(or, What Is Likely to Occur When Your Age Exceeds the Speed Limit on Most US Highways)

It  began with a simple overture, an attempt to make a dinner date with friends.  But there was no way I could foresee the chaos that lay ahead.   So I asked myself, on which birthday did having a social life become a mathematical challenge?

I confess I was the initiator of the first electronic communication that launched a seemingly endless string of emails, texts, and a few phone calls, in order to formulate a plan.  In all fairness, I have to say that the woman I call “Lucy” had no idea that I was already in deep negotiations with  “Ethel,” and that my response to her had contingencies.  And, while in this scenario, I was able to keep it together, next time it might very well be me with a less than solid grasp on the days of the week.

So, in the spirit of “we have to laugh at ourselves or ingest antidepressants,” I share with you the content of the communications that transpired over a four-day period.  And if you, like me, were “booming” before the Boomers, I trust you will find this account highly relatable.

Also in the spirit of “you can’t make this stuff up,” only the names have been changed (except mine) to protect the discombobulated.

Friday, June 7th, 12:13 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel

Hi:  Hope you and Fred are well.  I’m writing to see if we can make a date for dinner in the not too distant future, assuming your calendar isn’t already booked for the summer.  LOL

Sunday, June 9th, 8:25 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan

We are very free.  How’s next Friday night?

Monday, June 10th, 12:01 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel

Friday night is good, but not before 7:30. So if that’s OK, we’re on!

Monday, June 10th, 1:02 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan

Yes.  Perfect!  It’s on the calendar.

Monday, June 10th, 1:16 PM
Email from Lucy to Susan

Any chance you’re available this Saturday for dinner?

Monday, June 10th, 1:21 PM
Email from Susan to Lucy

Just made a date for Friday, but we are available Saturday.  Would love to see you and Ricky.

Monday, June 10th,  3:06 PM
Email from Lucy to Susan


Monday, June 10th, 3:11 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan

I am so sorry.  We have a conflict for Friday.  Is Saturday good for you?

Monday, June 10th, 3:15 PM
Phone call from Susan to Ethel

Just made a plan for Saturday, but I will confirm to make sure my other friend didn’t also double-book.  LOL

Monday, June 10th, 3:30 PM
Phone call from Susan to Lucy

Just calling to make sure Saturday night plans are firm.  Yes, they are? We’re all set.  Yes, I’ll call the restaurant and make the reservation, no problem.

Monday, June 10th, 3:35 PM
Phone call from Susan to Ethel

Confirming that we can’t do Saturday night, so let’s reschedule.  Busy on the 21st and 22nd. So how’s Saturday, the 29th.  It’s good? You sure? Yes.  Okay, I’m writing it down.  You write it down, too, please.

Monday, June 10, 3:41 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan

Can’t do the 22, Saturday.  Does Friday, the 21st work?

Monday, June 10, 3:46 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel

We had agreed on Saturday, the 29th, not the 22nd.  I can’t do the 22nd either.

Monday, June 10, 3:50 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan

Got it. You’re right.  Whew!  Where is the nearest old age home?

Monday, June 10, 4:06 PM
Text from Lucy to Susan

When I got home, I realized that Mildred had already invited us out for Saturday evening.  Can we reschedule for the 28th or 29th of June?

Monday, June 10th, 5:13 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel

You’re not going to believe this. I just got a text from the person who wanted to see us this Saturday night saying she screwed up.  Anyhow, we are now free and would love to reschedule.  That’s this Saturday, June 15th.

Tuesday, June 11th, 9:50 AM
Email from Ethel to Susan

OMG! We cannot now.  It’s Tuesday at 10:00 AM and my brain is already scrambled.  Let’s start over.  We, the Mertzes, are now free Friday night, but not Saturday.

Tuesday, June 11th, 10:42 AM
Email from Susan to Ethel

We can go back to Friday, and cancel the 29th.  And don’t worry.  This is great material for a new blog!

Tuesday, June 11th, 11:00 AM
Text from Susan to Lucy

OK, worked out all the kinks.  We can reschedule our dinner for the 29th. I carved it in stone.

Tuesday, June 11th, 11:30 AM
Text from Lucy to Susan

Stone seems a little rigid.

Tuesday, June 11, 1:00 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel

So, do we have a date for this Friday at 7:30? I hope so.

Tuesday, June 11, 1:01 PM
Email from Ethel to Susan


Tuesday, June 11, 1:05 PM
Email from Susan to Ethel


Remarkably, when it was all over, we ended up with Fred and Ethel exactly where we began.  And I’m pleased to relate that we all remembered to show up last night at the designated time and place, and had a lovely evening.  But I believe that, for the future, we must seek a better way to maintain our social calendars.  Although I’m loath to bring up the health care debate, there is one solution for which I would lobby.  That is, the expansion of Medicare benefits to include a secretary!

(P.S.  What are the odds for the 29th? Place your bets now.)

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