Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Senior Moments

Yesterday I got an AARP card in the mail. I turned 50 in August, and I thought surely they wouldn't find out about my switch to a new demographic group. I'm afraid to open the envelope, for fear that I'll be drawn in to the triple coupon discounts and the special shopping days I have heard my friends talk about. 

My husband, who is my senior, has long submitted to teasing about our August/November romance. Last summer, the mail brought him the newsletter of a retirement and long-term care facility just around the corner — in very large type. Turns out that several of our post-55 neighbors got the same mailing. I guess they want us all to know we never have to leave the neighborhood, but can live and die within one very large square block.

Signs of aging seem to hover everywhere. The other day, my husband called to say he had worn two different pairs of shoes to work. And yesterday he couldn't find his car keys. He has misplaced things our entire marriage, so I knew they'd eventually turn up, but both of us searched the whole house for hours, and the keys didn't turn up. Until he went into his closet to retrieve a belt. There they hung, on the belt rack. I am beginning to see a pattern.

When I woke up this morning, I said brightly: It's 7:30 a.m. Do you know where your keys are? He did, in fact, and grumbled as he packed up his boat bag and headed north, to where he keeps his sailboat. "I'll have the cellphone with me," he called out.

A couple of hours later, I climbed into my car, heading for a meeting, only to find his cellphone plugged into the charger in my car. Thinking he'd be back late — today is Daylight Saving Time — I was surprised to find his car in the driveway when I came home.

"It was not a good boat day," he said, not because of the wind, or the cellphone safe at home. But because he'd left to boat keys in the pocket of a jacket he wore last weekend when he sailed. He had driven an hour — one way — to his mistress, and he couldn't so much as turn the engine on. He sat in the cockpit, pretending to piddle, the wind whipping around him, remembering the time when he dragged our first boat four hours to the Outer Banks but forgot to pack the sail.