I read a headline in the Las Vegas Sun last week saying that because of vaccine shots, septuagenarians were once again having great times in Las Vegas… going out, seeing family, and generally enjoying themselves.
According to my birth certificate, I am a septuagenarian (someone between the ages of 70 and 79). I am also a senior citizen (yep, I get a Social Security check), an old person (in the eyes of a young person), a “wrinklie” (my neck can tell lots of stories), a retiree (after 39 years at one company), and when the news folks talk about the coronavirus, I am also “elderly” (a name that implies walkers and oxygen). I AM a retiree, but I don’t think I like being a senior citizen (unless a discount is involved) a wrinklie, or elderly. I’m not quite sure I like being called a septuagenarian either.
I wonder if there are any t-shirts saying “proud septuagenarian” or “septuagenarians do it better”? In fact, who the hell came up with the word, “septuagenarian”? It’s too long and difficult to spell. Our current President and his predecessor are both septuagenarians. I wonder if either of them know they are in this category. “I understand you are a septuagenarian, sir?” “No, I am a Democrat.”
Well, the Internet says the origin of the word is Latin (wouldn’t you know) and that it was “first recorded in 1805”. The folks living in 1805 rode horses and buggies and read their dictionaries by candle light. Who was sitting around thinking up long words like “septuagenarian”?
But no worries. Other generations have similar spelling quandaries. I hang out with several octogeniarians (80 to 89) and even some sexagenarians (60 to 69) (The sexagenarians love that “sex” is still applied to them even if not necessarily in the bedroom.)
My friends and I hope eventually to have nonagenarian (90 to 99) celebrations, but that might mean our skateboarding days are behind us.
In the meantime, septuagenarians will continue to go out and enjoy Las Vegas. We will wish we were as svelte as Anne Martinez, Ruby Lewis, Naomi Mauro and Rita. We will wish we could remember words to as many songs as Lannie Counts. We will be mesmerized by the lyric interpretations of Brent Barrett and Eric Jordan Young. We will wonder at the stage presence of Michelle Johnson, Amanda King, Skye Dee Miles and Elisa Fiorillo. We will laugh and be energized by Frankie Scinta, Jassen Allen and the Bronx Wanderers. We will swoon at the voices of Clint Holmes and Randall Keith, and we will look forward to the returns of Kelly Clinton and Gordie Brown. In between, we will also eat out, sleep soundly and punch casino buttons until the last note is played.
Long live septuagenarians!