Sunday, April 23, 2017

how terribly strange to be 70

When I was in my early 30s a woman friend of mine, a few years older--maybe 37--asked me what I thought about her going out with a guy who was 50.   She said she was looking for a man and belonged to a matching agency (before the web). They had turned up some fellows in their 50s.  She thought that was awfully old.  I wasn't sure but was leaning to her way of thinking. Fifty seemed ossified. Now I would, of course, trade in many so-called valuables to be transported immediately to 50.

 I played regularly in tennis tournaments when I was in my early 50s--four matches in two days.  I just took an experimental walk to and into a park adjacent to our house.  Probably there and back was less than a 1/4 of a mile. Took fifteen minutes.

I find myself reading the section of the newspaper that lists the birthdays of the day. There was a time when the old guys were strangers.  Now the only people I have heard of are the very very famous or the old guys.  I like to go to "where are they now" sites, but lately the "celebrities" that are mentioned are people that I did not even know then.  I figure the next time I go to a wedding I will be seated at the old people's table.

What brought this up is that a crony of mine from college and I say we will get together every month.  The last time we met was in October.  This year we were to rendezvous for her birthday.  Her birthday was January.  So, we probably average getting together two or three times a year.  We tried to find a day last week.  We thought we had a date, but then she realized the night we'd considered was the night of her friend's 70th birthday party. I, too, have a couple of 70th birthday parties to go to this spring. If we are about to celebrate 70th birthdays we remember the Simon and Garfunkel lyric (penned while they were likely in their 20s) "how terribly strange to be 70."

Doesn't seem that strange. Actually the people I know who are 70 are rather spry. One party I am going to in May is for a former tennis partner who is still playing singles.  Another is for a crony who looks terrific and is, knock on wood, as healthy as he was when we were in our forties. Not sure 70 now is really equivalent to what 70 was then. Still while it is always time to seize the day, for we boomers the time has never been more ripe for the seizing.

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