Forgive me, but I want to talk again about growing old. I realize if you are not old you could care less. I understand that. I was once young like many of you are. But the aging process, as depressing as it is, intrigues me. My wife is always on me for something, or so it seems. I think a wife needs to pick on her husband, if only to deflect concerns about her own wellbeing. Of course any sensible husband knows not to return the favor. It’s one of those one-way streets in marriageville. My wife has been nagging me lately, telling me to put my shoulders back and stand up straight. She says I look like an old man, not realizing, dammit, I am an old man.
Standing up straight has become a problem. It must be very common because so many older people walk around bent over. I admit I am pretty much on a tilt these days and it’s not from too many beers. Instead, arthritis is the culprit. It is slowly spreading through many of my joints and I fear it will eventually lead me to the wheelchair showroom to make a selection. I’ll want power steering and one of those nifty baskets.
I am not really sure what mother nature had in mind when she started bending us over as we grow older. Who knows, maybe she had a thinking chair and she conjured up lots of scenarios featuring bent over old people. I don’t sense that this particular posture alleviates any pain. Perhaps she set it up as a warning sign to drivers that a senior citizen is crossing the road ahead , most likely at a slow pace.
Then too, older people are more prone to fall. Maybe mother nature is looking out for us. See, If you are bent over, this could be a good thing. You are closer to the ground, hence your fall may not hurt as much and, more importantly, you may suffer less injury.
Now, if you are like my late father–in-law, you may be bent over automatically because you are always looking to see if anyone may have dropped some money. This was a walking style my father-in-law perfected, always telling me it resulted from living during the depression.
Come to think of it, depression may be another cause of a bent-over posture. I know when you are not feeling good about your world you have a tendency to mope around, usually with your head down. That qualifies as bending over, although depression does affect young as well as old.
Well, regardless of the cause, I am making an effort to stand up straight and keeping my shoulders back. I don’t think it makes me appear any younger and it certainly doesn’t make the arthritis go away. But it keeps Rosemarie happy and therefore I am happy. In fact, she knows I’ll bend over backwards to keep her happy…although nowadays I probably shouldn’t do that.