I’ve taken on a new moniker, several actually – Sweetie-pie – Honey – Dearie – Sweetheart – Peachy-pie – Cutie and the like. Every place I go, I’m a: Sweetie-pie” person. It’s an old man thing. For a long time, I was just an old guy, a “Sir,” a “Mister,” a “Senior.”
I accepted that persona over the years; I embraced my “old guy” designation and converted my internal identity. I referred to myself as the Old Coot, probably a little before I really needed to. I was an old coot prodigy. Now, without being aware of it, I’ve transitioned to a new level and have been inducted into the “sweetie-pie” Club. [I Walk funny, I stumble a bit, I wobble, I operate with reduced muscle mass, I squint, I creak.]
I’m a full-fledged old man and a full-fledged member of the “sweetie-pie” club, a wrinkled, bent, object of sympathy (some call it pity). I’m addressed as Sweetie-pie, and similar endearing terms. It’s nice, on the surface, to be treated in this kindly fashion. It’s just that it snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve thought of myself as an old coot for so long I didn’t notice this new phase until the curtains on life’s stage pulled aside to reveal this new version of me to the audience.
It’s nothing new, this being surprised by life’s passages. I was shocked in my early twenties when I started being addressed as Sir and Mister and Mister Lessler by people just a few years younger than me. My wife thought it was a riot, until she got called ma’am for the first time. Now, I’m surprised all over again, as the Misters have exited stage left and Sweetie-pie has taken center stage.
These life milestones come as a shock to most of us, but I’m not going to complain about this Sweetie-pie stage of my life. The next designation is, “The late Mister Lessler.” I won’t be aware of it, but somehow, I’ll still resent it. It’s what old coots do; we slip off the stage, but our complaints live on forever.
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