It was intended as a sign of respect. A nod to the fact that I am mature. Perhaps he even referred to his own beloved father in that manner. And of course, the description does fit. Depending on how you look at it. And me. He called me Pops.

For dinner we went to my favorite pizza place. The guy taking our order was young enough to be my kid. He was in his twenties I’d say. And I do have two children of my own. Grown children.

To him my wife was Ma’am, my daughter was Miss, and I was Pops. To tell the truth, I didn’t really hear what he called me. Hearing loss form a lifetime of a loud world. My wife said it was Pops. I remember that my father called his father “Pop.” So Pop is OK. But Pops?

Oh hell, he called me an old man. Whippersnapper! In our youth we try to look older. And as we get older we try to look young. Teens with cigarettes. Bald men with toupees.

I have been blessed with good genes. I have my own hair. Even if it is turning a little gray. And my face looks at least ten years, maybe fifteen, younger than I am. Always had that baby face.

Dean Martin plays on my radio, but so does a lot of contemporary music. I keep up with it to some extent. Because I enjoy it. I can speak some of the “hip” lingo without sounding like an idiot. Gosh, my daughter tells me her friends think I’m a cool hipster. Must be my eyeglasses.

But it hit me one day last week that I’m not as young as I used to be. I was in the bathroom, pondering old men’s plumbing issues and I said to myself something like Damn! You’re not forty anymore!!!

And now, Pops! Good Lord. Next thing you know I’m gonna be sitting on the porch, in my rocker, wearing a pair of pants with its waist at my armpits. Held up by suspenders. And my teeth in a glass on the table next to me. Just like that. Overnight.

Maybe my hair has stayed put and my face has looked young because I was too stubborn to recognize that I was getting older. Now, with my eyes cracked open to that fact, it’s all gonna collapse. Tomorrow I’ll wake up and my pillow will be covered with hair. And my head will be bald!

Getting old comes with its ups and downs. Can’t stop the aging process. Yet. So I might as well enjoy it. I’m still gonna do my thang the way I do it and enjoy the ride.

But I might not go back to that restaurant!

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?   www.personalhistorywriter.com


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