January 27, 2013 Leave a comment
As a young man, occasionally an elderly person would stare at me with intensity and croak, “Don’t grow old!” This was a source of some amusement, as my questions of “Why?” would always be answered with groans and fits of coughing.
Many, many years later I find myself at the other end of life’s ruler, and am convinced those doomsayers were nothing more than miserable specimens of humanity trying to scare me. Being old has so many benefits that I am unable to list them all in one sitting. I will, however, go over some highlights for the benefit of our younger readers, and hope it also serves as a reminder to those of us in our waning years that this is a time to celebrate.
Usually the first indication that you are growing older comes on your fortieth birthday. Upon awaking, you will discover that the warranty of one of your body parts has expired. For most of us this is vision. Do not despair, because this is only nature’s way of exercising your arms as you stretch them away from you in order to read. When your arms just won’t grow any longer, you get to visit an optometrist and find just the right pair of glasses that compliment your face. Glasses tell the public that you’re wise beyond your years, an illusion only dispelled by speaking.
For men, this is the decade of your life that hair begins to stop growing out of the head and begins sprouting out of the ears and nose. This added bonus helps keep your head warm during the winter as you are compelled to wear hats, and the additional hair in your nose and ears is great for keeping bugs from moving in like so many uninvited houseguests. You ladies will discover that certain portions of your anatomy will begin to succumb to gravity, which is great, because with the help of slings and straps you can actually appear more full-figured.
On the morning of your fiftieth birthday, when you rise from your bed, some part of you will not. This should be no cause for alarm, as your doctor probably hasn’t seen you in over twenty years and would enjoy the challenge of reattaching whatever fell off. For me it was my teeth, which turned out to be a blessing as I’m no longer plagued by toothaches or a slave to brushing. In your fifties you will find that if you drop something onto the floor (which happens more often as you lose strength in your hands), it is more difficult to rise from a squat. Your knees will begin to make sounds very much like firewood crackling in a hearth, but as your hearing fades, you won’t hear it so much. You learn that while on the ground you might as well pick up anything else you find, just to avoid stooping again anytime soon. In time your surroundings will be much cleaner, which aids longevity.
As you roll into your sixth decade you will find that the things which upset you before are now frivolous. This reduces your level of stress to almost nothing, except for that little matter of regularity. Listen well and heed my words. If you do not keep yourself regular during this time it is certain you will meet with great discomfort. Dynamite is a last resort so keep plenty of roughage handy, or if you can stomach it, a spoonful of mineral oil will keep the impaction police away. In your sixties and beyond, you will begin to move slower, which helps you appreciate little things like the tile pattern on your kitchen floor, and racing snails while driving. Eventually you will revert to a child-like state again, which is the best thing of all about aging, because you get plenty of naps and mischievous time, and can say whatever’s on your mind without fear of repercussion. I could go on forever about this, but my thinking bone is telling me to take a break, and the recliner is calling. So have fun growing old!