Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Becoming Andy Rooney

I've been sick for over two weeks now.  The thing about getting old is it takes longer to recover from everything.  Even going to the grocery store requires I have a little down time to recuperate now.  But, having an illness or an injury is the absolute worst.  And I want to complain about it all the time.  How shitty I feel.  How I exhausted I am. But, no one cares.  I'm just an old curmudgeon with a plethora of grievances.  I've become Andy Rooney.

No one thinks they're going to become Andy Rooney (especially if it comes with the overgrown eyebrows and hunchback posture).  I'm pretty sure Andy Rooney didn't even want to be Andy Rooney.  But, sooner or later, it happens to all of us.  But, it happens so gradually you hardly even notice.  And then, before you know it you're that person who's outraged that the sign in the express line at the grocery store says '15 items or less' instead of fewer.  Or you're shocked that people don't know how to balance a checkbook anymore.

[As I write this it's 6:30am on Sunday morning and I've been up for an hour.  My husband just got out of bed and brought me an inhaler because, apparently, I've been coughing (completely unaware that I've been doing so) since I got up at 5:30am.  (Old people get up early, even on the weekends.) As a doctor, he's diagnosed me with asthma.  Which I think is a load of crap.  I've just had a cough for the past 9 years.  And hell if I'm going to use an inhaler and then become dependant on it.  All to solve a problem I don't even have. (Old people often live in denial.)]

Before I got sick with this respiratory illness (that I have no idea how I got because I'm basically a hermit who hangs out at home writing, reading and balancing my checkbook), I suffered an elbow injury back in December which aches constantly.  I feared it was Tennis Elbow; I also worry that I'm going to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and/or Arthritis, which would restrict me from doing the things I love. My husband says it's just overuse and that I need to rest it. do I not use my elbow on my right arm?  I'm right handed.  And among all the other things I do, like laundry and making dinner, I also scribble reminder notes for myself on scraps of paper (which I later lose) with that hand.  Which is very important at this age.  Not to mention, balancing my checkbook. Making it impossible for me to rest my elbow.  Plus, as my husband likes to remind me,  I'm old, so it's going to take me even longer to heal.  So forget that, I've got to do stuff now while I still can. Before I die.

Last weekend my husband's band played a gig at a bar.  Thank god, he was slated to perform at 7:30pm: the early bird special.  I was already exhausted and just the thought of socializing at a bar on a Friday night depleted me even more.  Then, when the waitress came over to take my drink order she carded me.  Are you even joking?  Don't patronize me. Look at the scowl lines on my face.  Do young people have these?  I have earned each and every one of them.  On top of that, she was one of those people who calls everyone by a term of endearment like "baby", "honey", "sugar", which I hate. It's cringeworthy, as my youngest would say.  Especially because she's 26 (I know this after she made me guess her age, which is also really annoying) making her young enough to be my daughter.  So really, I should be the one calling her "baby".

Then, I'm sitting at this table by myself when my husband's band comes on when this couple (that I know I know from somewhere, but I can't figure out where) joins me.  First of all, they don't even acknowledge my existence.  No..."is this seat taken"?  No eye contact.  Nothing.  Weird, right? Then, at the end of every song, they just sit there.  No clapping.  Nothing.  Where are your manners?  Can you get up and do it better?  Are you waiting for them to play Free Bird?  What's it gonna take for you to clap?  It still pisses me off to think about it.  And the fact that I still can't figure out where I know them from.

My transformation to Andy Rooney is complete.

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