The New Twenty

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?

I just turned sixty-four.
My sweet Sven is eight years my elder.
And even though robbing the cradle jokes vanished decades ago, I still like to remind my honey of my youth.
Because I can.
But alas, my smart-ass-ness has come to bite me in the butt.
You see, if one is inclined to receive one of the vaccinations everybody is talking about, the first eligible group in my state began with sixty-five and older.
Sven hopped right in the line.
He got both his shots and his tooth fixed. And he has been flashing his smile in my face ever since.
It was fine.

I would be in the next eligible group to receive, if so inclined.
But then, the next batch opened up for the workforce.
As it should be.
I could wait my turn.
But then everybody was on Facebook posting their first shots.
And then their second.
And that is when I came down with a case of vaccination envy.
Talk was all a twitter as I sat on line.
Looking. Looking. Looking.
But as soon as I would type in my age, "You are not eligible," would pop up and throw me out.
A new door opened for those with pre-existing conditions for anyone sixteen and older.
Never before have I been thankful for high blood pressure.
But now we geezers had some pretty stiff competition.
Like my son said, "It's a shitty time to be sixty-four."
I am one of those people at the grocery store who lets you in front if you only have a few items.
Everybody does that right?
It's the way to be.
It was all good.
While all the talk was still a twitter I sat online trying to schedule myself at every Walgreens.
"No appointments available. Updates happen hourly. Check back later," it would say.
"Get up early," the woman behind the plexiglass said. "Six o'clock is the ticket. That way you can beat the online crowd."
I crawled out of bed at five-thirty.
Although sunrises are beautiful, I could give a shit.
"Stay up late," I heard. "There are appointments available during the wee hours."
If I am up past ten o'clock, I am not in any condition to go near my computer.
Eventually I found myself on a wide circumference of waiting lists.
And then today.
Just like that.
I was able to schedule two appointments at a Walgreens.
My first shot is tomorrow.
I can't wait to tell Sven when he walks in the door.
"Where is it?" he says.
To be fair, Oshkosh is an hour and forty minutes away. And with Sven volunteering to drive, a solid two.
I was born in Oshkosh.
I think that is why they said yes.
They still care about little old sixty-four year old, Millie Noe.
It warms my heart.
On my way to fill up my tank for tomorrow's road trip to the Fox Valley, my phone rings.
"Millie Noe?"
"You are next on our waiting list. Can you be here tomorrow at ten-forty?"
Holy balls.
All of a sudden everybody loves me.
I canceled the Oshkosh gig but told the guy on the phone that I would try to visit soon.
"Okay?" he says.
I mean even though they still remember me and all, it just seemed easier to drive twenty five miles and to leave Sven out of the picture.
What I am trying to say is.
If you were the only kid without a pair of bell bottoms in 1969 because they were all sold out before Christmas. And if you were forty-nine when you finally decided to get a cell phone. And if you never thought you would actually be sixty-four years old.
Then you are a lot like me.
If you are experiencing a case of vaccination envy.
And if you got people saying stuff like, "It's easy, just hang around at closing time. Get someone on the phone. Drive to that big tent that was on the news yesterday, they are giving it to everybody."
If I, me, Millie Noe, got in.
You will too.
I am pulling for ya.

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