This week, when my younger friend Hilary told our ladies’ tennis group she needed “less mature” friends because we oldies are struggling with injuries, I quickly fired off an email to that healthy show-off, explaining what she’s missing by not being an interesting 50+ year old…
My Dearest Hilary,
Let me set you straight. Younger friends are boring. They have nothing to complain about as far as body parts aching. What is there to discuss if you have no wrinkles and therefore can’t debate the best ways to disguise them? What could possibly replace the topic of whether it’s better to use a color rinse or permanent dye when trying to cover gray hair?
Or how about the benefits of Ibuprofen vs. plain old aspirin? Then there’s the fascinating discussion of how to thwart dry skin and failing eyes. I, for one, can attest to the fact that carrots don’t do a damn thing for farsightedness. They do, however, give you a nice orange glow.
Yes, those of the younger persuasion might have minor benefits over your aging but oh-so-fascinating older friends. Still, I believe we who are getting long in the tooth simply have more substance and character. What might that be, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.
Your friends who still have collagen have yet to discover the thrill of finding wrinkles over their knees (the definitive sign that one has passed through the aging looking-glass). They don’t walk like centenarians when rising from bed in the morning and their pearly whites aren’t so pearly anymore.
In fact, the mouths of your younger friends don’t accommodate interesting things like a permanent bridge or porcelain and gold crowns that outnumber their remaining original teeth. I ask you, can those people be more boring?
So your younger friends have more muscle mass than that of an over-50-year-old. Big whoop. All those things will pass with time, just like the gas you’re sure to have if you even look at a stalk of broccoli.
And just you wait. In a few short years you will come to us aging old bags and ask what you can do to better ease through the joys of menopause so you don’t kill your husband or the mail carrier – whomever has the misfortune of being within your reach during an untimely hot flash or mood swing (and they are ALWAYS untimely).
I’ll set the scene: You’re driving to the store, singing along with Sinatra (because we oldies listen to Frank) and suddenly you’re positive there’s a smoldering fire inside you, burning you from the inside out. Worst of all, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Within minutes, your blouse is soaked through as if you just participated in a wet t-shirt contest (most assuredly a stupid idea at this age). So you drive back home in order to change. Just then, an accompanying mood swing hits. This is when it suddenly dawns on you that you want to beat the crap out of the excruciatingly slow driver in front of you (who in reality is going over the speed limit). At this moment, however, rational thought is not an option.
Anyway my friend, maybe (if we’re so inclined) my old friends and I will divulge some of our hard-earned secrets and help ease you into the wonderful world of Social Security, AARP, and the merits of an inevitable companion known as Depends. I say you may as well meet the devil before he comes calling.
Yes, Hilary, we shall gladly and gently explain why you will one day need to buy shoes a half size larger. Arches, my dear, don’t stay arched forever you know. Eventually they will fall (like other body parts are apt to do) and you, too, will no longer fit into those cute little pumps of yours. Don’t worry, we’ll take you shopping.
We’ll teach you our trick of keeping an extra pair of slacks in the trunk for when you forget your Depends and you’re meeting your exceptionally funny friends for lunch. While laughing uncontrollably, you’ll feel the tiniest bit of piddle leak through because you neglected to do those Kegel exercises your mother said would keep your bladder from turning to mush. Not that this has ever happened to me. I’m just saying….
These are some of the things we can prepare you for that your younger friends have no clue about and are ultimately worthless to you in that respect. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying being young doesn’t have its merits. It’s just that being older has LOTS more, as I’ve obviously just demonstrated here.
Hilary, just know your old buddies will be here for you in your decrepit time of need. And where will your younger friends be? That’s right. They will be out enjoying their youth. We, however, will have a spot saved for you on what we refer to as The Complaining Couch, where we will continue our discussion entitled, Chin Hair: What’s Up With That?