I was on the North Dakota Employees’ Retirement System webpage the other day and I observed something I found curious. The site has a pull down menu for year of birth. Nothing curious there – tons of websites have that. The curiosity was not in the menu’s existence but in the range of birth years. The menu started at the year 1892. Yes, 1892.
Have you already wrinkled your nose, made a quizzical face, and started to do the mental math? If so, you had the same reaction I did. If you were born in 1892 you either are, or will soon be, 120 years old.
I saw the oldest living human being in the world – a lovely woman named Besse Cooper - on television in late August. Besse is 116. She is quite a funny gal. I imagine one does not get to 116 without being able to keep things light. You don’t last that long unless you know how to let stress roll off your shoulders.
Alas, Besse is still on the downside of 120 years; so, even if she was in the North Dakota Retirement System, she too would be wondering who the retiree was with the 120 candles. Perhaps there is a 120 year old out there who looks a lot younger than her age and has been dialing back her age into the late nineties. Perhaps the retiremenet system knows things that her friends and family don’t. Or maybe the person who built the system just thought 1892 would be a good place to start.
Here is the only thing I know for sure – I feel pretty darn young when I click on 1959. There are 67 years between me and the top of the list and I have no shame in taking the ”young by comparison” honor. These days I take what I can get and I laugh about it. Who knows…maybe someday my birth year will be the oldest one on the list and I’ll be the one with the 120 candles. Check back with me in 67 years.
Day one thousand two hundred and four of the new forty – obla di obla da