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Storm: Let's play a game of middle-age bingo


By Janet Storm

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The other day, I bought a rather expensive pillow.

I wasn’t fulfilling a long-held dream, mind you, just responding to some alluring advertising promising me the best night’s sleep ever.

It occurred to be, even as I was contemplating the purchase, that buying an expensive pillow was a very middle-aged thing to do. When I was younger, no promise of better sleep could have made me spend extra cash on something as mundane as a bag of fluff to lay my head on.

But I am no longer young, and good sleep has become more important to me than the latest album, movie or night on the town. Middle age has a tendency to realign priorities.

The jury is still out on my new pillow — it’s comfortable but not life-changing — but it did inspire me to think of all the things that have come to symbolize middle age for me.

And that, in turn, has inspired a new game.

I call it middle-age bingo. It works like this — you get to drop a marker on every description that reflects your life. Creating a line of markers in any direction gives you the right to shout, “Bingo! Oh no, I’m middle-aged!”

This being a column and not a printed bingo card, I can’t really set up the grid for you. But I can include the descriptions so you can set up a chart of your own. I envision a five-column by five-column square game board. Map one out, add the descriptions, print out a few copies and you are all set for an evening of fun with your middle-aged friends. 

Maybe you could give away an expensive pillow to the person who fills in the most squares.

Here are my descriptions:

1. I can’t remember why I came into this room

2. I get names of family members mixed up

3. I make a groaning noise when standing after being seated for awhile

4. I bought an expensive pillow

5. I bought cheap reading glasses

6. I can’t find my phone (when I’m holding it)

7. I say things like, “I can remember when that only cost half as much!”

8. I still own cassette tapes

9. I choose comfortable shoes over stylish ones

10. I won’t bend down to pick up anything less than a dime

11. I am always either too hot or too cold

12. I tell strangers on the beach that they’ll regret not wearing sunscreen

13. I pack three kinds of moisturizer for an overnight trip

14. I look at myself in snapshots and think, “When did that happen?”

15. I plan indulgences so that they take place after doctor’s appointments

16. I talks excessively about/to my pets

17. I look for clothing with extra stretch

19. I get grumpy when people don’t understand my cultural references

20. I worry about my children and my parents

21. I complain about the print getting smaller on labels

22. I look at my rock-and-roll heroes and gasp, “They’re so old!”

23. I daydream about retirement

24. I forget the word for … that thing with the thing

25. I add shampoo for thinning hair to my shopping list

Contact Janet Storm at jstorm@reflector.com or 252-329-9587.