Promises I Made To Myself Upon Turning Sixty-Five

1. I will never move to Florida.

2. And when I’m visiting someone in the so-called Sunshine State (which, in reality, has one of the highest precipitation levels of any state, not to mention more lightning strikes and hurricanes) I will not, under any circumstances, attend a restaurant’s “early-bird” special.

3. On no account will I ever request a senior discount. (And I’ll discreetly distance myself from my wife whenever she does.)

4. I will avoid like the plague (no pun intended) the inevitable “health” conversation that the guys I periodically have lunch with always seem to get around to.

5. I will never browse the obits in the Times. (If I’m informed of the demise of a friend or acquaintance, I may or may not read the notice based on the closeness of our relationship; the same will hold true for family members, though I will employ a bit more leeway.)

6. As I lose height, rather than let my slacks drape down to the ground I will get them shortened repeatedly, notwithstanding possible quizzical expressions from my tailor.

7. Should I begin to develop, despite my minuscule beer consumption, what is commonly referred to as a “beer belly,” rather than attempt to camouflage it with an untucked shirt, I will swear off starches (yes, even pasta!) till I’m relatively paunchless.

8. No matter how gray my hair gets, I will never let my hair-stylist Fernando talk me into looking like a third-world dictator.

9. If I develop erectile dysfunction I will not succumb to taking the little blue pill, I will just do the best with what I have…more or less.

10. I will never, ever, move up to the senior golf tees.

11. I will continue to eschew AARP Magazine, despite my wife’s insistence, from time to time, that, “You must read this article.”

12. I will never send any family member, friend (or even enemy) a birthday card resembling, in the slightest, the ones I recently received, with their lame attempts at humor:  “You don’t look a day over 64”  “Cheer up – you don’t have to withdraw from yourIRA for another five-and-a-half years”  “You’re not getting older. Oh, wait, you are.”

13. I will never open the top button of my pants after Thanksgiving dinner, while sitting on the sofa watching football.

14. I will give my wife strict orders to immediately wake me, should I ever doze while watching TV (unless, of course, it’s Lifetime).

15. I will never use the phrase “back in the day” (and I’ll politely attempt to tune out the subsequent spiel from anyone who does).

16. (Number 16 is left blank in the event that turning sixty-five has diminished my mental acuity a touch and that I will think of something else at a later date.)

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