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Fay's Beach Buzz             

Only as Old as You Feel????

2008 Fay Jacobs

Fay Jacobs

I'm going to get the senior ticket price at our local film festival this year and I have decidedly mixed emotions about it. These days, the thought of saving a buck sounds good, but the implications of accepting the discount have me conflicted. Turning 60 hit me like a ton of Metamucil.

So I decided to monitor my behavior to determine if I was merely mathematically challenged or if I was actually a bonafide old fart.

The jury is still out.

At a recent 20th anniversary party, revelers of a certain age crammed the dance floor for the disco tunes, hands waving over our heads for "Gloria," while the stomping and clapping for "We Are Fam-i-ly" shook the party tent. Score one for the oldie but goody team.

Later, as dozens of women headed to their cars, I did hear somebody whisper "sciatica," and another cop to a frozen shoulder. Feeling youngish, Bonnie and I only let out a few small wheezes.

The next day, at a brunch, about a hundred women golfers sang along with Abba. I have to admit to drinking straight champagne instead of Mimosas because these days it's not the bubbly that causes Acid Reflux, it's the orange juice. But I danced like a fool, so I'd call it a draw on the Old Fartometer.

Then came the golf tournament. I know, you're wondering who would be dumb enough to ask me to join a team that hoped to win a golf tournament. Well it turns out that this was the Comcast Client Appreciation Golf Tournament and I was the client to be appreciated, thereby permitting two of my buddies to join the foursome with me and my account rep. Luckily, our two invitees were actual golfers. In fact, they were so good that a rumor whipped through the player roster that the only all-women foursome of the day included two semi-pros. Ha! That was a good thing because the other two were semi-conscious.

Since we played "best ball," my Comcast buddy and I mostly teed off for laughs and retreated to our cart to await the frequent arrival of the adult beverage truck. While our shills made one par or birdie after another, we enjoyed our cocktails, the fantastic scenery and a Thursday out of the office.

Frankly, the more Yeungling I consumed, the better golfer (in relative terms) I became. By the 17th whole I was able to whack the ball like Paul Bunyan and watch it go farther than I had every launched one before. It wasn't until I turned to walk back to the golf cart that I discovered I'd also attempted to remove my hip from its socket. Good lord, where is that beverage cart when you need it.

"Well, when was the last time you played an entire 18 holes?" asked our "semi-pro."

"Can't remember," I said, wondering if I was suffering from Old Timer's disease.

"Exactly," she said to the whining senior citizen. My post-game wrap up was an ice-bag and I swallowed Advil and my pride for the rest of the night.

This discomforting reality show was followed two days later by my entry in a colossal gourmand competition - my spouse's birthday celebration. Time out. She'd kill me if I failed to note here that as of this birthday she is not, repeat, not, yet a Film Society Senior. This birthday.

Anyway, at dinner, six women and two men consumed two entire Peking ducks, a platter of dumplings, fried calamari and shrimp toast, heaping plates of General's Chicken, innumerable other Chinese delicacies and buckets of beer, wine and saki. It was only 9:45 when we waddled out of the restaurant but this sextet of gals passed up our much-younger boys' offer to buy us a nightcap and take us dancing.

9:45 on a Saturday night for pity's sake and we all retreated to our respective pre-assisted living residences. Confucius say these people really old.

To be fair though, I felt a little less decrepit the next morning when one of our young boyfriends, sporting a dandy hangover, called to say "I should have gone home when the lesbians did." At least he didn't say old lesbians.

But the final test of my senior citizenhood came yesterday on a bright fall afternoon. The Delaware AIDS walk took place in Rehoboth Beach for the first time and I participated.. I suspect, in addition to wanting to raise money and awareness for the cause, I was trying desperately to refute what seemed like a growing irrefutable truth - I was indeed entitled to a $1 dollar break on a movie ticket.

No, I thought, there's still hope that I am defying the clock.

Shame on me, but 1991 was the last time I did the D.C. or any AIDS Walk. The good thing about the 17-year gap in participation was that I raised a lot of money. Let's face it, this was a unique request from me. Also, I think people donated partly out of sincerity for the cause and partly because the very idea of me voluntarily walking 5 miles outside of a shopping mall made them laugh.

Ya know, 5 miles is longer than it was in the Mesozoic era. To be sure, it was a magnificent day - sunny and warm as throngs of people started at one end of town, wound through the residential area, around Silver Lake, along the entire boardwalk, and back to our starting point.

The final results of my "do I feel as old as I am" survey are mixed. On the plus side, by the time we got to the half way point I was panting less than the Rottweiler behind me. Although my tongue may have been hanging out as far.

I was pleased that I never had to utter the old fart classic "I've fallen and I can't get up," but I'd also never realized just how many tempting white benches line the boardwalk.

And as we trekked on, with victory in sight, it occurred to me that eating a giant soft pretzel and drinking a bottle of chilled water before setting out was unwise. By the finish line I had a massive natural sponge in my gut.

All that aside, the camaraderie was a delight, we raised a lot of money, and the fact that this morning I could get out of bed unaided gave me hope.

I proclaim that I am not yet a total old fart. But as far as the movies, let's not let on.
My name is Fay Jacobs and I approved this column.
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Fay Jacobs, a native New Yorker, spent 30 years in the Washington, DC area working in journalism, theater and public relations. She has contributed feature stories and columns to such publications as The Advocate, OUTtraveler, The Baltimore Sun, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, The Washington Blade, The Wilmington News Journal, Delaware Beach Life and more.

Since 1995 she has been a regular columnist for Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and won the national 1997 Vice Versa Award for excellence. Her columns are collected in the books, As I Lay Frying: a Rehoboth Beach Memoir and the newly published Fried & True - Tales of Rehoboth Beach.

Fay is Publisher and Managing Editor of A&M Books, the publisher of the 14 classic Sarah Aldridge novels.

She and Bonnie, her partner of 25 years, relocated to Rehoboth Beach, DE in 1999. They have two Miniature Schnauzers and a riding lawn mower.

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