An old boy's age-old bout of self-pity
It’s been years since I was on a bus, but that will soon be my frequent mode of transport. At least according to the daughter, who keeps telling me that I should be delighted I’m now eligible for free travel on public transport (unfortunately, she has inherited my sense of humour too).
Even the wife couldn’t resist a snigger at that one, the first time she heard it. A day or two after the birthday from hell, I decided to seek some Limerick solace, in a manner of speaking. One of my best friends and confidantes, Anne, is a twenty-something from Limerick.
To digress just a little, I can sometimes be as inclined as anyone else to subconsciously characterise an entire community on no other evidence than the adverse publicity generated by a tiny few of its members. Anne, from Feenagh, is the perfect antidote to any negative perceptions one might entertain about Limerick.
Possessed of a formidable intellect, and with a heart as big as her brain, she is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever met. Funnily enough, she also has a sense of humour not unlike my lovely daughter’s.
I emailed Anne to say that I wanted to speak to her about something personal. Not wanting to scare the life out of her, I included a line (complete with Smiley face) telling her not to worry, I hadn’t lost the run of myself. “What’s the matter, Davy?” she asked, as we strolled along, no doubt braced for news of some serious illness.
“It was my birthday, last week,” I replied, “My 60th birthday. And I don’t want to be 60 – it’s too old.” Anne didn’t bother trying to tell me that I don’t look my age (aware that my sight has remained intact), but, in a conversation that must remain mostly private, she did put a few things into perspective for me.
Limerick’s Finest also listed reasons for me to be thankful (a bus pass wasn’t mentioned), chief among these being my family. Thanks to my family, who knew better than to indulge my little bout of self-pity, and to Anne, I’m beginning to come to terms with my age, and my face. Although I suspect if Santa really did exist, I’d still be asking him to make me 40 again.