Time To Change The Concept of “Aging”

Had a wonderful Birthday – and… “senior year is hear to stay!”

Have you noticed that “old age” is often talked about with a “yeah right!” kind of humor?   We emphasize the things older people have trouble with rather than how life may be better because of what they’ve learned.  I haven’t noticed any fundamental “upgrade” in the way “aging” is viewed in the last few decades – even though statistics show we’re living longer.

Aged cartoon people are given a sardonic kind of humor. Just this year I really keyed in on how the humor re older people is, for the most part, degrading.  I was looking for a birthday card for a friend who was reaching seniority. (We call 65, “senior”.) That’s 5 years younger than I am. I saw a birthday card that gave her the right to “be who she is”. Okay – she earned that right!  But – the right to be what? It said, “Now no one can tell you not to go out there on the beach with your stomach stretching your belly out four feet and you boobs touching the sand”.   I’ve also seen cards that talk about skinny and not fat. I got an email that said: “Summer is coming. Enjoy the nude beach! You’ve lost the weight and you can be out there on the beach, proud that your body is so scrawny and the skin under your neck is hanging down to your beach chair. Enjoy that chair because you won’t have the energy to get out of it! Hey – if you could get out of it, you wouldn’t remember which direction to hobble to, to get to the water!!!”   Excuse me? Why not say. “Now no one can tell you can’t go out on the beach, in a bikini, looking gorgeous, with flat stomach and smooth skin, and bouncy hair and just enough lines in your face to show you’ve lived.!  You’ve gotten to be a “senior” because you knew how to live well.  The only place that might need loads of grooves is your brain – because you’ve used it so often.  I don’t know if there are grooves in the brain. I don’t really know the biology of the brain – but I think you get what I mean.

I’ll grant that the birthday that defines old age may have changed. When I was 30 in 1970, most people thought 50 very old.   I’m also not saying older people have to be perfect. No one needs to aim for perfection.  If each person focused on thinking positive thoughts they’d be perfect for them. Okay so you get negative once in a while. No need to beat yourself up about that either. We’re all unique. What I don’t get is so much focusing on the “old wives tales” of what “AGE” is; making older people seem ridiculous!  If anything older people would know how to dress nicely. They’d have lovely manners and be discerning. Older people, could be sophisticated and interesting.

Why make aging so fearful? I guess it’s not that different from any reporting. Stressing the negative seems to get the viewer’s and listener’s attention. I’m not talking about actual illness as such, although that can come into the picture. And even that is made terrifying instead of made to look more possible to handle.  Why does the press promote the FEAR of Aging – physically and socially. Why is it so often joked about (or “kvetched” – Yiddish for “complained”) about when we approach older or even middle age?

  • When I was in my twenties we weren’t supposed “to trust anyone over 30!”
  • When I was 40, it was a big deal that Jane Fonda still looked good and was “the feared 40!” The age 40 was something to lie about! That was 30 years ago!
  • When I was a child, in the 1940s, the radio soap opera “Helen Trent” was introduced by these words: “Can a woman over the age of 35 find happiness…?”

We’ve come a long way, however I’m still getting silly “joke emails” from classmates about how being old gives me the right to be fat, stooped and looking like crap!  (Whoops! Did I say that?).  In truth, I’ve always had the right to look awful if I chose to. We all had that right!  It’s all about our choices. Our thoughts lead to actions – and – thoughts that we can be fat and sloppy just because we’re a certain age can lead to … right!!! You got it!

We can lighten up about our age because no matter how hard we work we won’t be able to change the number. We can improve our skin tone, our musculature, and our knowledge. However the number will stay the same. When it comes to the number, I say “So what?”!

I ask you to join me in promoting cards, movies, plays, articles, etc. that that lead us to the wonders and joys of every age and don’t make older people appear sillier, weaker and/or less able to carry on.  Thank you! Yay!


FREE IMAGE/TIP

If you want to buy healthier fruit, take a look at the numbers on the tiny labels stuck on them. We can’t separate Image and Health. I think you’ll agree that we look better when we’re healthy. These labels used to annoy me because they’re often hard to peel off, if the person who sticks them on doesn’t leave the tiny tab, that’s on one side, up. Then I discovered that the numbers mean something. Try to buy fruit that had a 9 as the first number on that tiny label. The number 9 indicates that no pesticides were used, the fruit wasn’t organically tampered with and that wax wasn’t put on it to make it shiny.  The number 4 is the most prevalent starting number. It’s not organic like the 9s and it may have been sprayed, but I don’t believe it’s been organically tampered with. If you see other numbers ask the store what they mean.

FREE ENTERTAINMENT TIP

Would you like to be able to go to more live entertainment – but you’re worried about the price? Even new Yorkers may not be aware of how many discount possibilities there are for theater and other types of live entertainment. While producers want audiences to pay full price, if possible, they also want more people to come to the theater. If theater prices are steep for you, do you know about the discount sites? These sites may serve cities other than New York as well as New York. Google + “entertainment discounts” and + “theater (or theatre) discounts”.   Hundreds of thousands of links show up. A few of the better known sites are: CheapTickets.com is one company that gets tickets to theater and events in NYC and other cities. Theatermania.com is a well-known discount ticket site. The company also serves as a regular ticket sales agent.  American Express Card holders can use americanexpress.telecharge.com. If you live in NYC or visit frequently, it might pay you to join TDF: Theatre Development Fund a not for profit organization. By joining you help carry out TDF’s mission. To find out if you qualify for membership look at their site: www.tdf.org. If you’re visiting NYC, don’t forget the TKTS booth located right in Times Square.  You can get half price tickets for shows that are on that day.  I just found swickets.com! There are also seat-filling companies. You’ll need to be open to getting your tickets at the last minute and you do need to join for the year. But tickets (you can sometimes even get up to four or five tickets) cost only the $4.00 handling fee. The yearly cost is only a little over $100.  I could go on and on. There are many ways to save dollars on the list prices for live entertainment. Don’t let the price stop you from enjoying a wonderful show! There are discounts to be had!

SNEAK PEAK AT THE NEXT FREE TIP!

If you’re in NYC on June 13th – see “The Love Show” for only $5! Vaudeville/Burlesque is back and it’s at it’s best on the 13th at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) on New York’s  famous Lower East Side.

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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