Old Age Ain’t For Sissies

Your flowing hair is no longer where it used to be, it now grows in places you don’t want it. That smooth taut skin that was once as tight as the cover on a drum now hangs down like a curtain. Those sparkly whites are replaced by caps or manmade choppers. Those eagle-eyes are assisted with readers from Walgreens. What used to be tight and snug is now loose and wiggly. What used to hang down now doesn’t hang that low and what used to be perky and straight now hangs down.

Fifty-pound curls are now replaced with rubber stretch bands. Those five-mile runs in the morning have turned into a slow jaunt around the block. Push-ups and sit-ups are replaced with stretches and meditation. Elliptical machines and stair climbers are swapped for walking in place and on rare occasions, baby squats while watching the TV.

I’m sipping coffee while staring out the front window thinking what a beautiful day when I spot my mail man. I walk down the front sidewalk and he greets me with a handful of mail. Wishing him a great day my attention is turned to my young neighbor standing close by with earbuds protruding from his head while holding a supersized I phone. I smile and wave as I stroll toward this oblivious teenager.

I lament as I explain to him when I was his age, we used to play stick ball in the streets with first base being the sewer. He just stares. I explain fast pitch in the school yard as he shrugs his shoulders. I try Hide and Seek to no avail while Red Rover, Red Rover, Come On Over is met with disbelief. The mention of a pick-up game is met with confusion as well as my talk of Protect the Flag. He stares as he tilts his head from side to side like a confused puppy. Just then I realize I have underwear and shoes older than this kid. I smile and take my mail into my house.

Tossing the mail on my Lazy Boy, I begin searching for my readers. I believe I left the glasses on the counter and I make my way into the kitchen. In place of my glasses I see I left the butter out from breakfast.

Retrieving the now soft butter I place it in the fridge where I spot a three-day old plate of dinner that is in need of disposal. I empty the plate into the garbage, which immediately overflows the bag. Yanking the garbage bag out of the receptacle, I head for the back door to toss it out. Pulling on the door this squeak penetrates the air. I put the bag of garbage down and with two or three pulls and pushes I realize I need to fix this squeak before I go deaf.

cops retire


Opening the garage door, trying to locate my WD-40, I open the overhead door in order to get some light to use during my search. The door goes up and with a gust of wind my neighbor’s leaves rush into my garage. Pissed off, I grab my trusted battery powered leaf blower to expel the intruders. Looking up to see how much time I have, I notice the second hand on my clock is slowly jumping from digit to digit. Battery time. My batteries are in my house, so I trudge back into the house and into my back room. As I reach down on the bottom shelf to retrieve that D cell battery, I spot muddy footprints on the shiny wooden floor. Realizing I just tacked dirt in from the outside I needed to find the mop ASAP.

Shoes off, I trounced down the basement stairs to find that magical dirt remover when I spotted the washer and dryer were finished. I needed a laundry basket before I would be able to unload the dryer before moving the freshly washed clothes to dry. The clothes basket is upstairs on the bed so up the stairs I bound. I dump the basket out on the bed and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My glasses are resting comfortably on the top of my head. I flip the glasses down and return to my Lazy Boy.

Thumbing through the mail I spot election garbage, more election garbage, and even more election crap. Heading for the garbage with a handful of junk, I realize I never replaced the garbage bag. Reaching under the sink to grab one, I recognize the second journey of my day is about to begin.

Remember while cutting the Thanksgiving turkey and you find the package of giblets and turkey neck, still inside the bird, or when you complain that the electric knife won’t work, then your spouse tells you to plug it in, remember, you’re supposed to grow old gracefully. Just don’t freak out when you look in the bathroom mirror and see your mother or father staring back at you.

Oh my. Old age ain’t for sissies.

Dedicated to my late Aunt Vie.

To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.


Larry Casey, sergeant (ret.), Chicago Police Department, Criminal Justice Professor, Wilbur Wright College. View his website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com for more information and review his book by the same name. Makes a great gift.