Last Wednesday was the end of a job contract for me. I had temporary employment with government, which came to a close.
My co-workers took me out for dinner and drinks to say "goodbye," nice bunch that they are.
At the restaurant, the waiter asked what the occasion was.
"We're celebrating my last day at work," I answered.
"Oh!" he replied, a wide smile creasing his face. "You're retiring!"
The smile disappeared pretty fast; I must have looked completely stunned and growled back at him: "Er. Not quite, buddy."
His tip wasn't very big that night, I must admit.
I thought about his comment over the next few days, trying not to let it bother me. It must have been the bad lighting in the restaurant, I concluded.
Then, a couple of days ago, I mentioned to someone else that I'd seen my "last day" at the job I'd been doing.
"You're retiring!" she said. "Lucky you!"
I was stunned, again.
I'm 49, and can still remember quite clearly that about 10 years ago, I was regularly asked to show ID when purchasing cigarettes. Now, the law states that store clerks ask for ID if you look 25 or under.
So let's see.
Ten years ago, when I was 39, I looked 25. Or possibly younger.
Today, at 49, I apparently look about 65, retirement age.
So, I've aged 40 years in a decade, in appearance, at any rate.
Mind you, there has been a lot of stuff in the last ten years. Stress. Momentous events. More stress. Landmark occasions. Even more stress.
"You've aged two score in ten," Anthony jokes.
What a card.