Monday 31 July 2017

Upsides to Being Old 3

Old ladies lay down the law – perhaps because people will listen to them for the first time in their lives.

There are more single women in my age group. Being an old dear is much better than being a spare part.

It’s a bit like the first year of university – you keep joining things in the hope of making friends.

People really do become more tolerant – perhaps because there’s nothing to conform for any more.

Total strangers don't tease me. (Was it flirtation?)

I don't have to get tanned and fit. I never have to go camping again.

People don’t nag me to be adventurous – Go wild! Let your hair down! Do a bungee jump! Go to a bar and pick up a stranger!

And they don't give me terrible contradictory advice.

Nobody can expect me to frame my own pictures, put up shelves or do my own DIY.

Nobody tries to make me like cucumber, or melon, or spicy food. Nobody tries to force me to drink. And I never have to eat Parma ham again.

I don’t have to wear vintage clothes. I don’t even want to wear vintage clothes.

I don't have to discuss everybody's love life. I can talk about politics and philosophy.

I’ll never have to go on a date again.

It’s safe to be surprised and enthusiastic. There's no need to be cool.

You know you're getting old when you start pointing out lovely views. (@SummerRay)

And I can look at my surroundings and say “Ah! This is nice!”. I can call things “pretty”.

I can be pleased when anybody has a baby.

I don’t have to keep up with the latest jokes and catchphrases.

Doctors apologise for keeping me waiting, even if they haven’t.

I can get interested in local history. And my family tree.

I've seen silly ideas shown up for the tosh they are, dropped and utterly forgotten.

It really is too late for a lot of things.

And everyone is so friendly!

I hope I live to see Scotland secede, Ireland reunify, England rejoin the EU and wolves return to Scotland. 

Old people can be permanently grumpy, and fail to keep up with current events and popular culture. When these do come to our notice we can complain about them at length. We can raise our blood pressure over erroneous punctuation. We can blame young people and the working classes for all society’s ills. We can become really, really interested in rubbish disposal. And compost.

You know you’re old when you start complaining that there’s no news in the newspapers any more, and why don’t they tell us the positive stories?

We have to become adroit at heading off racism from contemporaries.

People I haven’t seen for years may have aged beyond recognition. Or I may have forgotten them!

New comedians come along faster than new pop stars – and none of them are funny.

I have to remember that people may expect me to be difficult, disapproving – and right-wing.

I have to take care not to be edged out of expensive shops because I look like a bag lady. Or am I just too old to be there?

It’s still OK to make snide jokes about “Aunt” anybody. And Grans. And little old ladies. And the BBC puts on a special “twinkly” voice for centenarians.

Bands who were much younger than me are now old men.

People apologise to me when they haven’t done anything. Or say “thank you” when they’ve held the door open for me.

You know you’re old when that house you commissioned is listed. (Janet Street Porter)

People wring their hands about "lonely old people" and wonder what "we" can do about "them".

I went to the hair salon with pictures of Princess Diana – stylist turned me out as Mrs Thatcher – “Very ladylike”!

If I ask you to repeat something, repeat it louder, or wait until I turn and face you. If you repeat what you said at the same volume, I won’t be able to hear you all over again.

Drivers at traffic lights, please don’t courteously stop for me when you’ve got the green light. The driver next to you will probably keep on going.

We are ladies and gentlemen, madam and sir, or else we're “dear”, and treated like dim children.

More here, and links to the rest.

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