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Nurse Judy: May 31, 2018 – “A Birthday Discussion”

May brought another birthday my way, and Nurse Judy, my self-absorbed alter ego, cringed at the mere thought of it. I was forbidden to mention how many candles would be on the cake if I even had a cake. I was also forbidden to put my “happy birthday” cover on my mailbox. The whole event has been handled at my house as more secret than our secretary of state’s visit to North Korea. Nurse Judy declared that all communication would be on a needs-to-know basis and then promptly announced that no one needed to know. “But how will my friends know to send me a card, or a tweet?” I ask plaintively. Nurse Judy dissolves in laughter. “You are so pathetic,” she says. “Many of your friends are the same age as you. Their memory is gone. They won’t remember who you are, let alone that you’re having a birthday. Many of them aren’t even alive anymore, and some are in old folks’ homes. Any that are still around would never be able to ‘Tweet,’ even though they are old crows. They’re not in the technical age. They can’t e-mail, or even text. Heck, they’re hardly able to talk on the telephone because they’re hard of hearing.” Now she’s got my dander up. “Hey, I say. I’m not that old. I e-mail. I text. I don’t Tweet, but I can still learn. I have lots of friends like me who are still functioning well in this modern age.” “Oh, you poor misguided soul,” she goes on. “Don’t you believe how old you are?” “I know the number,” I say, “but they now say age is not a number. I don’t think there’s much I can’t do now that I did in the past. I’m just a little slower and a lot wiser. I don’t think I’ve changed much at all.” “Oh you’ve changed,” she says. “Give me one example,” I demand. She’s been waiting for this. “Ha!” she says. “In the past when someone asked you for a date, you blushed and acted coquettish.” “What’s wrong with that?” I ask. “Well, now when someone asks for a date, you go to the cupboard and get them one. You certainly have changed.” “That’s an absurd example,” I say. “Well, here’s another,” she says gleefully. “In the past when folks asked about your diet, you mentioned the inclusion of all major food groups. Today when folks ask about your diet, you look guilty and inform them that you’re trying. Oh yes, you’ve changed.” I ponder all this. I finally say, “Change is good. You’re only old when you are no longer willing to change. Maybe it’s you, Nurse Judy, who is old since you refuse to change from the belief that you are still young. “ “Harumph,” she says and flaunts away. “I am listening to an old woman’s prattling.” The old woman shouts after her. “Happy birthday to me. I am young. I am strong. I have lived through another year with you.”

More later,
“Birthday Girl”  Judy