I love hearing my friends with the vineyards, extolling the superior taste of a mature wine accompanied by a tiny crumb of aged brie. There is something magical when sampling a wine paired with something that brings out the essence of its flavour–a flavour that develops over time.
My birthday is fast approaching and I like to think of myself as ageless. After all, Orientals are known to have this gene that hides their true age. Grandma had it and so did my Mom. All my 95+ years aunts, including my 102 years aunt, truly don’t look ancient; neither do my cousins–hopefully that includes me as well.
The other day, I took a good look at my fitness class. We’re either all retirees and/or grandparents who are staying fit to keep up with the grandkids—not keeping fit to ward off problems like heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis. The ladies plus 3 men were all older than me and definitely more agile. There was nothing wrong with their memories as they remembered the names of each muscle in the exercises and why it was beneficial stretching them. Being the new kid in the class, I had the undivided attention of everyone as most of the attendees had already taken the same class three times. This was good because it made everyone feel warm and fuzzy by demonstrating to the newbie the correct way to stretch and pull.
I felt I was keeping up quite comfortably even though a few ladies were confused as I had the habit of moving in the opposite direction. If the exercise started and ended with the left foot and left arm, I usually finished with the right foot and right arm. After the first two sessions, my classmates totally ignored me and knew not to follow me. My Aunt B assured me what I was doing was perfectly normal since she does the same thing in her yoga class.
I found out in my first class, the instructor was a “foodie.” It didn’t matter that we were all ready for lunch before our classes even got started. Ian cheerfully remarked as we all did our stretches, “Oh boy, I have to tell you that we had the best darn buffet last night at the “Flying Mongoose.” If you ever travel near the airport, hang a left and keep going on that road. The buffet has everything including the best dessert table ever.” As everyone’s tummy rumbled discreetly, mine gave an enormous roar. I made a mental note to myself to avoid lunchtime fitness classes. Another time, we were doing our sit-ups and right in the midst of aiming for 10 of those suckers, Ian reminded us that “Cobb’s Bakery” was now baking the traditional hot-cross buns as well as the chocolate hot-cross buns. I made another mental note to myself to not only avoid lunchtime fitness classes but “foodie” instructors.
If you’re really old, you can get away with a lot of outrageous things. I remember my elderly hard-of-hearing neighbour with the extremely loud voice who could say stuff that would have been considered rude and tactless in a younger person. Commenting on an outfit worn by the granddaughter of her best friend, Mrs. G would trumpet in her raspy voice, “Trisha shouldn’t be allowed out of the house wearing such a trashy outfit!” The young lady in question cheerfully waved and shouted back, “Thanks Mrs. G–that’s what I wanted, to be noticed!”
It’s nice in some ways gaining maturity–discounts to some restaurants and a few coffee bars; discounts to a few bookstores and drugstores; free specialty coffee or a free meal at some franchises on your birthday.
I think the whole point of getting older is to gain some wisdom. I’m not sure what nuggets of wisdom I’ve acquired over the years, but hopefully they are useful bits. I’m not a “list” person, so I’ll simply make a mental tab of stuff I can pass along to the grandkids. As we get older, I want to keep on enjoying what we do and loving every minute of whatever it is that keeps our minds active and challenged. Like fine wines and “matured” cheeses, I’m convinced we can only get better as the years march past.
A VERY HAPPY, JOYOUS BIRTHDAY TO ALL MY JANUARY FRIENDS–ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO CELEBRATE THEIR SPECIAL DAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE NEW YEAR.