Older but Wiser?

by Brice Carroll on September 1, 2007 - 11:49am

QUEST Vol. 14, No. 5

Although my current age of 55 means I’m no longer a young pup, it doesn’t mean I’m a mangy mutt, either. And even though I’m now considered a senior, I sure don’t feel or act like one. And my wife agrees. She says I have more of a sophomoric sense of humor and a junior highish level of maturity.

And not only do I not act my age, I don’t look my age either. I know for a fact that people seeing me for the first time would guess I’m not a day over 40. Although I don’t have any hard facts to back up that statement, I know it’s a fact. Don’t ask me how I know it, I just do.

And no, it’s not considered a soft fact because I made it up in my head. I’m proud to say that I’ve been told numerous times that I have a very hard head.

For some reason, though, I look older when I see myself in a mirror. So I quit looking. I’m sure I look less young because the mirrors in our house have been around awhile. And old mirrors can warp your reflection. You know how things get old, their performance degrades and eventually they no longer work prop... On second thought; let’s just forget that whole subject.

Young at heart

Brice Carroll, a retired accountant, lives in Hot Springs, Ark. He has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. He can be reached at bricecarroll@yahoo.com.

Although I’m sure it’s obvious from my writing that I’m a very serious-minded person, I’m actually very young at heart. Some young people seem to think that just because someone is middle-aged, he or she has the mindset of someone from the Middle Ages. O ye of youthful vigor, doth thou thinkest that midway along the path of our life...

Let me rephrase that. Do you young people think that just because I’m over 50, I have lost the zest for new things? That’s not true at all.

For example, I enjoy using the computer. Matter of fact, I’m kind of like a computer. It’s just that my brain doesn’t boot up as fast as it used to, my central processing unit is a little slower and my data retrieval system is like a spool of magnetic tape.

But my brain does have a huge memory bank, and although much of the data is dated, I’m an imposing warehouse of valuable knowledge. Or a dilapidated shack of useless trivia, depending upon the age of the person you ask.

Also, I love cell phones, DVDs, surround sound and other modern thingamajigs. I just don’t know how to operate them. But I’m having an expert tutor me in their use. Unfortunately I have to wait until late in the day before the lessons start. After he gets home from elementary school.

Younger readers are probably thinking, “Who cares? He’s already said that he’s 55 years old, so it’s too late for learning about new things to do him any good, anyway. He’s already over the hill.

My response is, “Why, you young whippersnap...”

I mean, “Whoa, dude. You got it wrong, man. I’m a little older than you, but that doesn’t mean that I’m over the hill. Maybe right on top of that sucker, but for sure not over it.” (You can tell I’m not over the hill by how I used words like “dude,” “man,” “dig,” “sucker” and “for sure.” But let me rest a minute. Using such words wears me out.)

Hard-won wisdom

Being 55 does have some advantages. I love it when women refer to me as “Big Daddy,” “Hot Papa” or “Sugar Pops.” I’ve never actually heard them refer to me in that way, but I’m sure it happens all the time.

But I don’t like being called “Gramps,” “Old Man,” “Senile Dude” or “Pops.” And I really wish my three sons would stop using those terms.

Although I don’t have a problem with getting older and wiser, I do have a question about the wiser part. When is it supposed to start?

I’ve heard people refer to children as “wise beyond their years.” Could it be that I’m getting “years beyond my wise”? Absolutely not! Well, I don’t think so. I hope not. Maybe a little bit.

Come to think of it, I have been referred to as wise a number of times. But it’s really kind of confusing. Because each time I’ve been referred to as wise, it was combined with a reference to a plot of land.

I don’t really know what a “wise-acre” is, but I’ll assume it means my wiseness covers a large area. (I said wiseness, not wideness).

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