Saturday, March 14, 2015

A reality check at the DMV

Today is my birthday.  I am now 60 years old.  Sixty.  Wow, is that sobering--and incredibly depressing.  Yes, it's way better than being dead, no argument, but it is also undeniably old.  I don't feel old, but I clearly am.

I can now buy discount movie tickets.  There's always that.

I had my first taste of this distressing new reality at the DMV earlier this week, when I went to renew my driver's license. 

Despite the stereotypes of the DMV, my experience was entirely pleasant.  I had an appointment, waited less than ten minutes for them to call me, and had a very nice, very competent examiner.  In fact, every single DMV employee I encountered was competent, pleasant, and very nice, even in the face of many surly waiting customers (the queue for those without appointments was quite long). 

After I passed my exam, the examiner had to complete some fields for my new license.  He was a large chocolate-colored man with a gleaming shaved head, shaved because he was clearly going bald.  He appeared younger than I am, but not by more than ten or fifteen years.

"Eyes, brown," he said.  He stared at me.  "Check."

"Hair, brown," he said.  He stared again at me.  "You want to go with that?"

"I wish I could," I said, "but I think we're going to have to go with gray."

He tilted his head.  "You do get to choose."

I shook my head.  "Gotta face reality.  Let's go with gray."

He smiled.  "Good choice."

"Sucks," I said, "this growing old shit."

He rubbed his shaved head.  "Shut up," he said, with a smile.  "At least you have your hair."

I smiled.  "There is that."

He nodded.  "There you go."

We both laughed.

And so on we go, graying and older, each of us on our own road into the future, but still, at least sometimes, able to come together and to laugh together about it.


Anonymous said...

I usually follow the line "Sucks to be old." with "Stay young as long as possible."

Also, "Better gray than gone away." Though 'gray' is a bit plain... not 'salt and pepper'? not 'iron gray' or 'steel gray' ?

Mark said...

Gray was the option he offered me, so I went with that.

Rosanne said...

hey, you still go to live rock concerts! You are still interested in learning new things. I could go on, but will just say, "Getting old? Nah!" Take care and happy belated birthday!!

old aggie said...

Belated Happy B-day Mark! It appears I am exactly 6 days older than you, which makes my moniker even more appropos. :-)
I am so thankful to be reasonably healthy and to have a job I love. Working in a tech-related field drives me to keep up on things, which is fantastic. According to the "How Millennial Are You?" survey from Pew Research, I think like someone in their 40s - yeah!
So far, every decade has been better than the last (which, yes, is an indication of a rough start), and I'll do my best to keep that trend going. There are so many interesting things to learn about and so many fun things to do; this life really is very short.
Here's wishing us both a year filled with joy!

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words, Rosanne.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind wishes, old aggie. Yes, tech helps keep you and me young. I wish you the same great year ahead!


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