Double Whammy

Double Whammy

 This is pretty much how I've looked up to older people my whole life - a bit of awe and wonder. This is pretty much how I’ve looked up to older people my whole life – a bit of awe and wonder.

You know how you hear stories about people who hit the lottery twice? Well, that happened to me, in the same day, with one minor difference. Instead of winning $350 Mill and retiring at age 35, I had TWO SIMULTANEOUS encounters with Mr. Gray. Ok, and I had to shell out a few bucks for labels. SameSame. Anywho, it was like the stars collided to give me a double dose of darling seniors.

Twins

This may surprise noone, but mailing packages is not typically one of my favorite things to do, ’til now. The other day I headed to UPS, my new favorite hangout, to mail some returns (I’d say Amazon Prime is 2nd in line to my addiction to the elderly). As soon as I got there, I noticed it wasn’t the same sweet middle-aged “What can I do for you sweetheart” lady I always see behind the counter. No no. It was Mr. Gray. And while I love that lady because who doesn’t like being called sweetheart at the end of every sentence, but BYE FELICIA.  

Well, voted off the island for this shift anyway. Frankly, not only was I elated about this new employee, but I was surprised and thought to myself:

“He’s like 90 years old. Shouldn’t he be doing a crossword puzzle or watching “The Wheel” right now?!

FYI: That’s senior speak for “Wheel of Fortune” (thanks Grandpa). Shame on me for putting Mr. Gray in a box!! In all seriousness though, it is a common problem in today’s society to stereotype the elderly as unable, both physically and mentally, to do a variety of things. Due to this, not only are we used to seeing them in certain roles in limited environments, but we don’t offer the same opportunities to them. Ageism is real and while there are laws to prevent discrimination based on age in the workplace, it’s still a reality. If you’re unsure of that, ask a 50+ person if they put their college graduation year on their resume.  It’s rare to be hired as a senior, and the older one gets, the harder it is and more unusual it is to see. I think that reality is such a shame and disservice because seniors are capable of doing so much more than playing bingo, including contributing in the workplace. That day, Mr. Gray really put my thought to shame as he clearly loved his job AND was so fast on the computer. Not to mention, he was easy on the eyes as always 😉 [Is that weird that I said that? Yeah, who am I kidding. Oh well.]

                  *JUMPS OFF SOAPBOX*                  *JUMPS OFF SOAPBOX*

But wait, there’s more! Whilst capable and confident Mr. Gray was kicking butt one scan/label at a time, Mr. Gray #2 started to roll up, literally, in his wheelchair. *Cue praise songs* I mean, what did I do to deserve this, in one day, in one store. Apparently, American Legions are soooo last year, because UPS is the place to BE! In the midst of all this internal excitement, I darted to the door to help him open it. (I always look for an “in”) After a little chitchat, which is honestly, sometimes a bit forced on my end, I went to leave and said: “Have a nice day!”  

Normal responses one expects to hear:

  1.  “You too.”
  2.  “Thanks!”
  3.  *Crickets*

But no, not Mr. Gray, he always exceeds my expectations; he rocked my brown box world and hit me with a: “It already has been…you helped me.”………SWOOOOOON. WHAT?! MARRY ME. NO THAT’S WEIRD AND WOULD NEVER WORK SINCE I’M HAPPILY MARRIED. JUST HANG OUT WITH ME FOR LIFE. Luckily none of those thoughts actually came out of my mouth. I was just kind of in awe of him. Way to keep me on my toes Mr. Gray. I’ve never heard such an optimistic and delightful response to a a boring phrase people just say on autopilot. And now you get my point. Mr. Gray is extraordinary; he expressed good old fashioned gratefulness for a tiny gesture most of us would take for granted. 

So I left UPS with 2 gems. No, I did not take Mr. Gray 1 & 2 with me. But, I did leave with 2 lessons learned: 1. Some seniors love to work and can do a damn good job. 2. Find even the smallest opportunities to be grateful.

 

Mr. Gray Can Dance!

Mr. Gray Can Dance!

Welcome welcome welcooome. So excited to meet all of you and to finally share my love of Mr. Gray (see the “Mr. Gray” page for a proper introduction). My hope is that this blog adventure will be like a beautiful blind date where you, too, will fall head over heels for Mr. Gray. I’ve been into him since the age of in utero, but ya know what they say: “It’s never too late to Go Gray.” So, whether you’re an old fogey fanatic like me or just a bit curious, let me lure you into the mystical world of seniors with DANCING…

Mr. Gray is hot like a fox trot. We’ve all seen the videos where a 90 yr old couple is breakdancing and making everyone’s jaws drop in awe of their physical prowess. Seniors don’t stop loving to dance just because they walk slower than we do. And sometimes, they do it better than us. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this cane-free since 1923 Fred Astaire:

I’m not sure what I love more, watching Mr. Gray strike these epic poses OR the trashbag of treasures on his belt. I mean, what’s IN there? Maybe it’s a cape or something because this man is SUPER! And check out the ladies that are flocking to him. What a stud.  

I admit that was an impressive video, BUT, have you ever seen an elderly Captain boogie? Well, a couple years ago, I spotted Mr. Gray at my favorite Pittsburgh Beer Hall, the Hofbrauhaus. While everyone was dancing on the tables in true German spirit, with beer spilling out of their giant mugs, I was soberly focused on more important things.

Like a moth to a flame, I spotted my white-hatted knight there on the dance floor BREAKING. IT. DOWN. 

I immediately turned green. Green with jealousy. There he was in his swanky vest with a striped tie and sleeves rolled up laissez-faire style. To complete his “I do what I want” ensemble, he wore a white captain hat as the piece de resistance. The only problem here was that he was dancing with all these other not-me ladies. *Cue eye roll* I HAD to get in there. Now, I am known to be bold and grab that beautiful butterfly when the opportunity presents, and maybe it was that hat that got me all weak in the knees, but I just couldn’t compose myself enough to jump in and steal him. Luckily, dad saved the day and before I had much chance for self-debate, he threw me to the wolves. (My family knows how I feel about Mr. Gray and fully support my vice). 

Mr. Gray was sweaty and definitely had that dancing-all-night scent, but as you can see by the smile plastered on my face in the video: “long hair don’t care.” He was SUCH a strong dance partner and leader and you better believe there was no shame is his game. He twirled me around to the tunes of Jimmy Buffet for the whole song and I could feel the confidence in his lead. At that point I was thinking the following: 1. Mr. Gray has stamina because I’m already tired and this is his 5th dance. 2.  This is already better than my senior prom (sidenote: if ONLY senior proms were really senior proms). and 3. He’s MINE ladies. Back up. I hear the band’s xylophone player is available. So yeah, it was like time froze in his arms and I could die a happy woman. So next time you’re watching DTWS aka “Dancing with the Stars” just remember that just like Julia Roberts in “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, Mr. Gray’s got moves you’ve never seen.