I went to the luncheon at the senior hall today at 1:00. The only problem was it started at 12:00. Oops! Is this what I’ve got to look forward to in my old age---more and more oops-I-did-it-again episodes? For all the good my calendar and clock are doing me, I might as start hanging out in Margaritaville where time doesn’t count. At least I wasn’t the only one who showed up at 1:00. In the kitchen there were six nicely wrapped and labeled care packages of food for us screw ups to take home. In the meantime we got to eat ice cream and cake at the ‘tardy table’ while the entertainment did their thing.
Have you ever wondered what happens to teenaged garage bands that don’t go on to make it big but they keep on playing their entire lives? They end up with thinning, gray ponytails and playing free gigs at senior halls with their daughters acting as roadies. The band of old dudes I saw today were pretty good, though, even if they did play a few songs that threatened to bring tears to my eyes like Willie Nelson’s You’re Always on my Mine and Nat King Cole’s song about not getting around much anymore because, “It’s awfully different without you.”
One song they sang I couldn’t find on Google and it went like this: “Don’t pet the dog ‘cause he’s not been fixed and he gets pets confused with romance. Before you know it he’ll be asking your ankle to dance.” In between songs the band took turns telling juvenile jokes like, “I thought I had a bloody nose but its snot.” See what you young ones have to look forward to when you get to my age? But it was a fun distraction and at the end they even had this wishy-washy agnostic singing southern gospel songs I didn’t even know I knew.
I finally got to see Magic Mike. My sister-in-law has a steady supply of movies coming in and out of the house and knowing I’m a Matthew McConcaughey fan she passed the Magic Mike DVD she acquired on to me. After watching “that pornography” she said she’d be embarrassed if anyone saw the movie lying around. Okay. So I watched it---I’m old, not dead---then I snuck it back in her house. Don’t judge me. By now you should know I have a warped sense of humor. I only wish I could be there when one of her healthcare workers finds it and wants to borrow the movie.
The truth is I haven’t seen a movie that sweeps away the “dullness” of living since Don died. TV, movies, and internet stuff that I used to enjoy all seem so black and white, so unimportant and never fail to trigger a memory I can’t put down. I joined the senior ‘movie and lunch club’ last spring and this week we saw The Silver Lining Playbook. Wouldn’t you know it, the main female character turned out to be a widow who carries around a lot of guilt regarding the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death. The Widows Guilt Trip must be---what---chapters 4, 5 and 6 in the widow’s handbook on prolonging your suffering? Lunch after the movie was at a place that was decorated in gas station memorabilia from the golden age of automobiles. It’s what Don collected and what I’ve spent months and months selling off on eBay since he died. Life is so full of reminders of Don. Even when I’m not looking for them, even when I’m actively trying to avoid them like going to the movies, those reminders creep back into my life like invasive kudzu along a southern highway.
I got a letter in the mail yesterday from a company trying to sell me life insurance and they estimate that I’m going to live another 27+ years. That would make me nearly 100. Can you image that? I’ll be so flaky by then that I’d be sitting in the front row at the senior hall and when a band of old men sings gospel and I’ll be throwing Monopoly money expecting them to strip like Magic Mike. I suppose I’d better start practicing now to get there on time. You know what they say---you should never miss an opportunity to see half naked men. Darn it! Maybe I can sneak the movie back out of my sister-in-law's house. That was awfully short-sighted of me to return it. ©