How to look ridiculous and sinister at the same time

I’m feeling old. I suppose I am oldish, although I don’t feel it. Mind you, I can see why many men refuse to shave once they retire. Staring at the stranger’s face in a mirror every morning is a bit of a shock to the system.

One of the problems with being over 65 is that people treat you as if you are over 65. They ask you if you can make the stairs, as if you wouldn’t be off looking for the lift if you couldn’t. Your kids don’t ask your opinion, presumably because they remember all the previous times that you’ve been wrong.

One of the most depressing aspects with getting old is that your kids become depressingly middle-aged. It’s all too easy when listening to them to remember when they’d been more adventuresome and willing to take a risk. They shake their heads when I refuse to dance, but then, when talking of politics especially, opt for the same old same old.

It’s the little things that really get to me. I can’t lose weight. I’m not hypothyroid as my reading is low but not too low, according to the doctor. I’m told the limit was recently raised and he doesn’t agree with it. I used to be able to shed weight almost at a whim.

Some years ago I went to Weight Watchers as a friend was too embarrassed to go alone. I was a little overweight, about half a stone, as it was winter and I’d stopped cycling every day. I would have shed the extra fat easily enough come April, but was obliged to spend money to do it early.

I lost the half stone, and a few more pounds, in the first five weeks, much to the irritation of some of the women I was sitting with. I was warned that I was shedding it too fast by the woman in charge, I think just to tell me off for being too clever by half. I was smug, but smugness is not so common nowadays.

I now have to take diuretics. These limit my range as I have to work out where the nearest toilet is before going anywhere. I’ve seen the stance I now take up, where I stare around a pub or shopping centre gazing around, when coming to a new place in others of my age. It is depressing.

I was in a public loo earlier this week which was equipped with motion sensors for the lights. I’m all for saving power, but I think the needs of the retired gent have not been taken into consideration.

I’d just got out of my car. My wife had walked off and I made my way towards the public conveniences. I had no urgent need to relieve myself as I now go before leaving the house, and without fail, but the over 65 ‘just in case’ attitude I now have to follow ensured I gave it a good go.

On came the lights as I walked in. I did the necessary disrobing, and waited for nature to take its course. It took a while, so long in fact that the lights went out. I’m not scared of the dark, but being a man, half dressed, standing in the dark in a loo is not everyone’s idea of a comfortable situation. What to do?

I did what most men would, and waved my free hand in the air. It produced no result. I was probably out of range, I thought, so took a step away from the urinal. At that precise moment, another chap entered the room.

There was I, too far from the loo, but with everything exposed, with one hand waving in the air.

It was not a good look. It is what age has done to me.

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