Magic 65!

65 is a magic number as far as aging goes.


4/23/20234 min read

pocket watch at 3:55
pocket watch at 3:55

Is 65 a magic number? Apparently. When I turned 65, I went to the doctor for the obligatory wellness exam. The first question they ask is have you had your vaccines? What vaccines? I wondered. I mean when I was a child I had the whole nine yards, polio, etc. Shots and do you remember the sugar cubes? I had the mumps and measles as a child. Do I need more?

Well sure enough, you need more! All of a sudden at 65 I was supposed to have all kinds of shots. Have you had your flu shot? the nurse patiently queried. “No, I don’t get flu shots.” Have you noticed they all get this look on their face when you don’t give the response they expect? Doctors, P.A.s, Nurses, anybody, all get that look. Like you’re a recalcitrant four-year-old.

So, no, I don’t get flu shots. I know, I know, it’s recommended. But here’s the deal. My husband and I don’t get the flu. We rarely get a cold. Here’s a story, true story. My Mom came to live with us. We had never had a flu shot, for the reasons I just explained. When our son was school aged, we maybe got a cold every other year. I got the flu once and it leveled me. Went to the hospital and everything because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It was that bad. But I got over it. Anyway, Mom insists that we all get flu shots because she was elderly and could get pneumonia and we’d be risking her life. Mom has always been a bit dramatic. So, we all dutifully go get a flu shot.

Every one of us got sick for a week from the shot. That was in September or whenever you’re supposed to get one in the Fall. Then lo and behold we all got the flu in January. Oh! the flu shot we got didn’t cover that strain of flu! One by one we were each down for a week and I was down for two weeks.

After that fiasco, we never got one again. So, I don’t get flu shots much to my doc’s dismay. I did go get the pneumonia and shingles vaccines. I don’t want to get those diseases and I believe in prevention. My husband is 65 so now I’m trying to get him to go get his. He’s dragging his feet. We got all our Covid shots because who knows?

I did not get the colonoscopy. I can’t get my head around that one. I’ve read all the material, and I don’t think so. Here’s one to upset you: I no longer get mammograms. I’ve had two and they were both painful for me. Apparently, my breasts are denser and that causes pain. I figure I’ll get one when they figure out a better way than smashing your breast between two plates like a sandwich. You know a man thought that up. They don’t smash their balls between two plates. Go figure. I’m willing to take the risk. Lots of people tell me to do so, it can happen to anyone. I hear them, I’m not doing it if it’s going to be painful. I’m not telling any of you to be like me. I’m just telling you about me.

What else happens at 65? That’s typically when people start taking their Social Security payments if they qualify. I was going to wait until age 70 because we thought it would be more advantageous to have the higher monthly stipend. But then we started doing the math and if I waited it would take years (maybe 15 or so) to recoup what I wouldn’t get by waiting. I waited until after 66 and ½, that’s when we figured out it wasn’t worth it for us to wait any longer. I started taking my pension payments at 65. It’s not much but it’s enough for me to buy birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts without him knowing how much I spent. I want him to love the gift without worrying over the price. Plus, I feel better buying clothes or stuff for my hobbies with my own money.

I’ve also discovered discounts and senior day. Our grocery stores offer senior day, one gives an extra discount, another gives extra points, etc. There are quite a few restaurants and stores that give some kind of senior discount. There are also perks cards and loyalty cards. Check them out! Here are a few:

  • Albertsons

  • Bi-Lo

  • Fred Meyer

  • HyVee

  • Piggly Wiggly

  • Neiman’s (extra points on Wednesdays)

  • HEB (perks card)

Always ask if a place offers senior discounts, don’t be shy and forget trying to be younger. Just stop that already. You aren’t fooling anyone.

Boy, that takes me to seniors who dye their hair. If you’re going to dye your hair because it makes you feel better, then choose a softer color. I have a neighbor who is older than me and she dyes her hair jet black. It looks awful. It’s too harsh for her skin tone. How does she look in the mirror and think that looks great? I let mine go natural because it’s mostly silver. It takes a color really well but doesn’t hold it. I was retouching my roots every week and that’s just too much. I like my hair color and I grew my hair long. It’s about two inches past my shoulder. I enjoy the feel of it, and it looks beautiful. I like to put it up in a high ponytail when I go out. My niece says it’s a ‘smokin’ signature look’! Ha!

We also have an aunt who is 90 years young who continues to dye her hair red. It’s a softer red though and she has a beautician do it. It looks colored but it looks ok on her. I mean, if kids are doing pink, purple and green, why not? I have a bright red hair extension for when I feel frivolous. I’ve never worn it but I have it just in case. I suppose I could put it in my smokin’ ponytail.

65!65! 65! 65! 65!