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Well, I had my 60th birthday last week and, it was everything I thought it would be—weird! Lots of friends, ju jitsu students and well-wishers, a cake (no candles of course because of the fire hazard), presents and the Bear, Sam and Aracelli trying to be sneaky and get everyone in for a surprise party. But, the big 6-0 and it just seems like I should still be in my 30’s.

By Pat Merriman
Where did all the time go? Particularly, it’s almost election time again too, so, where did the last 4 years go? Hopefully, my approval rating is better than Congress’ 14 percent…really? You start to get nostalgic when you hit sixty. Dwight Eisenhower was President when I was born. I remember a country where everyone’s neighborhood hung out together. Annual street festivals and celebrations. We actually spoke to each other.
Then the hippies came along when I was still in elementary school, with all of their chaos, and the Vietnam War. And, that’s when being an adult didn’t mean anything anymore. The next 50 years seems to have been a contest to see who can stay as young (and immature) the longest. We’re too important to get to know the guy next door.
And, it’s been one year since the last presidential election. Isn’t it time to stop whining about the outcome? Stop this petulant, self-indulgent, denial fest? This past week was a doozy and, here’s some thoughts from this sexagenarian. First, if the President of the United States gets your kid out of jail in China—thank him!
If it’s been decades and you’re a US Senator, the presumption of innocence and questionable timing of an allegation apply to both Democrats AND Republicans alike. Because, this week, listening to Hillary Clinton and Al Franken attack, retreat, regroup and reorganize has been an exercise in schizophrenia. It’s like watching a group of 5-year-olds play kickball.
Next, thugs…stop killing cops. Lost in this dialogue about civil rights is the insane killing of officers just because you’re angry. Or, church congregations, or school kids or soldiers or anyone else for that matter. There’s nothing noble about being a thug.
Kids—stop sending nude pictures of yourself through the ether. Seriously—what do you think is going to happen when they show up on everyone else’s phone? And, every thought that goes through your head isn’t art! Painstakingly boring gossip causing depression/suicide amongst you and your peers? Maybe it’s time to put down the iPhone and pick up a telephone. Or, talk to your family, go on a date or, do something productive.
And, don’t have your parents come to court, argue with your professor or, call your boss to complain about how you were treated. Actually grow up, stand up for yourself and become an adult. I know…its stinks to be 60 but, you’re going to be there someday too and, no amount of safe places, helicoptering, Botox, surgery or therapy is going to change that—it’s called life!
Finally, politicians stop lying to us. We’re not idiots. Is there any real difference between the two political parties anymore? Because, particularly in Washington, the famous Mel Brooks’, Governor Lepetomane quote in Blazing Saddles seems appropriate, “We’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen!” Please say it ain’t so!
I don’t know about the rest of you “elderly”, but, I don’t expect respect anymore—just overgrown, spoiled brats to stop screaming at each other, complaining and demanding. How about we just be grateful for living in the greatest place in world history? Or, maybe that’s just early onset dementia—who knows?

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