Sunday, April 5, 2015

I have met the enemy and he is me!!

A reality check


In the year 2008 I was a heavy user of Dunkin Donuts and their tasty coffee.  A regular customer.  
The fact that they gave a senior citizen discount for people over 55 was a nice bonus and since I was in my mid 60's I was eligible.

One day I walked in and asked for my usual  coffee with a maple glazed and a Boston Creme with my senior citizen discount.

Apparently the Donutarista was in a bad mood.  She proofed me.  She had me take out my driver's license and show her that I was 66 years old.  I guessed  I must have looked young enough to be in my early 40's…or she was being a total a**hole. 
I prefer to believe that I had  the appearance of a much younger man, although I have never been into any Dunkin Donut since that day.

Consequently I have lived my life like the nearly 50 year old man that Dunkin Donut has assumed me to be.
They must really believe that.  I sent a picture of myself to DD Corporate and demanded an apology.
I never heard from them.

I am guessing that they reviewed my picture and agreed that DD Myrtle Beach assumption was "spot on" and I was trying to pull a fast one.  I am really much younger looking despite my neck's turkey like appearance,  my massive growth of nose and ear hair,  my hunched over waddle, my Andy Rooney eyebrows,  my eyes that don't have crow's feet, they have ostrich feet.
I have a few other dings like cataracts, glaucoma, macular  degeneration, light sensitivity, bad hearing in my left ear, faulty fitting dentures, a cavity in the only real tooth I have, gum disease, impending baldness, and this is just my head which I think is doing great (except for the memory loss and the distorted sense of self).


The little French Lady (LFL) and I went shopping at Walmart a few days ago.  We parked as close to the door as possible.  We cursed, honked at, made obscene gestures at the cart abandoners, tailgaters, jaywalkers and other miscreants in the parking lot.  We glared at people walking out the "IN" door.

We walked to the restrooms and I said to LFL. "I'll meet you back here in 5 minutes."  This is our regular practice since Walmart is quite a distance from our house (nearly 3 miles) and my bladder was in pre-burst mode.

Fifteen minutes later LFL came out of the restroom.
"What took so long?" I queried cautiously.
"Oh, the attendant was cleaning the urinals."
"Their are no urinals in the ladies restroom but it does explain why I saw a tampon dispenser  and no urinals in the men's room. Ah, well…let's shop."

I found my usual shopping cart. The one with the nail in the wheel.  I used to hate it but it turned out to be a good thing.  The little French lady always knew my location by the "thump..thump".

"Let's not stay here too long today.  The fluorescent light bothers my eyes and I have trouble driving these carts.  I nearly got in two fist fights for ramming people with my cart.  I never seen women get so nasty in my life. One had quite an expansive vocabulary.  I learned a few new words."

We decided to go different directions.  The wife would do womanly things like buy food and dresses.  The husband would do manly stuff like walk around aimlessly, ask the pharmacist when the viagra was going to be on sale,  look at the laxative selection and hang around the women's changing room.  We would meet by the bathroom (of course) in 30 minutes. 

As I was walking up one of the aisles, I glanced to my right and saw a pathetic beaten old man looking at me. I nodded at him.  I believe he nodded at me but I kept walking.  I thought to myself; what a piteous creature he was.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!…That was me.  I was looking into a mirror.  
My knees almost buckled.
What happened to the young 40 something stud that got proofed at Dunkin Donuts just 7 years ago?
A metamorphosis has transpired.  I went from 47 to 74 in 7 years and I still wasn't old enough to get a Dunkin Donuts according to my calculations.
I think I will go get one of those carts that the overweight smokers drive around Walmart.  I need to sit down.  I am old.  I can be cranky all the time now.
Hah! I will make Andy Rooney seem like mother Theresa.  I can start now.
Do you know what really annoys me?  The lady talking on her cell phone in the checkout line.  Totally ignoring the clerk.  
As we leave I say to the LFL, "Don't you just hate it when people come in the "out" door. Hmmm! Don't you just hate it when the cars don't even stop for the pedestrians in front of Walmart?" 
As we pull out of our parking space " It really burns my buns when the pedestrians don't even look both ways when they walk across the area in front of  the store." (even though they have the right of way)

"Wow! look at all the cars parked in the fire lane.  Don't you just hate that?  Where's the cops when you need them? At Dunkin Donuts, that's where!!!"
Ah! Andy Rooney lives on.

The little French lady pulled out onto the highway.  She looked in the mirror and hollered, "Get off my Ass, you jerk.  Don't you hate that?"

A shiver descended down my spine.  She sounded like me!!  My trophy wife is now an old person.  
We drove home cursing relentlessly at the numerous traffic infractions occurring before our eyes. I shook my fist at people who dared make eye contact with me.  I stuck my tongue out at children in cars.      I wanted to moon a busload of nuns but the little French lady stopped me.  She didn't want to see nun road rage.

We arrived home and grabbed our groceries from and started walking towards our front door.  Our neighbor, Tabitha said, "Hi Folks, How you doing?"  I answered, "Doesn't your dog ever stop barking or pooping?" Her mouth fell agape.  She finally whimpered, "I only have a deaf 14 year old cat."
My reply:"What…ever!!"

I went into the house, ran to the bathroom, took a deep breath and then smiled.  "I believe I just had a verbal orgasm.  Free at last, Free at last, thank God,  I'm free at last.  Thank you, Martin Luther King."

Meanwhile, outside the little French lady is trying to explain to Tabitha.  
"Well, he walked by a mirror and saw his image and realized who and what he was.  Something in him snapped.  He is now a coot, a cranky dude, a curmudgeon, a grump, a reincarnation of Andy Rooney.  He has been through the stages of grief at losing his youth.  He went to acceptance pretty quickly."

"Oh, Oh! I understand. The poor guy.  I will pray for him to find peace and happiness."
"Thanks, Tabitha. And try to keep your smelly mutt quiet from now on.  See Ya!"

Life is good when you have a plan.
Grumpy is the new happy.