I'm 69. When I was a youngster of, oh, 50 or so, I'd look upon the age I am now as so impossibly, horribly, inconceivably old, that I'd shudder at the thought of becoming, cursed be the name, a senior citizen.
So now that I've become what I once dreaded, an old person, I figure it's my duty to point out to young people some of the good things that come with geezer'ness.
In no particular order, young un's, because my mind no longer works well enough to encompass the concept of ranking, here's some of the marvelous delights that await you.
No more worries about repeating yourself. Everyone has felt the need to introduce a spoken thought with, "Now, be sure to let me know if I've said this before," because it's embarrassing to bore a group with a repeated story.
But here's some great news: after a certain age, you won't need to ever say this again, because not only will you be unable to remember if you'd said something before, none of the people you're talking with will be able to remember either, since old people congregate with other old people, like schools of fish where everyone swims with the aid of a cane.
Say goodbye to fears of being trapped in a room with old people talking about their health problems. This is a nightmare for young folks, having to listen to excruciatingly detailed renditions of how a hip replacement went, or what foods work best to deal with constipation.
I'm pleased to report that once you become an old person yourself, there's no way you can avoid this, because all of your friends are going to be close to your age, and they'll love to talk about what ails them. So let go of the fear and jump into the deep end of the pool of medical problem obsession.
Even better, or maybe worse, you'll be way more interested in all this health talk than when you were younger, since you'll be thinking, "I need to pay attention, since I'm probably going to develop ______ myself before too long."
It's sayonara to sexual performance anxieties. When you're young, it's natural to worry about measuring up (sometimes literally) in the sex department. Am I doing the right thing at the right time in the right way? Yikes! Maybe I'm not!
Well, those worries will fade away to near-nothingness once you're a senior citizen.
Then your sole criterion for "good sex" will be, was that really sex, or something else, like cuddling? Once you pass that low hurdle, you and your partner will feel that any sex is good sex, particularly if no one had a heart attack or threw a joint out of whack.
You'll no longer ask, Was it good for you too?, because if both of you are still awake at the end of sex, that's an A+ performance.
Plenty of reasons to tell tall injury tales. Young people are hampered when it comes to telling mind-blowing stories about an injury. First off, and most importantly, they don't have all that many of them.
Skateboarders and longboarders for example, somehow can have a horrific crash, then walk away laughing. But sometimes young people do get hurt, like when skiing. Then, when a friend asks why you're wearing a knee brace, you can say "Took a tumble on a black diamond run -- hit a patch of ice on the landing after I skied off a cliff."
OK, maybe that wasn't totally true, but it's believable. Makes for a good story, at least. How often, though, do youngsters get to tell such a tale?
When you get old, your ability to do this will skyrocket. Because after a certain age, you'll hurt yourself just by getting out of bed. Or putting on a sock in the wrong way. And sometimes, actually a lot of the time, you won't even know why part of your body hurts.
It just will. Then you'll be free to make up a good story about that knee brace. And believe me, other old people will love to hear it. (See the "Say goodbye..." item above.)