The state of the union as I turn 64

Opinion: Columns

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By John Rice

Columnist / Staff reporter

Paul McCartney wrote "When I'm 64" when he was 16 years old. It was a tribute to his father, who had just turned 64. It was an idyllic look at lovers aging together. Now that I'm turning 64, I thought I'd see if the lyrics still ring true.

"When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now …" It's no longer many years from now and my hair is in training for a comb-over. 

"Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?" My wife and I stopped exchanging valentines many years ago. She still gives me birthday greetings but the wine is for her. 

"If I'd been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door?" She certainly would lock the door. Fortunately, I haven't stayed out till quarter to three, since I stopped going to Midnight Mass. To answer the next musical question, she still needs me and occasionally feeds me.

"Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight if it's not too dear." It's true we rent cottages every summer, but the Isle of Wight would be too dear. Michigan is pricey enough. "We shall scrimp and save." I do the scrimping, she does the saving. "Grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave." I don't know how many kids she can fit on her knee but she'd have to make room for Troy, Brody, Will and John Henry. 

"You'll be older too" is not something I would recommend saying to your spouse.  "And if you say the word, I could stay with you." Regardless of what word she says, I'm not going anywhere.

"I could be handy mending a fuse when your lights have gone." I no longer fool around with fuses, but I can definitely flip a circuit breaker. "You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride." I only found out in recent years that my wife can knit but she's out of luck with the fireside. I like Sunday morning rides but only if I have a paying passenger in the backseat.

"Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?" No one attacks weeds the way my wife does. I don't help with gardens. It was part of our vows.

Again, she still needs me, for flipping circuit breakers if nothing else and I really appreciate it when she feeds me. "Send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view." That's not going to happen. We communicate strictly by text. "Indicate precisely what you mean to say." That's the beauty of texting, especially if she includes an emoji. "Yours sincerely wasting away." I only use this salutation to end my business letters. 

"Give me your answer." What was the question again? "Fill in a form." Make sure to add your user name and password. "Mine for evermore." Evermore isn't as far in the future as it once was. Obviously, she still needs me, for cuddling in cold weather.  She still feeds me but only if I clean the kitchen afterwards.

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries. Jrice1038@aol.com

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