At the end of February, my beloved Scott will turn 59.
He will tell you that he will be turning just short of 14, as he was born in Leap Year 1956 when his mother's doctor decided to induce her just so the doc could say he birthed a Leap baby.
Scott only gets a birthday every four years, which is good for me since I have time to save up, but also bad for me because he keeps reminding me that he is, on the record at least, just past the wet dream stage.
Fifty-nine is that magical year, the grey zone between having nothing and getting in on the Canada Pension Plan. You are also eligible for some discounts, not very good discounts, such as ten percent off at First Choice Hair Salons, but you don't get a senior's discount on the bus.
The good news is that, after 50, you've already qualified for Grey Power insurance, but are not yet eligible for a reversed mortgage which involves the slow sucking of all your money out of your house so that you can go on a cruise but so the kids are stuck still having to bury you. (Good one!)
I, too, will be turning 59 the day after Canada Day, and I'm getting ready for it.
I found myself a part-time job so I won't starve over the winter. I've brought in a peck of Metamucil, two boxes of Peptol Abysmal and I'm dutifully watching my poo circle the toilet to determine whether its shape would be "Oz Approved".
I've already booked my appointment with Dr. Ben, the ancient, re-upped Belgian doctor to whom the Ontario government inexplicably gave a licence to practice medicine. I believe Dr. Ben was a pharmaceutical rep, specializing in blood pressure medication and anti-depressants, in a previous life but I have no proof of that other than what I've read on RateYourMD.
He's the type of doctor who takes a first look at a patient and writes a script for any number of drugs, especially blood pressure and water pills, even before he tests your urine or takes your vitals.
I've been fighting the blood pressure fight, but this year, I will agree to medication if for no other reason than I have finally qualified for extended medical coverage thanks to Scott's crappy car job.
Being a Pre-Senior, or Pre-Seen isn't as bad as it used to be.
Our role models are no longer big haired, high titted matrons in girdles.
Today, there is Jane Fonda and Bo Derek, whoo!
When my mother was my age, she was a white haired rabbit with belly rolls and a bad perm. Her face looked like the Niagara Escarpment after a mudslide and she was seriously in need of dental work.
Today, we have benefit of gold standard hair dye in colors other than Gatineau Red.
We also have Botox.
Remember old folks back in the day when everybody's teeth looked like an ashtray or Joe Biden's, depending on their economic status? If you had crap teeth, you just had 'em pulled out!
Now you can actually simply whiten your teeth by sleeping with a tray of white goo. I don't know if it works or not, but I'm willing to give it a try now that I have extended medical benefits. If you have extended medical benefits all the dentists are jonzing for your cash and offer "free whitening" along with a trip to Calabogie for your business.
The modern era has also ushered in many, many positive measures designed with the Pre-Seen in mind. There are gyms that offer aqua fit classes with pool noodles, thereby allowing non-swimmers like myself to participate. (In the old days, I'd be found dead on the pool bottom with my hair circling the pool drain.)
There is yoga, though not recommended for the intestinally-challenged, and there is spinning, which is awesome for oldsters who have accumulated fat pads around the nether regions.
So there is simply no excuse for being rolly-polly or flabby.
We also have the benefit of a wide assortment of anti-depressants that are all the rage amongst family doctors. Zoomers, my late friend Roger used to call them. So we can blissfully exist and do our ghetto jobs without getting fired for going apeshit when somebody leaves a picture of his butt in the photocopier. Nothing bothers us, we simply smile sweetly thanks to our daily update of serotonin. Once again, not available to anyone without extended medical benefits.
And finally, we have whole clinics full of chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and kenesiologists who are just waiting to gel, freeze and burn our nasty bits that are riddled with arthritis. The only thing that's change in that department, between my mom's generation and mine, is that thanks to Zoomers, we simply don't care anymore
I'm predicting that 59 won't be so bad for me, unless Scott loses his benefits before I can get my veneers, and assorted therapies, or he loses his job and I can't go to the gym anymore.
But that's not going to happen.
We'll be working well into our 70s thanks to bad marriages, poor investments, near bankruptcy, kids still living in the basement, a dependency on Scotch and red wine (not covered by benefits but should be), too many late nights at the press club and an economy that has left us making the same amount of money we made in high school.
Don't despair, we'll be too stoned to care, and looking good in the process.