue in my cheek, I'm afraid I'll never get it out. Tell me you are 51, and NOT 81. Actually, I'm 2 and a half. One of the things I'm enjoying about getting older is going through my second childhood. Tell me they aren't still making GERITOL! All right, I'll tell you they aren't making it anymore, but their Web site is http://geritol.com/ Are they still making Doan's Pills as well? Yes. Carter's Little Liver Pills? In my medicine cabinet.

Haven't you heard? My hearing isn't what it used to be - 30 is the new 50. Does this also mean that when I turn 100, I'll feel like I'm 80? We're not that old!

Yes, I wear bifocals. Here's a novel idea, Mr. Magoo: if you can't see without your glasses, WEAR THEM. Did I leave my glasses in Ann Arbor? Can you check around your house? I can't find them anywhere. OK, I admit I've done the two-totally-different-shoes thing (to a nice restaurant downtown, no less!) ... But I'm pretty sure I'm younger at 53 than my parents were. But see, your memory is starting to go. You don't really know that. You're dreaming.

I know a lot of people who think we're supposed to turn into our parents as we age. ... We're supposed to switch to elastic-waist jeans and travel in groups led by tour guides and become conservative and closed-minded. I must take issue with these statements. Elastic-waist jeans are very comfortable, and I own six pairs. When Kathy Y. Wilson wrote her Negro Tour Guide column, I read it every week and felt just fine about it. As far as becoming conservative and closed-minded, put a lid on it, sister. I know when I'm right and when you're wrong.

So much of aging is just mindset, don't you think? What? Yeah, we might have to work a little harder at keeping mobile and limber, but it beats the alternative: becoming rigid and cranky. I don't like to think about being rigid on a Wednesday. It pisses me off.

For the record, I don't really believe aging "beats the alternative": death — I think "life" after death will be much cooler and more fun than life as we currently experience it. Will 700 (WLW AM) be there in life after death? I hope so. If I can't hear Jim Scott in the morning, I'd rather be dead.

Just my take, :-) Kathy

:-) What the hell is this thing and why do you put them on all your e-mails? It's just a sign, my dear friend, that you're getting older and losing it.

I think my friend Kathy means well, but she's a little older than me and the dementia a bit more advanced.

I'm cutting the column short this week. I just ate a bowl of prunes and it's approaching 10 in the morning. That's when I have my usual bowel movement. I must get prepared.

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