I’m a sucker for the quizzes on Facebook that proclaim you a genius if you answer all the SAT questions correctly or guess the decade you are born by the kind of house you would design. I know they all are just a vehicle for the ads in between every question, but I play anyway, scrolling quickly through the ads.
I offer a quiz below you can take without any ads. The subject is “How You Know You Are Old.” If you can answer the following three questions in the affirmative, you are Officially Old.
First question: Do you have more than 20 blankets, afghans or comforters in your living room?
We do. I tried the other night to find just the blanket I wanted and realized I have a lot of choices collected through the years. Did I want the Steelers blanket that is longer than the BYU Cougars blanket? Did I want the one that wraps around with pockets for my hands? Did I want the two that used to be pretty but have been washed so much they aren’t anymore?
There are two blankets I bought at a convenience store in South Boston for the grandkids to picnic on the living room floor. There are leftover baby blankets and blankets given as gifts. Every bed has an extra blanket or two and dressers in guest rooms have a couple on them.
Once a future daughter-in-law spent her first night in our house on a couch. With wet hair after a late shower and everyone asleep, she couldn’t find an extra blanket and shivered from cold all night. She told me later about it and I’ve apologized every time she returns. I also pile blankets on her.
It’s a mission in my life and I’m old enough to embrace it. The answer to the first question is an enthusiastic “yes”!
Second question: What do you talk about when you meet people your age for the first time? That recently happened to David and me at a high school graduation cookout. We had plenty to talk about with the people at our table, although it was the first time we’d sat down with them.
It helped one couple lived in an area my late aunt’s family used to own and one of the grandchildren of that family was married to the brother of the late wife of one of my best friends. We figured that all out in the first five minutes.
Then we started talking about the younger generation and (take a breath here) how undisciplined many of them are and how they stay on their phones all the time and how they start off with the houses and cars that we worked all our lives to get and what would we do without our grandchildren and they behave better around us than around their parents.
Then we started on our medical problems and that got depressing and I wanted to check my phone.
Does your answer to the second question agree with mine?
Third question: Do you have everything anyone ever needs when they come to visit? I thought I did until my son needed some paper tape to bandage a finger the other day and I didn’t have it. But I think that’s the only thing I don’t have.
And most of it is in my linen closet. In fact, a friend of mine saw my linen closet the other day and said, “Well, that’s a grandma’s closet.”
I have old high school football bags, multiple extra toothbrushes, towels enough for a worldwide swim meet, an iron I never use, tablecloths in every size, extra shampoo and body wash enough for a family reunion, beach towels, crib sheets, toilet scrubbers to last a year and two — drum roll here — little girls muumuus from when my sister and I lived in Hawaii in the 1950s. I don’t know what else to do with them!
The rest of my house is uncluttered, but my linen closet is a treasure trove of everything anyone could ever need. If a game show host ever shows up on my lawn and offers money for random items in my linen closet, I could finance our retirement.
So can you answer “yes” to having a grandma’s linen closet?
If you answered all three questions correctly, you are Officially Old. But don’t despair, you probably are tangentially related to everyone in Danville, you will always be warm when you watch TV and when you get bored, you can rearrange the linen closet and iron a dozen tablecloths.
Elzey is a freelance writer for the Register & Bee. She can be reached at email@example.com or (434) 791-7991.