I am still trying to adjust to my new senior designation and l have to confess I feel it’s a stereotypical negative, improperly understood label. Yes, I am now 65, but no I am not succumbing to the designation.
I’m not going bore you with the obvious complaints about reaching the senior label.
You’ve heard them I’m sure.
I try to escape the senior issues of invisibility, body upkeep and forgetfullness by sitting in a cavernous industrial space that houses a Toronto coffee bar, gourmet foods and wines, and dry cleaning service. I began to take stock of how – as a first-year senior – I must be an anomaly. And not just because I was one of the oldest people in the hip, cool establishment. I’m getting used to that when I walk downtown.
I consider myself somewhat of a rebel. If at age 65 I still have yet to change most of my acting-like-I’m-25 behaviours. I suppose I never will until my body sends me to the next stage: Decrepit.
I have been told on more than one occasion that I don’t look my age. Wow, great. I look 60 instead of 65. Yeehaw!
I’m just about the same size I have been all my adult life. My uniform of choice is Converse, Levi’s and a stretchy T, usually in black or white. I am proud to say I can shop at all the popular young persons stores and find plenty for myself. Bring on that loud blasting music! I can wear those tight jeans and tops with the best of ‘em.
My mother, who is 90, an excellent 90, shops at her favourite store. The one that features florals no matter what the season as well as eye-popping bright colours on every garment they sell. No music in the background since most of their shoppers are hard of hearing. Looking around when taking her to said store reinforces that I have not succumbed to that yet. Maybe I’ll come here when I too am 90. The horror.
I drive a six-speed car. Gear up, gear down. I just put a new clutch in it. She’s a high-performance vehicle that’s 11 years old. The hum of my engine excites me and shoots adrenalin throughout my body. You will find me only in the fast lane on the highway. I love speed. I’m a bit of an aggressive driver still, but never tailgate … any more. I despise all those slower drivers in front of me that cost me more time. I’ve had my share of speeding tickets but not one for a few years now. I also love blasting the radio in the car. My go-to tunes are alternative, mild hip hop (those pornographic lyrics are hard to take), blues and classic jazz greats. I can’t live without my Spotify. I love this technology!
I have noticed when visiting my favourite local weed shop that I used to be the old person at the counter but now I have noticed that, on some occasions, I am joined by other senior looking people choosing their favourite THC product. I purchase the lowest dose gummies available. Then cut them in half. I’ve discovered micro dosing works best for me. Long gone are the days of smoking joints and coughing my lungs out. My lungs are very important to me. Let’s not expose them any more to nasty things. I don’t indulge all that often but always have them in my secret stash area.
Which brings me back to that Friday afternoon at the hip coffee shop/workplace.
I had done all my chores and I was not volunteering that day. So, why not spend a couple of hours amongst the young and smooth skin set with their laptops all open as they work away the afternoon? I took my micro amount of THC gummies and was pleasantly mellow. I approached the counter to be served by such a handsome young man most likely around the age of my youngest child. I ordered my hot drink and found a spot on a comfy chair that looked out to the street. The chair also swirled around so I could take in the young and beautiful working away as well. Perfect. Swivel in, swivel out. In, out. Okay. Enough. I was high.
My earbuds were in. My Spotify was on and I got lost in my music. Eventually, I realized I did not have enough songs downloaded to my list for my marathon runs. I was training for my 15th marathon (I started this late in my 40s) and needed two to four hours of music. I realized I might need about another 15 minutes since I seem to have slowed down a wee bit when I run. Well, I am a senior now so I guess it’s to be expected.
But I have to say: How amazing is that? I sat there thinking that all those younger people I was surrounded by would never have guessed that this mature lady swivelling in the chair nearby was mildly stoned, and working on a playlist that they would have been proud of, to play during a marathon that she was training to run.
I’m an anomaly for sure.
Susan Wener lives in Toronto.