91 + 73

There are moments in life when you glimpse of a life forward – and you meet Jared and Ann.

The night started with pizza and Laquanita’s beer at Mississippi Studio, a little known dive for their awesome selection of pizza slices, a modest number of beers and their eclectic nights of adult spelling bees, local bands, comedy nights and more. My friend Brooke invited a few peeps to spend Friday night listening to her friend’s authentic Cuban band – the main singer was a fellow nurse. If you’ve ever heard Cuban music, every beat is an irresistible urge to shake your shoulders, tap your feet and swing your hips. Once the 8+ person band started up the saucy Cuban tunes, I prodded Brooke to come up to the empty center dance floor. We started twirling around the dance floor and before we knew it, the floor was full of bodies. You couldn’t help but smile, sweat dripping down your back, toes getting slightly stepped on and yes – wait – that adorable older man swinging his hips and following your dance moves right next to you.

His name is Jared and it was his birthday that night (along with the main singer) and he turned 73. There’s something oddly adorable about older men – their white hair, wrinkles and huge smiles. All of my grandparents are departed from this world, so perhaps I have an affection for older generations simply because I have none in my life. Anyhow – Jared was adorable. I’d start moving my hands in the air and he would follow – we’d both smile real big at each other and continue dancing. A sweet little old lady was dancing behind him and I asked who was his lovely date on this fine evening.

“This is Ann”, he answered, and putting his arm around her he said, “She’s my cougar.”

My face turned into surprised shock when he said, “She’s 91!”. I looked at this very mobile, dancing cut old lady and I simply could not believe she was 91.

“You are NOT 91” I said to her over the dancing tunes. “Yes I am dear,” she replied, “I was born in 1920”.

 My own grandfather was born in 1915 and by the time he was 91, he would not have been in a dive bar dancing to Cuban music. I was in disbelief. These two people were so incredibly happy that night – dancing like they were in their 20’s, in love.

“How long have you been married?” I asked. “Oh, we’ve been ‘seeing’ each other for a year now” Jared replied. Brooke noticed neither of them were wearing rings when he said, “We met in the Senior home.”

And there you have it. Two people on the tail end of life living like there was no tomorrow. Ann loves to dance (and apparently so does Jared), so they decided to come out for his 73rd birthday and celebrate. I’m so happy I was able to meet them, dance with them and see Jared smiling from ear to ear. Shamefully old, my entourage of friends and I left at 11 in-between sets – while Jared and Ann continued to dance into the night.

 I want to be just like Jared and Ann when I grow up.

(photos to come soon!)


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