How Old are You?
John Norberg, humor columnist s

There are less than a handful of really significant birthdays in our lives.

Sixteen is one, we can drive. At 18 you can be drafted and buy things you really shouldn't. At 21 you can legally have a drink.

But there's nothing much in the way of significant birthdays after that. We just go on living, one year to the next.

Until we hit 65. After 21, 65 is the next significant birthday -- and also the last significant one. Your 65th birthday is officially The Gateway to Old Age.

Earlier this month I turned 65. But I do not consider myself a "senior citizen." As far as I'm concerned, I'm in my late middle age years and I plan to remain there until my mid-90s. Then, I'll reconsider the situation.

Coincidentally, one of the first things I had to do after turning 65 was take a cardiac stress test. The doctor told me I was fine. Then he looked at me sternly.

"You can do any physical activity you want," he said, "You can fish, golf, exercise. But no housework. Absolutely no housework."

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

In this youth-centered society, how do we know when we're getting old?

You might be getting old if . . .

Your family asks for their inheritance so they can afford to buy your birthday candles;

You can't remember the words to "Happy Birthday" and besides "Happy Birthday" there are only four and one is your name;

You get help blowing out your birthday candles and it comes from your great grandchildren;

People ask how old you are and then say "wow, I wouldn't have guessed you're that old;

Your daily calendar includes an afternoon nap.

You might be getting older if . . .

You can see your wife's lips moving but you can't hear a word she's saying . . . and you're fine with that;

You use your cellphone to call your wife from the grocery store to ask her where your cell phone is;

Your wife says she'd like a hot date and she's talking about fruit;

Rock and roll is what happens when you fall out of your rocking chair;

You have a high definition 60-inch TV that receives 200 channels but you never watch it because you can't find the remote;

You go to an antique store and everything there is younger than you are;

You might be getting older if . . .

You use whiteout to correct mistakes in your e-mail;

The only reason you have a cell phone is to make telephone calls;

You think Tweet is a bird noise;

You think a text is a work of literature;

You read the newspaper on your iPad like the kids have suggested and then you break it swatting a fly.

You might be getting older if . . .

You like getting stopped in a traffic jam because it's a great opportunity to take a nap;

You think GPS stands for German Potato Salad;

You drive around town all day at 10 miles per hour just to make the people who aren't retired go crazy;

You go to Best Buy to get music for your car stereo, but go home empty handed because you can't find any 8-Tracks tapes;

You get stopped at a red light and by the time it turns green you forget where you're going;

You turn on the Golden Oldies radio station and they're playing music from the 1990s;

I'm afraid I'm getting older, even if I refuse to admit it

After my stress test I told my wife the doctor said I can't do anymore chores around the house.

"Really?" she said. "So explain to me how that will that be any different from the last 33 years."

You might be getting older if you finally realize you are never going to out-smart your wife but that doesn't stop you from trying.

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