I will always remember the night I was officially declared old — at least until I realized that was what was happening, at which point I immediately went to do things NOT associated with being crotchety. But, Julie, I thought it would be appropriate to share at least some of the lyrics from The Beatles’ “When I’m 64”, considering how we were feeling not so long ago.
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
It was a Sunday night, last night as a matter of fact, and it had been a long, busy weekend, not to mention Julie had been out of the country and had neglected to take a day or two off of work to recuperate — bet she doesn’t do that again. Coming off of the flu, Andrew was with us, and there was work and play to be had.
Needless to say, by 9 p.m. we were both exhausted this particular end of the weekend. So, we sat there on the porch, bundled up because there was a nasty wind which could at any time be the “death of a cold.”
Julie has neighbors across the street who, first of all, spent six months tearing the inside of the house out THEN moved in — and the repairs continue. Now, the best I can tell these folks are from Ohio, and no, not going to make that an issue, but it does make a difference in the social situation as they regularly break rules of The South, such as operating a circular saw after a certain hour.
By the way, it’s a habit the gentleman across the street makes regular use of. And it is worse than McDonald’s, car after car stopping by just to say hi or visit in the yard and talk at the top of their lungs.
This particular night, last night of their brood’s spring break, was just one of those nights.
Cars and folks streaming in and out, the kids running all over the neighborhood making all kinds of noise, saws going, arguments ensuing, and us sitting quietly on the porch, trying to enjoy a quiet spring night. This is when I got old, and I won’t say that about Julie because, well, because her reasoning is the best I have ever heard and I will share it with you momentarily.
It didn’t take long before I started in.
“God, those are the loudest people I have ever seen.”
Julie came along for the ride and it continued much like this:
“I know, and who runs a saw this time of night. Unbelievable!”
I couldn’t possibly stop here, so on I go.
“God, it’s cold out here tonight. Why can’t they go inside? And who lets their kids run around this time of night? What are they thinking? Are you cold? I’m cold.”
“I know, it feels like winter out here and this jacket isn’t helping at all. And just look at them, going to start working on something else instead of putting that stuff away. And you would never know he straightened that garage yesterday, it’s a mess.”
This went on for several minutes, as I’m sure you can imagine, filling in dialogue as you go along too, I’m sure. Then I hit the wall so to speak, and almost in mid-sentence I drew up short, because for the first time I heard the words coming out of my mouth and could feel what had to be that scrunched up, unbelieving , yet judgmental face I had to be wearing.
“You know, when we were kids our parents …”
That was it, the “Back in my day” line I never thought I would deliver, yet, hanging on the not so quiet night air, it hung there accusing me. Julie laughed, so I’m sure she knew what I had done as well. I was absolutely shocked at my behavior and immediately began to make plans for a para-sailing adventure, or maybe plans to scale Table Rock to prove my vigorous youth.
“I can’t believe I just said that. Can you imagine what we would be like if we were 80? Man, we sound crotchety already.”
I don’t think Julie wanted to even go there, beyond laughing until her sides hurt. Instead she delivered the line of the night and it’s the reason I do NOT include her in the “I am old” category following this conversation.
“Doesn’t matter. I’m still hip. See, I have leopard print socks on.”
Touche … touche.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.