Dignity Health

Getting Old: Not All Fun & Games


by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Humor
If at all possible, you should avoid becoming an old person.  I’ve been trying to avoid it myself, but my children are quick to remind me that I am, in fact, already in that category.

Here’s why I don’t recommend it:  (1) People tend to get bored with old people.  (2) Children start to ignore everything you say unless it sounds something like, “How much do you need?” (3) You’re either too cold or too hot, sometimes within a five-second span of time.  (4) Other drivers are constantly honking their horns at you.  What’s up with that anyway?  I was at a light on the corner of Truxtun and Oak; and I swear, the very second the light turned green, there was some twenty-something-year-old blonde wailing on her horn.  Like I’m just sitting there with my teeth in my mouth waiting for a different shade of green or something. 

I thought for a while that it might be OK to get old, if you could move into one of those cool, hip, very now, retirement communities for those in the 55-plus age group.  My parents live in one not far from me, and they are always partying it up with their peeps, having fun on Margarita Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, and poker nights (I just pray it’s not strip poker because…ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!).  There’s always something going on in the clubhouse, which we lovingly refer to as “God’s waiting room.”  

But, there’s a dark side to all the hoopla going on, and it’s called the Homeowner’s Association.  These are the people riding around in golf carts under the cover of darkness looking for violators of the all-important Homeowner’s Association Guide to Living with Fellow Old People.  And, these people can be crank-yyyy!  You have a cute terra cotta sun face you wanna’ hang on the wall to the side of your garage?  Don’t you do it!  You have a cute ceramic owl your daughter gave you for Mother’s Day a few years back?  Better keep it inside where no one can see it!  You have a cat who likes to take a little stroll down the street at dusk?  Better corral that critter!  And, these are just a few of the minor violations that incur the wrath of the Homeowner’s Association.

“So what if I get a few old people up in arms,” you may think.  “They are not the boss of me!”

That’s where you are wrong!  Apparently, you didn’t read the fine print that says: Thou shalt not hang or place things on or in front of the property you have, in fact, paid for; and, thou shalt corral any felines you may call your own, even if you let them outside, for then you shall watch them carefully, so they don’t trespass on the sidewalk or street owned by the all-powerful Homeowner’s Association.  And, we are not kidding around.  For those who break said rules will be mocked in the community newsletter and shall receive multitudes of letters pointing out the error of your ways.  And, by the way, you owe us $5 million dollars in Homeowner’s Association dues, because we need it to charge up the golf carts and feed the little McGruff the Crime dogs we let ride shotgun, just in case we have to rough you up a bit.

Yeah, I’m not seeing much benefit in becoming an old person, other than discounted movies and the fact that it’s better than the alternative.

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