Saturday, May 9, 2015

Retirees’ Triads

Pampers has a new tag line. It’s a take off on the book and the movie: Eat, Pray, Love. Procter and Gamble tweaked the diaper version to Love, Sleep, Play. To which I snorted: “For people our age, it’s more like: Eat, Pray for Sleep, Eat Something Else.” This got me thinking about other well-known triads and how they might be revised for retirees.

One that comes to mind immediately is Veni, Vidi, Vici. (I came, I saw, I conquered.) The seniors’ adaptation has to be: I came, I forgot why I came, so I left. Another from literature is Keats’ “beloved trinity”—“Give me women, wine and snuff untill I cry out ‘Hold, enough!’” With minor alterations it’s a favorite of ladies who’ve migrated to Florida. “Give me women, wine and Mah Jong ‘til I cry out ‘Enough already!’”

Some of the revised groupings are inspired by health issues that plague many older folks. The patriotic red, white and blue are phonetically modified into bread, wheat and gluten—foods to be avoided by those with sensitive digestive tracts. The western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly mutates into The Cane, the Walker, and the Wheelchair. That popular lunch sandwich—bacon, lettuce and tomato? It’s still bacon, lettuce and tomato—but now it’s things we have trouble chewing or digesting.

Then we have trios of noises, or groups that morph into them. Let’s begin with Snap, Crackle and Pop—the sounds of a beloved breakfast cereal. These days, snap, crackle and pop are still morning sounds, but they’re the ones we make when we first get up. Remember the rock band Earth, Wind and Fire? They’re now Gurgle, Windy and Fart. (Oh, don’t give me that look. You know you were thinking something similar.)

Famous threesomes from TV and movies get makeovers as we age. The Three Stooges are no longer Moe, Curly and Larry. They’re now Bald, Frizzy and Flyaway—our hairstyles. The Marx brothers, Chico, Harpo and Groucho, have become Cheeky, Harpy and Grouchy—our personalities. The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Woodsman morph into the Couch Hippo, Frightful Hair Crow and Titanium Knees Man.

How about the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to the manger—Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? If they were coming to see us today, they’d bring presents that are more age appropriate, like cold compresses, Airwick and Vaporub. Meanwhile, The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria translate into a trinity that grandparents and great aunts everywhere will love—Nana, Pop-pop and Tanta Mariuccia.

Then there’s the classic baseball play: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” It’s now: “Don’t Tinker with the TV remote settings, because it will take forEver to figure them out again. We only found PBS by Chance.”

We also have famous three-part mottos. The words of the French Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité still translate into Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. But for senior citizens they mean we still have some mobility, our socks match, and to keep in touch with our family and friends, we need an iPhone. The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) stays the same, but it now refers to our heartbeat, our blood pressure and our body odor.

We still enjoy the Sun, Moon and Stars. However, if your night vision has evolved in sync with your age, the sun often appears to be glowing around streetlights at night. You may go to bed too early to appreciate the celestial moon, but you can still catch a glimpse when a gentleman with stretched-out Sansabelts bends over. And the stars are what we’re assured every one of our friend’s grandchildren are, as we look at yet another dozen photos from their ballet recitals.

Let’s consider a holistic triad—Mind, Body and Soul. We must nurture all of these if we aspire to lead a long, full life. Some maxims to follow to make this happen are: Don’t mind anything your neighbors say about you. Don’t look at your body in the mirror unless you have on at least two layers of clothing. And if you want to cultivate your soul, forget those Chicken Soup books. Read Retirement Sparks every week.

Lastly, referring to the biological classifications Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Seniors are told to avoid red meat, get plenty of roughage and keep hydrated with lots of water, not wine. As if that’s going to happen.

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