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Milestones: Aging by the clock
- Written by Roger Kovack
I am an older member of the baby boom generation so I got the full ration of dissent as a youth. In the dissent department, one of the biggies was don\'t trust anyone over 30. Somehow people became evil after turning 30 and joined the establishment as if a body snatching had happened. It was clearly hopeless and irreversible.
Of course when we turned 30 life just went on and maybe we learned to be proud of getting to that age and at least I, for one, didn\'t think I\'d sold out to the establishment. After all, I still harbored a strong hatred for station wagons and washers and dryers. To me, those were the milestones of becoming establishment so I steadfastly trudged down to the laundromat in my British sports car for decades to come.
Perhaps, though, not trusting anyone over 30 started a sinister progression of milestones simply based on getting to an age that is a round number. Forty was a nasty birthday for me. I was so shocked and disheartened about turning 40 that I arranged to leave the continent for my birthday. Well, I didn\'t get too far. Just 22 miles offshore in the most humiliating of circumstances for a self ascribed hippie. I took off as a crew member in a yacht race to Catalina Island of the coast of Southern California. What a dissenting youth is doing in yacht racing is yet another story but the point is I didn\'t want to admit I was getting older and I never mentioned a word about my birthday among the folks on that boat.
These days there are a new set of milestones that aren\'t based on round numbers. It\'s called \'Senior Citizen\'. But just what age does that mean exactly? Never mind that it amounts to token brownie points and little else. Finally, last night at a local perfomance, the floating age of senior citizen, is that 52 or 65, came to a final roost.
"We don\'t have a specific age for senior citizen here," said the purple and okra dressed woman with a surprisingly full head of thick hair down to her waist. "You have to decide for yourself if you are senior enough or not."
My natural response was that I was slapped in the face for even bringing up the question. Certainly anyone looking at my blotched skin, silver beard and almost no hair at all would know that I\'m completely over the hill and just being an idiot for even asking what the age of senior citizen was. But maybe I was caught again in being way too self conscious about my antiquity and I could quickly recover in front of this charming woman. After all this was only going to cost me $3.00 instant penalty for a little white lie.
"Oh, I guess I haven\'t quite gotten there yet," I said with the meekness of someone that isn\'t telling the truth and knows it.
But I got away with it. I got away with being officially young and all it cost was the senior citizen brownie point. I got away with skipping around the senior citizen milestone.
Or did I?