Mama proceeded to tell me, “You’re too old to be working that much.”
That’s a first. Not that Mama told me I was too old for some activity—she’s told me that before—usually when it was something worthy of a young kid or unworthy of whatever my current age was. It usually went something like this, “You’re too old to play with that doll.” Or “Only babies have pacifiers.” No, what was a first, was my Mama, the original work-horse, telling me I was “working too much.” I learned my work ethic from her.
Fast forward to this week. I left work early (okay, it was to go to a hospital appointment for my iron transfusion—but that still counts as leaving work early), and I drove to one of the back entrances to the hospital. I’ve gone this way a hundred times. This time, when I made the left-hand turn, I didn’t make it to the far side of the median. Yep. I turned into the outgoing traffic lanes. And there was an oncoming car. Luckily, she was way down the street, slowed for this yahoo making a turn into traffic, and I U-ied before she arrived at the light. It could have been so much worse.
Since my infusion was in the afternoon and takes a couple of hours to process, I plan for Friday afternoons and by the time I’m done, it’s time to go home. One Friday a month I know I will go home on time. Because I know I’ll be off home on time, I make hair appointments for that afternoon. So, there I was in Tawni’s chair and she asked me about work. I told her I was still doing 6-day work weeks (she gave me the prerequisite sympathy—she received a good tip too), and I went on to tell her we have hired someone, she is training in Waco for a few weeks, then she’ll train in Temple for a few weeks, so my 6-day work weeks should be history in a month or so. She said, “Hallelujah.” But what my ears heard was, “How old are ya?” So I promptly told her, “Fifty-six.” Not all the steam rising from my head was from the warm water. I silently fumed, I can still party ‘til the wee hours (after my nap), and I can roll in at 6am after driving all night, off-load the FurKids, and work a full day at the hospital (while chugging an entire 6-pack of DDP). I’m not too old to work a little overtime!
Awkward 3-second pause.
I thought that was a strange reaction. And I decided I really must color my sparkles. Soon. I mix my own, because I’m not paying over $100 on my hair. This was my second hair cut in only 2 months—and it felt like a splurge. In the past, if I went to the salon more than once a year, the stylists would just about faint. Maybe one day, I’ll splurge on professional color, but for now I still color out of the box.
And then it hit me, she wasn’t asking me how old I am. She was responding to help on the way in the form of the new employee! She had said, “Hallelujah.” Well, I got the giggles. I could barely sputter out why I had divulged my age, and we had a good laugh.
When I turned 55 I started receiving monthly, if not weekly, coupons for hearing aids….
I am not old enough for that!