Dave Simpson: Married To An Older Woman, And Laughing

Columnist Dave Simpson writes, "I say anyone who claims their spouse is their best friend has never owned a Labrador Retriever."

January 29, 20244 min read

Simpson with dog 5 22 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Some thoughts on aging, as yet another birthday recedes in the rear-view mirror:

- For proof of the loopy vicissitudes of government, look no further than the mandatory withdrawal of retirement funds for geezers like me.

Case in point: My charming and vivacious wife is a lot older than I am. Born in the final hours of 1950, she had to start withdrawing retirement funds from her IRA two years ago.

It's a different story for me, born 24 days after my wife in the early days of 1951. (I would never reveal a lady's age, of course, but have no problem listing my age of 73.)

So, because Congress couldn't make up its (permit me to use a Wyoming term here) “rabbit-ass mind,” and increased the age at which oldsters must shake loose of some of their deferred-tax retirement savings - from 71 ½, to 72, and to the current 73 - I'm a whole different kettle of taxable fish than the person sitting across from me at the breakfast table.

While she has had to withdraw money (around 3 percent per year) for two years, the spring chicken she's married to doesn't have to withdraw a penny until the end of this year. (Maybe this is a penalty for robbing the cradle.)

Three years difference because I was born 24 days later. It's crazy, but...


They raised the age requirements during Covid, figuring it was more important for me to keep my money in my account than old people like her. And they kept sending us money during the pandemic, never asking if we needed more (borrowed) money that our grandkids will someday have to repay. But since somebody needed it, everybody got it. (What a way to run a railroad.)

We probably wouldn't have missed any meals even if they hadn't sent us money, and hadn't raised the mandatory withdrawal age.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the opportunity to remind my wife how much younger I am than she is.

(The old gal takes it pretty well.)

- Funny birthday cards are a tradition at our house.

If I sent my wife a mushy email, she would respond, “Who IS this? Because I know this isn't my husband. If you've kidnapped him, I not paying ransom. You can keep him.”

We don't do mush, and we don't consider each other our best friend. We know a lot of best friends who got divorced. (I say anyone who claims their spouse is their best friend has never owned a Labrador Retriever.)

The funny cards started years ago, when I gave her a birthday card with giggling adolescent boys gathered around a map, and the kid in the middle points at the map and says, “See? I TOLD you there was a Lake Titicaca!”

(That was around the time I took my junior-high age son and his best pal, much like the giggling boys on that card, to see the movie “Dumb and Dumber.” I let them sit by themselves in the theater, wolfing down popcorn and Nerds, because I could easily monitor them by the non-stop giggling and squirrelly behavior.)

My wife responded to my funny card with a birthday card picturing a stocky server named Joey at a pizza counter, and the caption, “Whatever you do, don't ask Joey to 'hold the sausage.'”

Then there was the year she gave me a card with a guy telling his son, “I used to play tambourine for The Beatles,” and the message inside: “The best part of getting older is seeing what you can get away with.”

Last year her card had a close-up of a dog's nose, and the message: “Good news. You don't smell old.”

- And lastly, a couple things about aging that you might not have thought of:

At 73, you can buy a jacket with one of those cheap plastic zippers that always wear out before the

jacket itself, because actuarial tables indicate the zipper will probably outlast you.

And this: If you get the all-clear thumbs up on a colonoscopy in your 70s, you don't have to get one in your 80s. Honest. You're home free, pal. Off the proverbial hook.

To quote Charlie Sheen: WINNING!

Who says there's no good news?

Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@Hotmail.com

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