'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
You know you’ve reached middle age when…
…when your second most enjoyable activity during the day is crawling into bed at night (with nothing but sleep on your mind).
…when you actually pay attention to politicians who talk about how many more years Social Security will survive, doing a quick math calculation in your head to see how old you’ll be at that time.
…when you can remember when doing math calculations in your head was standard procedure since no one had a calculator.
…when you watch over an hour of the Grammy Awards on TV and exclaim, “Who on earth are any of these people?!”
…when you realize the Buick Regal is a fine looking car.
…when you remember the details of Christmas Day 1966 much more clearly than you remember the details of yesterday’s business meeting.
…when you are part of the nation’s “drug culture,” but your drugs come with co-payments and insurance forms.
…when you remember when Michael Jackson was black.
…when you remember when the best golfers and tennis players were white.
…when you look at your high school yearbook and exclaim, “Who on earth are any of these people?!”
…when you don’t care what color your hair has become because you’re just glad you still have some (men).
…when you do care what color your hair has become because it will be another four week before you can afford to visit the salon again (women).
…when you truly grasp the profundity of the expression, “Youth is wasted on the young.”
…when you scan the obituaries to see if any of the ages are close to yours.
…when you shake your head and laugh on hearing a sports announcer declare a particular ballplayer “over the hill” because he just turned 36.
…when going to church is important.
…when many doctors and airline pilots look like they should be getting ready for the Junior Prom.
…when you actually own a book about the prostate gland.
…when you actually own a book about menopause.
…when you can imagine how people survived without microwave ovens, cell phones, and the Internet because you did so yourself without too much trouble.
…when the idea of being a grandparent is no longer frightening, but the idea of not living long enough to see your first grandchild starts to be a concern.
…when you don’t hesitate nor feel embarrassed to ask a younger person to do things you routinely used to do, like move furniture, climb a ladder, or change a watch battery.
…when you’re glad it is no longer expected that you’ll expose your stomach or thighs while at the beach.
…when you remember a time when smoking was socially acceptable but having children out of wedlock was not (and you’re not sure which one causes more problems).
…when the most important feature of shoes is how they feel rather than how they look.
…when you remember when TV commercials actually discussed the products they were trying to sell.
…when you remember when TV commercials didn’t cause embarrassment if a member of the opposite sex happened to be in the room because the actors back then were at least partially clothed.
…when you can instantly recall the phone number of your first girlfriend or boyfriend (and it began with two letters, not numbers), but you draw a blank now whenever someone asks you for your own phone number.
…when the idea of spending Saturday night in a loud, raucous nightclub causes an involuntary cringe.
…when you remember attending the Christening of the young lady being walked down the aisle by her father—and it seems like two months ago.
And finally, you know you’ve reached middle age when…your most enjoyable activity during the day is having a surprising dose of “regularity” during your morning visit to the bathroom.
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