These Aren’t The Golden Years I Expected… Where’s My Refund?


If we over 65 are really in our “golden years,” then the value of gold (not the price) has certainly dipped sharply. I have heard for decades how wonderful these life-ending years are. And, frankly, it is a lie. And getting worse.

Has anyone noticed how small the print on so many items has gotten? It’s bad enough when my wife and I have to stare at a package of microwave veggies and try to read the number of minutes it’s supposed to cook. There’s so much printed on all the envelopes that we have no real interest in and much of it is in larger print. But then the two of us are squinting, despite our eyeglasses, and trying to figure out if the number is 5 or 6. Who cares about the details about every little ingredient — why not large numbers for the timing directions?

Even worse, our meds have the very small print. We run for the magnifying glass. After all, it could be a warning that taking it the wrong way could kill us. But the print on them is so small that even that doesn’t always help. Many of our meds have been designed for older people, so the manufacturers have to know how making it hard to read creates difficulties.

And should we delve into how difficult it is to open those medicine bottles? They have been specifically designed to block the hands of children and those with arthritis. Push and squeeze and turn all at the same time. And do it for just the right amount of pressure. Perfect for the elderly population.

I was reminded of this when Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon sent me a birthday present for my 77th birthday… a new license plate! Now, I interviewed her for this newspaper years ago and found her charming and straightforward. But as I put a screwdriver in my shaking hands (at this point, it might be classified as a dangerous weapon), I wondered why she seeks to punish those of us who are elderly. After all, if we are excused from jury duty — and keep in mind that most older people who are no longer working might prefer spending some time on a jury if our governmental leaders made it a more pleasant experience — why should we have to go through these other tasks? I had the same license plates in New York for 15 years. Now my car is on its third set in seven years.

I am convinced Big Tech hates all the old people. Every time there is a new generation of phone, all the systems within it are changed. When you’re a kid, it seems natural to do things differently. When you get older, you like stability. It took me time to learn how to send photos to friends. Well, to send them and ensure they actually got them. Then I got a new phone, and there’s a whole new system. And from what I saw watching my daughter send photos, the change seems to have been made for no reason.

I’ve also noticed that some medical tests that used to be recommended for us are no longer recommended. My gastroenterologist mentioned in passing that once I reached 80, I might need one more of those uncomfortable ones. Since I remembered bringing a nearly 90 year old friend for one of those fun times about five years ago, I questioned that. It seems a panel decided it was no longer of much use to give them to the really elderly. And they’re pushing the age back for the first one. I asked him what tests were now given more often than before, and after some thought he replied, “Well, COVID.” Right!

There are fewer tests being given to those getting older. It might cost a few lives, but the rich will probably pay the full fees themselves, and the rest of us just might not live as long.

There are also stories about how virus vaccines, promised to go first to seniors who are the most vulnerable group, wind up in the hands of younger, more entitled people. Yes, we’re better off in Florida than in a lot of states, and we seem to be far better off than they are in Europe, but again there are too few people watching out for us.

So what will we do? Mostly we will get sick and die over time, and the politicians will mouth platitudes. Once we were honored; now we are tolerated. So much for the value of gold.