You’re ‘Over the Hill,’ Once You Hit Forty

Requested a dollar coffee at a Burger King last night and the Gidget-like youngster asked if she could serve a “Senior.”

No, I replied, not wanting anything more or less then what’s on a “dollar menu” for cup I could refill, if need be. I handed over $1.06 in change, placing it carefully on the counter in front of the short blonde teenage girl. “It’s 50 cents,” she quipped, all bright and full of sunshine. “It’s a senior cup.”

Pulling back more than half of my change, I wasn’t sure if should thank her, correct her, or yell at her. I’m no senior, no where near retirement age, not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s my hair. Gotta be all that gray I’ve been getting lately. Too much chlorine in the swimming pool water. Might even be taking its toll on my face, giving me that Clint Eastwood look. Not the young one, the older one with rugged character lines all over. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either.

I’ve been mistaken for a senior citizen? It shook me to the core. Me, who still sports a streak of juvenile delinquency in his meditative bones. Still mistrust most people over 30, harkening back to the ’60s philosophy. (Don’t trust most folks under that age, but I attribute that to an X-Generation playing Heavy Metal while going to hell in a handbasket.)

I’m robust. Swam 36 lengths in a pool that very morning. A half-mile. Swam it again before sitting before this ancient word processor in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s branch in Andorra today. It’s where a lot of people my age congregate. My age? Wait a minute. They look older for some reason. More weathered. Almost like survivors of some cataclysmic adventure.

We have aged despite the believe of immortality for the Baby Boomers. I was on the cusp of that group, barely breaking in being born in 19#8. Damn key pad. Number won’t type write (right?) That’s what happens when you hit the big Forty. It’s all down hill from there. Hearing and sight goes first. Most of us develop bad backs, in the lower lumbar section.

Tastes change. Literally. You can’t taste the essence of things like you could before. The aroma of Thunderbird or Ripple wines. Chili-smothered hot dogs with extra onions and relish. Pizza pie left out on the kitchen table the night before for breakfast the following morning.

Senior? I could still jump out of an airplane my next birthday just as George Bush the father did on reaching a milestone age. Can still sail in a boat like a robust Walter Cronkite. What’s that? You say he passed away? How about a young and virile Paul Newman? You say he’s now giving a “live” performance of  “Somebody Upstairs Likes Me” for You-Know-Who?

I took my 50-cent coffee, shuffled to a computer terminal, cracked open a hardboiled egg I had snuck in after putting away my leather change purse. Adjusting my eye ware, I don’t see how anyone could ever mistake me for someone senior. Do you?

20 comments on “You’re ‘Over the Hill,’ Once You Hit Forty

  1. Hi Michael j, you rebel-egg-sneaker-inner you!!
    For me too, right on schedule…I turned 40 and suddenly needed bifocals and a tooth crown (cracked it on popcorn!). But far earlier that that, by about a decade, the bagboy said “M’am would you like help out with your bags?” I had to turn around and see who the heck he was talking to….Like you, and my mom, I grayed early 🙂


    • contoveros says:

      “. . . rebel-egg-sneaker-inner you!! . . .”

      I’ve been called lots of things in my day, but I’m not sure whether I’ve been hit upside the head or patted on the back with this one.

      After hitting 40, however, I’m used to taking just about anything someone as nice as you could dish out. Cracked on popcorn, huh? Philadelphia-made Peanut Chews got to my teeth once, causing major damage.

      By the way, that bagboy could not have been seeing what I’m seeing from here!

      michael j
      flirting just a wee bit


  2. I know Gidget *grin* (and still look a lot like her)

    Wanna a date Pops?



  3. wolfshades says:

    Wow. That’s gotta suck. Like when someone near your own age holds the door open for you and says “there you go, SIR”.

    You’ve been skydiving before, right? Such an exhilarating experience, or so I’m told. I mean, I went, but it wasn’t exciting, exactly. More like terrifying. I think I was in shock the whole way down.

    Which only means I need to get up there and do it again.


    • contoveros says:

      Got five “cherry” jumps out of a plane. All were hook-ups, that is, the parachute opened as soon as I jumped from the plane with a spare on my chest.

      I felt King of the World. Correction “ONE” with the World. Not scared with all the training I got at Ft. Benning, Ga.


  4. […] My age? Wait a minute. They look older for some reason. … Originally posted here: You're 'Over the Hill,' Once You Hit Forty « Contoveros Share and […]


    • contoveros says:

      I approved this message from Andorra after viewing their site for overnight stays, spas and nice-looking ways to relax . . .

      Contoveros mngt


  5. souldipper says:

    That was fabulously funny, dear man! Gawd, ain’t it true that we really did believe we would be ever young, on top of everything, and never like our parents. The other day I nearly kicked my washing machine because after I put in the softener when it went into rinse cycle, it quit. Full of water. Had to empty it, bowl by bowl, wring out the clothes and fuss over the cost of a **** repairman. With the clothes now in the dryer, I turned it on and flipped down the washer’s lid as I walked past. Guess what…yep. Not broken. Well, who designed machines that only run with the lid down for G*d’s sake??


    • contoveros says:

      Everyday it seems I’m fighting the temptation to relax, Amy. Not the meditation type of relaxing, but one in which my parents found themselves. Watching television and idling the time away. (Can we also say “Bingo?”)

      Give me a good book to read and/or the inspiration for a half-decent post any old day!


  6. Hahahahahaha! Snuck in a hard-boiled egg? …Adjusting eyeware? That was funny! I love that when we’re just babes we want so badly to be older and when people are older, all they want is to be younger. God must enjoy his little works of art, huh? We are quite magically complicated but must be fun to watch!


    • contoveros says:

      If “watching” was an Olympic sport, I’d get a gold medal. Love “people watching.” Who doesn’t? Young and old. I mean, when I was young and old. Not that I’m that old now.

      And I do look at the young and the old. Not to say that you’re not too young to look at.

      How did I get into this pickle? The eggs, that’s what threw me off. Or was it the offer of some nice pictures to the Wolf?

      michael j
      still hoping for that closer look at Carmen!


      • — yes, you did get yourself in quite a pickle there! Oh, and the pics….goodness gracious…as I mentioned to Wolfie — I said I would send him naked pics if he stopped mentiong is iPad for three consecutive blogs, but I never specificed who the naked pics would be of… awe… yeah, he was bummed! I’m such a meanie….

        But in a real sweet way though…



  7. Hi Mr Sid
    It’s easier for me, I know I’m over the hill when the gidget like youngster starts talking about her grandkids.


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