You Know You’re Old When…

The Universe is a mean little kid

Every now and again, the Universe sticks its bony leg out to trip you. The trip and fall might be psychic, but the sting is real enough. And the devious little bastard thinks it’s just the funniest thing ever. The twit plays dirty and hides until you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. If you’re really tuned-in you can feel it coming.

shattered image by steven doung via flickr creative commons

shattered image by steven doung via flickr creative commons

The moment you finish a writing project, maybe even when you ink a book deal, your mind gives off a certain energy. This energy has a name — happiness. The Universe abhors happiness. Driven by jealousy, or some primal need to balance the cosmic geospastic forces, the Universe strikes out. Happiness draws the mean little kid Universe like cockroaches to a moldy granola bar.

The Universe got me this week and issued an old fashioned ass-whoopin’ to remind me who’s who. I had it coming. I was feeling pretty good about myself, so I should have known my comeuppance was inevitable.


A few times each month we take our trained therapy dogs to a local senior citizens’ facility to let the residents spend some time with the dogs. It’s really relaxing for the older folks, and as the name implies, it’s therapeutic. As part of the visits, we bring the dogs into the memory care unit. Memory care facilities offer close supportive care for older folks who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia. These residents have fading memories and the facilities try to keep them grounded with reminders from their past like old movies, old familiar music and photos.

Corgi doing his thing

Corgi doing his thing at memory care

You really feel for these folks. They didn’t deserve this. All their work, memories and lifetime achievements wiped away. A shell of what they once were. So, enter the therapy dogs. For the few minutes each resident spends with the dog, they are happy, alert and can recall a few snippets of a memory about a dog they once had.

This was one of the days where the older folks were responding and having a good day. That made me have a good day. And that was my mistake. The Universe sensed my happiness and struck out. It struck out hard.


Remember when I said the memory care facility used music from the old people’s early days? Yeah…

Playing in the background — in the memory care facility — was music from my childhood. WTF! Really? Music from the early 70’s is considered old people music. We’re talking Three Dog Night here people!


The Universe decided to remind me that I’m not far off from being here, instead of visiting here. You know you’re old when the music you listened to as a kid is played in an Alzheimer’s facility.

Fricken Universe…



  1. I know that feeling! Nothing like going to an antique store and seeing toys from your childhood. Especially with a smart aleck kid saying, “I didn’t know they even had toys back then.”

    1. Isn’t that the truth? Like all we had to play with were Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and our imagination…oh, wait…

  2. Yes, the universe can be a nasty little bugger!

    1. And, he always catches you at that very moment when you were almost at the top of the mountain…then a sliding back down you go.

  3. Nothing says old like seeing your wedding gifts in an antique store.

    1. I think that qualifies as “vintage.” It doesn’t sting as much as “antique.”

  4. Dude! That’s just wrong! The Universe does not have bony legs. How could it effectively open up a can of whoop-ass on you? (70s music? Really though?) *runs away*

    1. The Universe might have frail bony legs, but tremendous upper body strength from opening all those cans of whoop-ass.

      1. That makes sense.

  5. Reblogged this on James L'Etoile and commented:

    I had another one of these moments this week. You know the moment I’m talking about – that little speck of sunshine where everything is hunky-dory until the Universe kicks the stool out from under you. Senior discount my ass!

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