If Old Is Such A Lousy Place to Be, Why is Everybody Doing Their Damnedest To Get There?

Next stop: Old Town

Everybody wants to live a long life.  Many of us work hard to do so.  We hit the treadmill to strengthen the heart, quit smoking to preserve the lungs, and eat stuff that tastes like hay to flush out the system.

The dichotomy is, nobody wants to get old.  Most of us work even harder at that.  Creams, potions, unguents, lotions, powders, pills, oils and tonics – there is no end to the substances we put in and on our bodies in a vain attempt to get/keep them looking young.

Maybe we need to remind ourselves that getting old is not all bad news.  It’s about gains and losses.  I’ve compiled a list:

With age you lose…                With age you gain…
Hearing                                     Wisdom
Memory                                    Senior discounts
Hair                                           Ear hair
Friends and loved ones
Bladder control

The losses are self-explanatory. Examining the gains…

  • Wisdom: As soon as you gain wisdom, you’ll probably lose your memory.  Gain erased. 
  • Senior discounts:  The places that offer them are inundated with 4pm diners.  They order the special, tip 50¢ and take everything on the table that isn’t nailed down: sugar packets, jam, crackers, butter, creamer, etc.  The restaurant loses its shirt and goes out of business.  Gain erased.
  • Ear Hair:  This is the only true gain.  It’s not typically considered much of a benefit.

OK, so getting old is mostly about loss.  Still, if you want to get to Long Life, this is the route you have to take:

Long Life is just west of Old.  Take the exit ramp going to Old, then stay on that road, through the twists and turns, ups and downs, all the way through town.  How do you know when you’ve arrived at Long Life?  When you’ve been on the Old Town Blacktop longer than most of the other travelers.

Unless you are a brooding teenage vampire, this universal truth (suitable for embroidering on a back pillow) applies:

The only way to get to Long Life is to go through Old. 

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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22 Responses to If Old Is Such A Lousy Place to Be, Why is Everybody Doing Their Damnedest To Get There?

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    My hope is that when I get to Old, I won’t remember what it is I’ve lost along the way. About that ear hair, will it be gray?


  2. Jackie says:

    This is incredibly depressing.

    Also, I just bought an eye cream.


  3. Jane says:

    I hate it. Losing my memory has been the worst.


  4. I found a real benefit to the aging process: saying what I please. Other people my age and older and tune me out for a wide variety of age-related reasons and younger people can do the same. I, however, can live with the illusion that I am free to say any darned thing that comes to mind. SCORE! 🙂


  5. I have genuine debates with myself about whether I want to get old. This is encouraged by my 93-year-old grandfather telling me not to do it. My second cousin once told her grandmother, “May your life be like toilet paper: long and useful.” Her grandmother wisely replied, “If it’s not useful, I don’t want it to be long.” Apparently I subscribe to the Toilet Paper Philosophy.


  6. Big Al says:

    Funny post. “And the truth shall make you laugh.” You pretty much covered it all. My favorite description about aging is an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying “Ve get too soon oldt und too late schmart.”

    Gotta run, on the way to the barber for an earcut…..see ya.


  7. egills says:

    And here was I looking forward to being able to say what I wanted, under the illusion of being too old to know what I’m saying, when all I have to look forward to is the fact I will say these things because I’ve forgotten what I should have said….
    Ear hair, nose hair and once ‘the change’ has happened I’ll probably be sprouting some rather impressive chin hairs!


  8. Sandy Sue says:

    Bah! Youth is wasted on the wrong people, as the crank in “It’s a Wonderful Life” said. I wouldn’t be 20 again if you paid me. We all fall under our culture’s spell of thinking that 20 year old body is the only one that’s worthwhile. My body tells my story, as does my face, as does all the changes both are going through. The trick is to live wide open right now.


  9. MKC says:

    I burst out laughing when I hit the Senior Discount section because we have witnessed that in our family. I feel we are on morally shaky ground here but what do you say?


  10. TC says:

    On the topic of boobs and aging…we couldn’t wait to get them in our early teens and now, not only are they hanging low, they are growing out of our friggin’ armpits!! Oh well, as long as they stay healthy, I will feel blessed.


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