It takes so damn long to figure all this stuff out…
Seventy is an ambivalent birthday. The sheer number puts me firmly into the OLD category. I qualify for every “senior” discount in existence.
I rarely use it because I hate the word “senior.” Why don’t we call younger people “juniors?”
You know what seniors do? They “graduate,” if you know what I mean.
I like the number 70 better than 69, which always makes me think of blow jobs when I say it. Not that there’s anything wrong with blow jobs, but I feel silly when I’m answering questions about my age in serious endeavors.
- Pay vigorous attention to your dental health. When things go bad, which I promise you they will, you will have to sell your car to pay for it. It’s not like anything you spend that much money on anything so boring. You can’t say, “Hey, look at my bicuspid and root canal. You know how much it cost?” Who cares?
- Stop being nice. It’s a waste of time and energy. Nice often requires false expressions of caring, when you really couldn’t give a shit. Be kind.
- This is indelicate and I apologize in advance, but you’re going to get to a point when your eyesight gets limited, and the growth of your facial hair explodes. Included is your nose, ears, eyebrows and necks. When you look at yourself, you think it’s under control. BUT YOU’RE WRONG. Invest in a good magnifying glass or a brutally honest friend. Watch out for cataracts. You walk around with dark clouds in your eyes, and you can feel sort of nutty.
- When you’re young (under 50), stop thinking you have the copyright on the righteousness of all of your ideas. Pick the ones that really move you and go with them. Act on them. Be annoying. Unfortunately, people my age are leaving you a shit storm of troubles. Jump into them. Protest. (Always have money for bail).
- Resist all impulses to say, “When I was your age to some smart-ass upstart kids who is annoying you.”
Remember that you were never their age.
You and they live with an ever widening, chasm of the world between you. The question is, “What’s it like to be your age?” Young guys, don’t blow off the geezers. It takes a lot of blood and treasure for some of that wisdom. Respect your elders for just getting that far.
- Be patient with the words that pass between you. Vocabulary is changing so much. It took me three weeks to learn what “woke” meant.
- Let loose. People are going to dismiss you if you’re old or young. Go about your business even if it’s not your parents’ or children’s playbooks. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
- It looks sort of stupid when husbands and wives wear matching sweaters, but that’s just me.
- Old people and young people eat very different food. Get used to it. Many older folks think antibiotics are good to have in meat, and kale is God’s joke on green vegetables.
- Dancing is not one of those skills that progresses naturally with age. Stay in your lane.
Years are treasures. Sometimes you have to kick your ass to get through them. But then time will slip and slide through joys you can’t even understand if you try to imagine them right now.
Don’t heed any of these. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in 70 years is that I’m completely full of shit.