If you came here today hoping to find something to laugh about, you’re plum out of luck. The dog took my funny bone, buried in the back yard and by now the ground moles have devoured it. I hate ground moles! I have so many ground mole mounds marked with flags for the exterminator my yard looks like an 18 hole golf course. The neighbors probably think the mole exterminator and I are having a hot, torrid affair he’s been here so often this summer. They (the moles not the neighbors) must smell really bad when they die---duh, Jean, they’re decomposing---because the dog follows their tunnel runs until he finds a good sniffing spot and if I’d let him, he’d start digging. He actually got one before I got smart.
I guess I should feel lucky that the biggest problem in my life right now could theoretically be solved by keeping the exterminator on my speed dial. Wow, it just dawned on me that the term “speed dial” will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future, what with smart phones taking over the planet. Ten years from now I’ll be telling a caregiver to “call my niece, she’s on my speed dial” and the caregiver will look at me like “what’s a speed dial you crazy old woman?” This reminds me, if I should die tonight, no one should think they aren’t loved because they aren’t on my speed dial list. My landline phone plan doesn’t include long distance so if I want to call family in another area code I have to use my cell phone. I know, I know, I need to join the 21st century by getting rid of my landline and my old lady Jitterbug cell and invest in one very smart phone that can turn lights on or off, unlock the back door for repairmen and fry bacon on Sunday mornings. In truth, I’m afraid to get a phone smarter than me. I’m afraid they’ll come a day when I’ll forget how to use it. With “dumb phones” I’ve had decade’s worth of practice embedded in my brain so I’m less likely to forget how they function.
I was feeling sorry for myself last weekend. That happens a lot on Sundays when there is nothing to do, no place to go and the phone doesn’t ring. Not that it rings much the other six days of the week but once in a while I’ll hear a human voice telling me about a sale at Salvation Army or that the FBI reports home burglaries are up and I need an alarm system or that I could fall and having a medical alert pendant could save my life. The worst telemarketing call comes from a credit card company warning me that this is the last call I’ll get from them about lowing my interest rate. I wish! I’d add my name to the national ‘do not call’ register but how will I know if the phone is still working if I do?
Seriously, though, why do we---me to be more precise---have to make life so hard when in fact it’s pretty easy? For example, I don’t live in a country that is war torn or where its citizens can’t trust those in power not to use chemicals of mass destruction against them. I don’t live in a place where food or water is scarce. I don’t live on the edge of poverty and my health is better than many people in my age bracket. I could go on forever listing the things I don’t have to worry about including some that are clearly age related like I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant out of wedlock or getting head lice from sharing a comb with a classmate. We get smarter as we age. We seniors know stuff and not just history book facts and figures. We know important, life-lessons like how to find inner strength and give comfort to those who need it. We know that people die and those left behind must go on. We know that loneliness can be cured if we keep putting ourselves out there in the big, scary world so we can eventually connect with others in the same boat. And we know how to laugh when the mole exterminator finally arrives and the sprinkler system turns on while he happens to be standing directly over one of its heads. Oops!
“Do you have a set of dry clothes with you?” I asked while twisting the end of an imaginary villain’s mustache. “You could come inside this widow’s house and change if you like.”
“No, no ma’am. I’m fine,” he replied while backing away. “Occupational hazard. It happens all the time.” ©