My husband George and I have been married for almost 39 years, and we’ve been together as a couple for 41 years. We got married in our early 20s. We went from two naïve kids to our present state, two older adults, senior citizens according to the movie theater ticket prices.
We have been empty nesters for quite a while, so that’s not an adjustment anymore. Plus we have two knuckleheaded dogs that keep us on our toes much like toddlers do.
The adjustment that we are struggling with is the fact that we are in our 60s and as such, cannot do some of the things we used to do, do not behave the way we used to, do not think the way we used to, and for certain do not LOOK the way we used to.
George and I are both developing traits that, 40 years ago, we would have rolled our eyes at. For instance, George has this (annoying) habit of always needing the kitchen sink empty.
If I use a spoon (because I may or may not eat peanut butter right out of the jar) and I put the dirty spoon in the sink, chances are excellent that the nanosecond I leave the kitchen, that spoon will be washed, dried, and put away. I was gonna wash it, for crying out loud. Eventually.
I need all blanket tags to be at the bottom of the blanket, not up near my face. I do not want that tag fluttering by my face in the middle of the night. I would wake up swinging, thinking that a bat or a pterodactyl is doing a fly-by and brushing on my face.
This “concern” of mine has required me to take the blanket off the bed (and off George) and turn it, turn it, turn it, till that tag is by our feet. NOT our faces. This process seems to be very irksome to George. I am not sure why.
Our TV volume doesn’t seem to be working very well lately. Our kids have walked into our house while we’re watching something and say (shout) things like, “Are you guys actually AT the game? Cos that’s how loud this TV is right now.”
Too loud? We can hardly hear it. I have resorted to TV screen lip-reading when my kids are over.
We are continually insulted at what are considered Golden Oldies on the radio. There’s a chorus of groans when we get off the couch or out of the car. Neither of us can see very well driving at night (“Are the defrosters on? Why is everything so blurry?”).
Recently the two of us had to squint and move directly under a bright light to read the expiration date on a block of cheddar cheese (“Is that a 1 or a 7? If it’s a 1, throw that crap out now”).
One day George came home from the grocery store with 4 boxes of cereal. Now, there are two people in our house and one of them doesn’t eat cereal much (me). He left to go to the gym and I texted him, “While you’re out, can you pick up cereal?” He buys toilet paper in bulk.
When we were younger, we were lucky if we had one extra roll in the house. I am the coffee obsesser. If we only have two cans of coffee in stock, I go out and get 6 or 7 more. And at this very moment, we have at least 10 cans of tuna. And we don’t eat a whole lot of tuna. But we’ve become bulk food junkies at our advanced age.
My niece FaceTimed me recently. I didn’t know where to look! Do I look at her image on my screen? Do I look at my image? Can she see up my nose? I thought I was tech-savvy till that day.
Our way of dealing with the changes is to laugh at them. And poke fun at each other. There’s a lot of “Come on, old man, “and “What do you expect? You’re old” in our house. But laughter keeps us young. Kinda.