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Where angels or seniors should fear to tread

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My gentleman friend and I both support Navasota businesses but when they don’t stock a particular brand of something we like, we’re forced to venture to the hinterland. In this particular instance, the hinterland happened to be HEB - at 3 p.m. - on a Saturday afternoon - on game day. The minute I stopped to sanitize the handle on the shopping cart, I realized there might be a need for a primer on things people of a certain age should or should not do. So, here goes:

No. 1 - Don’t go to HEB or Kroger or any major grocery store at 3 p.m. on a Saturday! However well you think you’re doing for your age, trust me, you’ve lost your edge. There is no one faster than a 30–40-year-old working woman with a shopping cart! Face it, you walk too slow because you’re reading your list or the aisle signs and you walk down the center of the aisle creating a line behind you resembling a funeral procession. Enjoy the spoils of retirement or a flexible schedule and take care of your business at 9 a.m. during the week. Your reflexes and the millennials will thank you!

No. 2 - Avoid standing or walking in a room with puppies and little children. Again, no matter how agile you think you are with your walking, yoga or military calisthenics, after 65 your equilibrium is no match for that two or four-legged blur of energy darting around and through your legs. We all know that after a certain age, we’re only one fall away from a broken hip and the slippery slope to the old folks home.

No. 3 - Take a translator with you. High school and college students, particularly of the female persuasion, talk really fast! I’ve lost count of how many times the checker has spoken to my gentleman friend who then turns to me with a big question mark on his face. I’m blessed to still understand “youngspeak” so we manage to cross the payment hurdle and quickly (well, sort of ) get out the door and into the safety of his car.

No. 4 - Avoid drivethrus. See No. 3 – a microphone exacerbates communication. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Burger King or the bank, this is a no-win situation for someone of a certain age if they don’t have their trusty translator by their side.

No. 5 - Don’t drive to or from B-CS before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. because your reaction time is eight seconds slower. I learned this in a sociology class when I was 43 and thought it was funny then, not so much now. That being said, while you may be hard of hearing, the road warriors around you are visually impaired. They read 75 MPH as 95 MPH so if you find yourself forced to drive in peak times, pray.

No. 6 – I thought I’d throw this in and maybe, just maybe, some folks will recognize themselves. Learn where the mute button is on your phone! It has become routine to attend a meet ing or event with folks of a certain age and half don’t remember to mute their cellphone or hear it when it does ring. This is really disconcerting to us graduates of quiet, closed classrooms trying to hear the speaker.

If I’ve offended some with these suggestions, just know they were made in love and in an attempt to salvage what’s left of our dignity as seniors. Mother Nature and Father Time have played some pretty dirty tricks on us with our outward appearance and tampering with our physical abilities and senses, devaluing us in the eyes of younger folks.

While we may be slower and less physically strong, we people of a certain age are living history. We’ve been there, done that and have the scars to prove what the younger generations can only read about.

Connie Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.