Living to be 100

I never gave much thought to living to be 100 until I hit 90. Then I realized it was possible that I might live to be 100. Then what? Should I try to think of something clever to say when people ask what is my secret? Or should I just be humble, and say I am lucky and it’s no big deal.

Do I want a cake with 100 candles, or just one big candle? Do I want to be in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and have all the staff and other old people celebrating my birthday? Will I have any choice in the matter? Probably not.

And then after 100… what? Do I shoot for 110 or 120? Or shoot the moon and go for forever? Just kidding. I know that nobody lives forever. Well, I probably don’t have to worry about this. The odds of actually getting from 93 to 100 are pretty slim. I really just hope for a death that is unexpected, quick, and not scary or painful.

Just to make it interesting and not too depressing, I would like to have a beer with another old guy and make a bet. I say to George…

ME: I am 93 and you are 92. Let’s make a bet on who gets to 100 first.

GEORGE: That’s a sucker bet. Of course you will get to 100 first, because you are a year older than me.

Hot Jazz Jubile

ME: Not necessarily. I might die before I get to 100, and then you will pass me and get to 100 before I do.

GEORGE: Well, we might both die before 100, and then who will collect the bet?

ME: Nobody, but it will give us something to live for. We will try to hang in there to win the bet.

GEORGE: OK. How much do you want to bet?

ME: I don’t know. Not too much. But enough to make it interesting. Maybe $20. Maybe $50. Maybe just the cost of a dinner at a nice restaurant.


I have these imaginary conversations with old friends often these days. Most of my old friends are not around anymore, so I can’t talk to them directly.

Dean Norman is a contributor to the Earlyjas Rag in Ohio. His writing and artwork has frequently appeared in The Syncopated Times.

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