old, cranky (yet mellow), and maybe senile
May 21, 2008
I have recently confirmed that I am old, cranky (yet mellow), almost senile, and getting more dangerous by the day.
Top 3 Signs That I Am Old, Cranky (Yet Mellow) and Maybe Senile:
1. I was on the receiving end of more than my share of traffic tickets in my youth. I’m pretty sure by the time I was 24, I had 10 speeding tickets, one for going 125 mph between Baker, CA and Las Vegas, NV. And I was involved in more than a few traffic accidents. I was hospitalized, towed, or mildly annoyed probably 5 times by fender benders before I was 18. I was IN a car that was totaled at least 3 times.
But after I married Kim, when I was almost 25, I went a solid decade without a ticket or an accident. I simply became a grandpa-type driver, with a spotless record.
Unfortunately, that’s all over. I’ve had 3 traffic tickets in the last 4 months, some with multiple infractions. It’s hard when you live on a 1500 foot mountain to go slow (40 mph for the speed limit? No way!) coming down, but that doesn’t explain how I got a ticket Friday going UP the hill on the motorcycle. Nor does it explain how I didn’t have my motorcycle license. Or a valid insurance card.
Nor does it explain how I was backing out of my parking space at the Lehi Maverick convenience store, and didn’t see the blue Ford Focus behind me. Um, whoops?
I am now, at the age of 42, exhibiting the kind of behavior you expect from someone 80 years old. Pretty soon I’ll be avoiding left turns, and stopping in the middle of intersections because I’m trying to wash a bug off the windshield by reaching out the window with an emery board.
2. I’m a pretty good husband. Hell, Kim once nominated me as husband of the year, and I got my picture in Good Housekeeping magazine. I am NOT making this up.
But the number one complaint I get from Kim, the thing that has been at the root of nearly every argument we’ve had in the last 10 years of marriage (I guess we didn’t fight the first 8 years)? That I’m distracted and not listening.
I disagree. I contend that while I may be distracted, I AM listening, I am just too distracted to remember what she said. Is that too fine a line?
This begs the question–what am I distracted by? Boy do I wish I could tell you. Sometimes I think it’s like that SNL skit, where Michael Jordan is talking basketball with the Chicago guys, and they’re all thinking “Ditka, Football, Da Bears.” And for me it’s “Bikes, Skis, Movies.” At least, that’s what I WANT it to be–truth is, I have no idea what I’m thinking. Maybe nothing?
The thing is, I can remember lots of stuff. I just can’t remember what Kim told me 5 minutes ago. The silver lining is, I can’t remember what ANYBODY told me 5 minutes ago. Shouldn’t that take some of the sting away?
3. Here’s the worst one, for me. I have MELLOWED. That is, as a teenager, I was once ejected from a church basketball game, not just from the game, but from THE BUILDING. I once made a girl cry in a pick up soccer game because she whiffed on a point blank shot in the box. And I used to ride my bike so hard blood would come out of my eyes and ears.
Is that what people say about me now? No. Now I’m “the shepherd.” Now I’m the guy you call if you want someone to show you a new trail, cuz I will go slow with you. And the worst part? I couldn’t go fast anymore even if I WEREN’T shepherding. Last night I played in my city league softball game (which is, in itself, a big clue), and in what should have been the last inning and the last out, I lost a line drive in the wind and lights, and allowed FOUR runs to score. 20 years ago, I would have KILLED myself on the spot by trying to swallow the ball. Last night I just laughed and jogged back to the dugout after the inning and shrugged it off. We lost.
Mellow. Code for OLD (and possibly senile).