During the twentieth century, I never expected to see the twenty-first. By my calculations, I would be way too old...seventy-six. I thought I would remain a twentieth century child. It was not a bad century. It saw the first airplane, the first television, the first computer, the first space travel. It was the era of invention and progress.
And it had some of the attributes of the nineteenth century too. A doctor would come to your house when you were sick. If you couldn't pay, he would treat you anyway, hoping you'd give him a chicken or a lamb or a basket full of vegetables. When you paid, YOU paid, not the government.
But lo and behold, I lived past age seventy six. We are well into the twenty-first century, with twenty-first century doctors, and twenty-first century ways of paying for things...or letting the government pay.
I went to the doctor today... a twenty-first century doctor. I sat in his waiting room for an hour and a half after my appointed time. THEN I was told they "couldn't see me." Why? Because Medicare said my "id number", that is my social security number was wrong and I had to get it cleared up before they could see me.
I was there, My prostate was there with me. My doctor was there. But they could only give me an appointment for next week.It was a twenty-first century screw-up. I came home. I called a social security representative.. He checked my number and said everything was in order, and asked who told the doctor that my number was awry? I didn't know.
He is sending me a letter of verification which I can take to the doctor next time. I will smile and present my letter with a twenty-first century grin. My twentieth century self would like to rub their smug noses in it, but I have grown up. I will behave in a civilized manner.