Memories of George Burns, black and white TV, and Blue Chip stamps are still coherent in my memories, so I consider myself no spring chicken. I qualify for senior discounts but still treading in that grey clouded area two years from the “big senior” monthly payout. Yesterday as I listened to my first flight call; I watched seniors and those who needed extra help board first. This was a no brainer to me as I have great respect for those who begin their day with coffee and obituaries. I mean if you are not getting older you’re dead right?
What I was not prepared for was the nasty displays from some of these seniors. The demands began to flow immediately and one flight attendant had to calmly explain the lengthy wait of the featured Salisbury Steak plate was due to business class being over booked. Thirty minutes later loud protests about the flimsiness of the plastic cutlery quickly made me realize that some of these folks were not aging with dignity.
Half way through the flight I fully understood there is less tendency to please people at that age when the seat in front of me lowered onto my knees with a thud. There was no amount of self-knowledge that comes with getting older or they would have realized I was now watching the movie almost upside down. Throughout the flight there was a continuous steady procession from this crowd to the rear of the plane to the lavatories. I knew there was no “mile high” action or texting on the toilet going on as there was a single seat wheelchair bumping into me each time it ferried one of them up and down the aisle.
I have never been afraid of playing my age, but honestly, when you request first seat boarding should you not wait to deboard the plane after everyone else? I waited patiently as three elderly women struggled to get off before anyone else behind them. I wanted to advise the polyester suited ladies that canes should be used only for the mobility of walking not pushing away those in back of you- especially those that had to go to the bathroom but could not get up because the seat in front was acting as a barricade.
As I stood there waiting to debark this sentimental journey with damp underwear I contemplated the good thing about getting older is you have less desire to go out and conquer everyone you see. But as I watched those same seniors seated in special wheelchairs flocked by Air Canada attendants waiting to claim their baggage I wondered. I then realized Ogden Nash was right: You are only young once, but some stay immature indefinitely.
I think these guys are all retired now.
Tonight is the inaugural meeting of the 126th Council of the Town of Carleton Place.
This photo shows the “The First Carleton Place Town Council 1890″ (after incorporation as a town).
Front Row : D. Cram; William Pattie, Reeve; Richard F. Preston, Mayor; Abner Nichols, Joseph Stewart, James Morton Brown
Back Row: T. Hodgins; Colin Sinclair; A.R.G. Peden, Clerk; A.T. Hudson; Alex Campbell; Peter Grant”.