I have several friends who send me things – accounts of personal experiences, or (as in this case, tales told to them by others) — thinking maybe they will be useful fodder for my writing. And sometimes, they are. As an example, a friend sent me the story below. She called it “A Story for Seniors”.
A Story for Seniors
“After a meeting several days ago, I couldn’t find my keys. I quickly gave myself a personal ‘TSA Pat Down.’ They weren’t in my pockets. Suddenly, I realized I must have left them in the car. So I headed frantically for the parking lot. My husband has scolded me so many times for leaving my keys in the car’s ignition…he’s afraid someone might steal the car. And as I looked around the lot, I realized that this time, he was right. It was empty.
“I immediately called the police, gave them my location, confessed I left my keys in the car and that it was stolen as a result. And then I made an even more difficult call, to my husband: ‘I left my keys in the car,’ I said, ‘and it’s been stolen.’
“There came a moment of silence, during which I thought the call was disconnected, But then I heard his voice, barking: ‘Are you kidding me? Did you forget that I dropped you off today?’
“Now it was my turn to be silent. I was very embarrassed, but finally managed to say, ‘Well, will you please come and get me?’ Another long pause before he answered: “’Yes, I will…as soon as I can convince this cop here that I didn’t steal your car!’”
Welcome to the Golden Years
This came to me from an old, old (in both senses of the word) friend in Chicago. She concludes her account with a disclaimer that this story isn’t her own experience, plus this simple statement: “Welcome to the Golden Years.” She also manages a bit of a laugh at her own expense by quoting Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself: Everyone else is already taken.”
This friend has always been herself, never hesitating to share stories that point out her own failings, and keeping a sense of humor even about her current status. She is an elderly widow residing in a small independent living facility that doesn’t offer much in the way of socialization and mind-expanding activity. But she reads – uses her computer to keep in touch – and, now into her early ‘90s, still drives her own car – but not very far, and never on expressways!
I plan to ask her to comment on the fact that our U.S. government officially decided it doesn’t want us to be called “seniors” any more; the correct term of choice is now supposed to be “older adults.” I learned this from a gerontologist who works daily with seniors — oops! Older adultsI I wonder what my humorous friend will think of that. By the way: What do YOU think of that?
A proud native of Pittsburgh, PA, Harriet P. Gross began her journalism career in 1955 at a local paper. She moved to Chicago 2 years later where she worked as a full-time journalist until moving to Dallas in 1980. Here, Harriet began freelancing, doing special projects such as the text for Dallas Section, National Council of Women’s history book in addition to writing for a variety of publications.
Harriet also wrote a weekly column, “In My Mind’s I” in the Texas Jewish Post for many years. She has won writing awards from the Press Club of Dallas, American Jewish Press Association, National Federation of Press Women, Illinois Woman’s Press Association and Press Women of Texas, and has been listed in five Who’s Who publications. In her community, Harriet currently is a book reviewer, discussion leader, and program presenter for clubs, senior living facilities, and Jewish institutions including the JCC’s Senior Program.
originally published June 14, 2018
updated May 20, 2021