It has finally occurred to me that I am now a full-fledged senior -- and I'm not talking about high school!
I see people today whom I perceive to be aged, and then shocked to learn they are 10 years younger than me.
I can remember in intricate detail, my activities of the eighth grade, but I don't remember where I left my wallet, cell phone, car keys and teeth last night.
I still wear my hair the way I wore it high school — a conservative rendition of the moppy hair of the Beach Boys (and it's still blonde like theirs, too) while boys today wear their hair peeled on the sides, and combed up in front -- like my Dad wished I had worn my hair 55 years ago.
For my entertainment today, I tend to gravitate to the pop songs, of the 50s and 60s, like "Surf City" by Jan and Dean, and the sitcoms and westerns like Father Knows Best, Annie Oakley, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Most days at noon, in my office, I eat a Lean Cuisine spaghetti and meatballs for lunch while watching an episode of "My Friend Flicka" on YouTube. I just cannot get ready for this newfangled stuff (oh no! I'm sounding just like my Dad now!)
I long for the days of the white-wall tires and Hollywood fender skirts. In fact, I find myself uttering, with increased frequency, the term, "I long for the days. . ."
I recall pulling over at a country store and calling home on a pay phone. Talking on the phone in the car was some futuristic thing only known to Dick Tracy.
I remember when the IBM Selectric Typewriter was the rage. I often said, "They can never improve on this." But computers and Word Perfect quickly rendered the Selectric obsolete.
My Dad used to tell me, "Son, when you are young, you always look ahead into the future -- but when you pass the age of 50, you will find yourself looking back more."
Boy was he right.
However, as you read above, I am acquainted with YouTube. I do get on Facebook now and then; we watch Netflix. And also, thanks to my wife, I have been immersed in the Hallmark channel. So I have successfully entered the millennial age — albeit, kicking and screaming.
When I was in college in the mid-sixties, the hit song, "When I'm Sixty-four" by the Beatles was high on the charts. I can remember thinking, "Sixty-four is an eternity away!" I've been looking at sixty-four in my rear view mirror now for the past six years.
But I disagree with the hit of the sixties by the Rolling Stones -- "What a Drag it is Getting Old." I have a lot of privileges and opportunities for fun today, which I couldn't have as an eighth grader. Of course, my definition of "fun" today is a far cry from what fun was back then.
But isn't it just absolutely a hoot to see the dumbfounded looks on your middle-aged children when their own children scream something like, "Who are these Boyz to Men and Madonna?"
Paul Gauntt currently serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer.