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Enjoy geezerhood for all it’s worth!

January 19, 2020

For me, getting older is a pleasure. Age has become a huge part of every discussion today. Books are written about how to cope personally with becoming a senior. They always start with a title involving a path with a picture usually leading into a forest, as if there is an assisted-living tree growing there. And even politics has entered the fray, questioning a candidate’s last bonehead statement; this may also accompany a bone-density scan.

Geezerhood is vastly underrated. I hear so many people lamenting the fact that they are getting on in years, when in fact, they should be celebrating all the advantages of being a golden oldie.

And I’m not talking about getting a senior discount on purchases, or leaving that left-hand turn signal on until you trade in the car. No, the real joy of getting older is that you can act crotchety and mean, complaining and displaying an attitude of sour grapes with few repercussions. Younger people accept the fact that it comes with the territory and are usually very forgiving. After all, just look at the tight-lipped smile on the photographs of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court sitting for their class picture. Good luck arguing that case!

I often hear the comment, “Nan, it’s hell getting older.” It doesn’t have to be, and just for that I’m going to have to poke you in the back with a very sharp umbrella. Don’t worry, most folks at this age have spines that are made totally out of titanium, or their bones are nonexistent anyway, having migrated into some liquid form deposited around their ankles.

Just think about it. You can dress in the most bizarre outfit, even wearing your bra on the outside, and others will chalk it up to you getting on in years. They’ll say, “What do you expect with all those knee and hip replacements, not to mention hemorrhoids?” In fact, it’s been known that people might just offer to buy you an ice-cream cone, with sprinkles on it, if you are wearing two different-colored shoes. Not that this has happened to me, but being a journalist, I hear things. OK, the journalist bit might be a stretch, and my hearing has been reduced to an occasional vowel or two. 

Even my adult children have caved and accepted the fact that I will make what they consider unreasonable demands, like watching the news 24/7.  Now they easily give me the remote control device every time I visit. I guess the thinking is I have about an hour or so to live, so they might as well let me enjoy myself. At least for the time it takes to make sure I haven’t changed anything in the will or trust. 

Speaking of which, a lot of us complain that our children hardly ever visit or call anymore. Now, all you have to do to rectify that is when they do phone, tell them you are on your way out to visit the attorney handling your estate. There will be a stampede eliciting comments like, “You look fabulous. Hey, is that a new vase?”

But you’ll have to be careful, because the one group you can’t fool are the granddogs. They know a scam when they see one, and these mutts love to gossip. They don’t care if you are approaching 100, they are not giving up their spot on the couch for you. The granddogs aren’t even going to move over so you can sit down. The thing about dogs is that they believe in the philosophy, “First come, first served.” 

You will learn to love the phrase, “No, you go ahead of me.” This is where it gets fun, always being at the head of a line. I’ll even borrow a walker if it will put me up front. You see, that’s another beauty of getting older, deceit, bribery, falsehoods and forgetfulness. It’s expected, and you don’t want to disappoint other people. 

Hey, maybe I should run for political office! I don’t see any icicles yet, so I guess nothing has frozen over.  As the song says, “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”  

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.