Will I Be Around?

I’ve never understood the phrase, “a woman of a certain age.” Now I do.

There is a certain age when you ask yourself the question that you never before needed to or dared to ask: “How long will I be around?”

It was my wife, two years younger than I, who first uttered it aloud several weeks ago.

We had our septic system flushed, and the technician advised us to schedule the next cleaning in two years.

When he left, my wife turned to me and said, “Will we even be around in two years?”

She was joking. But it was out there, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, “like a big matzo ball.”

I’ve read that married couples can quarrel frequently, which is common in even the happiest relationships. But once the word divorce is said out loud, the couple is set on a new course that half the time ends precisely in – divorce.

Premonition? Or prediction?

In 2009, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons surveyed trauma surgeons about their patients’ premonitions of death:

  • Ninety-five percent said they’d had patients who expressed such premonitions
  • Half agreed that these patients had a higher mortality rate
  • Fifty-seven percent believed patient willpower affects outcome

I don’t have any premonitions. But I have some questions …

  • Will I be around when my car warranty ends? At my age, car warranties suddenly seem irrelevant to me. And Hyundai’s new 20-year warranty? Are they nuts?
  • Will I be around to cash in all those miles cached in my American, Delta and JetBlue frequent flyer programs? Or will I expire before the miles do?
  • Will I be around to pick even one avocado from my tree? When we were building our house in Vieques, I warned the landscapist to plant mature trees in the orchard. “I don’t have a lot of years to sit around watching trees grow,” I told him. Did he listen? Of course not.

I’m left with the question: Can attitude affect outcome?

If our attitude does in fact affect the way things turn out for us, wouldn’t this violate the principle that an effect cannot occur before its cause?

All I know is that at this point in my life, when people ask what I want for my birthday or for Christmas, my answer is: “consumables.”

When I was young, I always wondered why old people behind me or in front of me in the supermarket checkout always bought so much candy.

Now I understand.

These days, I eye the racks of candy rather than the magazine covers of nearly naked women.

And have you noticed? The checkout lane always has your favorites on display – Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Butterfingers.

Which raises still another question: How do those clever grocery guys know? 

In my next blog, “The Peeps of Paradise: Tapping Vincent Tozzi!”


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  • published this page in Blog 2014-10-27 10:24:38 -0400