Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Old, Older, Oldish

Last Wednesday, Hubby and I were taking our 2 grandsons to the park and having a serious discussion on
the state of the world...OK..the state of the world from the vantage point of a 5 year old.  Anyway...Grandson #1 was discussing the fact that he has two homes.  His "everyday home" is where he lives with his mommy, daddy and little brother, AND his spare home...which is Grandma and Grandpa's house.  "Of course" we say, "Our house is your house!"

 This is where the conversation took a decidedly bad turn.  Hubby asked G-Boy #1, if when Grandma and Grandpa get old, can we live at his  house.

G-Boy #1 didn't miss a beat, before he said.  " I will have a house someday, but you will be dead already."

Which brings me to our subject today..

Thought Number One:    When is Old, REALLY Old

I was sitting with my two older friends with whom I meet every Wednesday morning for coffee, when we were discussing the loss of a mutual friend.  I thought our friend was 72, but  both my pals assured me that Betty was 78.  They said they had already seen her obit and were pretty sure of their facts.  I, of course, was going on the fact that Betty had told me not-so-long-ago that she was 72.   OK..now she is gone and I am going to let her apparent dishonesty slide.

At that point in the conversation, the younger of my two friends who I think is  72  (and who knows... at this point... as it appears women lie about their age) says "Gosh, that is so young to pass away!"  The other friend, who is 87 commiserates and agrees whole heartedly that 78 years "young" is really too young to pass away.  

REMEMBER, a couple of weeks ago, I was talking about PERSPECTIVE.  Well, from my perspective 78 is fairly old...sort of.  You may notice a little apprehension on my part to be too adamant about what constitutes old as I am clearly on the first steps of the porch of "old" and getting ready to knock on the door  of "elderly"  (according to my grandson, I am hanging out inside the house of "decrepit", evidently)

I have come up with a calculator of sorts to decide "what is old".  That way I no longer have to randomly decide what constitutes old.  As a public service to my readers, I give you the OLDOMETER.

People that are 12 or more years older than you...ARE OLD.

People that are 12 or more years younger than you are young.

Everyone else is your peer group.

FOR EXAMPLE:  A 20 year old is totally justified to think of a 32 year old is old.  But a 60 year old is going to think that 32 year old as extremely young.  

SO...when our 5 year old grandson is looking at us, he must be amazed that we are alive now, let alone 20 years from now.  I am sure if he knew the word "ancient" it would apply.

Thought Number Two:   Delusion and Denial Works Well

There is an escape hatch as far as this theory goes.  Just convince yourself that you are the exception.

I have this other friend....let's call her Amy... that frequently reminds everyone how well she is aging.  Amy, unfortunately, looks for endorsement of her youthful looks by asking others to guess her age. More times than not, that doesn't have a favorable outcome.  One person called her by her mother's name and guessed
an age in the neighborhood of her mother's age.  That person now has a permanent place on Amy's  S*** list. 

I would never ask a question that I don't want an answer to.  The fact is that from someone elses perspective you may look extremely young or extremely old.

Not long ago I saw a picture of the group that attended my 40 year high school reunion. At least half the class I didn't recognize. (and it's not the large of class).  Then there was half the class that look nearly like they did in high school.  Of course, they aged but are still totally recognizable.  I didn't attend so there is no way of knowing if my classmates would of recognized me.  I am better off not knowing.

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Liggybee said...

Oh that is just TOO FUNNY, Cheryl! Reminds me of when I was little (if you noticed, I didn't say 'young') I used to think and feel that anyone "bigger" than me and who was old enough to be a parent was "old" and then anyone who had gray hair was "older". And that's just how I looked at people. Nowadays, with hair coloring, that concept just doesn't work logically! But as I became an adult, I just stopped really caring about age...to me, an adult is an adult no matter how old you are. And being young is all about your attitude in life. :)

Cheryl P. said...

I find it so interesting how people age and how varied the attitude related to aging is. It's to the point, I can no longer really guess peoples ages. Fifteen year old girls look like they are 21 and some 55 year olds look 90.

I agree with you though, the people that are upbeat and active seem so much younger than their chronological years.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Great post! But just remember -- you will never be as young again as you are right now today! So enjoy your youth!

Cheryl P. said...

That is true...well unless my mind becomes senile and I become a 2 year old again. That won't be pretty for the people around me. The twos are terrible.

Nicky said...

The grandmother of a dear friend of mine was in her late 90s and would help out the "youngsters" at the living facility with their housework. Youth is more a state of mind then a number. And you can always tell G-Boy #1 that if you die before he has his house, you'll come back as a ghost and haunt him when he finally does get it. :-)

Cat Lacemaker said...

I suppose I have become used to age being something I don't fret over much. When I was in high school, most of the kids thought I was the teacher, and when I am out with my father, I have been mistaken for his wife. And as for lying about my age... I have to figure out how old I am, by subtracting present year from birth year, that's how much I care to remember. Meh!


Cheryl P. said...

I think you would be awesome to hang out with. I would probably laugh myself silly. Good thing, I still haven't gotten to the point of incontinence. I am sure it is just around the corner time wise.

I just can't gauge peoples ages anymore.

I was always the youngest of the group of mothers when my kids were growing up...although, I don't think I necessarily looked younger.. I think you tend to identify to other moms according to your kids ages...whether it related to being younger or older. It became more of a disparity when my daughter started college and I was 38.

That is a riot that you said "I used to lie about my age"....let's hope you inspired them to try some Rejenerest or something.

Cheryl P. said...

You are so funny, Stephen!! Are you trying to make your ears look young? While I am sure that I can still wear the same earrings, the styles in 1969 or 1970 were so ugly...who would want to.

Cheryl P. said...

Yes, it gets back to perspective, doesn't it??? Before my grandmother passed away (she was 100 years old at the time) I was visiting her and I felt amazingly young. However, if I stood next to cute little you...I would feel old.

Goes to show...the secret to keeping young is to hang out with really old people.

Cheryl P. said...

This is just one of the gazillion things I am conflicted about, Cat. Most of the time, I am very comfortable with the age I am but then.... someone will say something or I will see something that makes me feel really old. I, also, have to occasionally stop and think about my age. However, occasionally, it's quite disappointing to remember what it is.

Trina said...

Age is a tough thing. My friend range from 21 to 82 and saying that they are young or old isn't fair. But then again I do refer to people my own age as youngsters (maybe because I married someone much older)
Great thoughts, and hopefully you are still blogging when you reach ancient!

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,
I keep looking at my high school friends and wondering if I too look as old as they do. Time flies by so fast.
Clicks for you!

Katherine Murray said...

You are old when your boobs always look at your feet.



Riot Kitty said...

Thank you, as always, for making me laugh with your wit! I love the age-o-meter...and your grandson!! OMG. He better be careful, you'll probably move in with him when he buys the first house.

As for the mistaken identity...my mother bumped into someone at a wedding about 20 years after she graduated from high school, and made the mistake of asking her, "Are you Sandy's mom?"

"No. I'm her younger sister."

lisleman said...

Did you ever hear the song "Oh Well". My favorite lyrics from it:
can’t help it ‘bout the shape I’m in. I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and
my legs are thin. But don’t ask me what I think of you, I might not
give the answer you want me to." - I dare you to play it for Amy.
"as it appears women lie about their age" - really wow that's shocking news!
Lastly one of our granddaughters was talking with me about upcoming Mother's Day. I told her that my mother was gone. After a bit she asked about my father. Sadly I had to tell her that he is gone too. She paused and quite frankly told me that's what happens when you get old. Put's a smile on my face just retelling the story.

oldereyes said...

It's funny. When I tell people I'm 68, they always say I look "much younger." I think it's more my attitude ... I'm very energetic and have many interests ... because how can I look "younger" when I'm bald and have a white mustache. The point, I guess is that sometimes you're as old as you act. However, whoever said that sixty is the new forty is an idiot.


Cheryl P. said...

See...this is why you are a genius. You married someone older than you (I am not saying his is old,,just older than you) which makes you the perpetually young one.

I, like you, have friends from young to old. I don't tend to let age define my interests or people that I find interesting.

Cheryl P. said...

I thought the same thing when I saw the picture of my class reunion. Honestly, some of them looked "elderly". But then it could be that I do too and just don't recognize it.

Cheryl P. said...

Damn....gravity is not our friend...well at least as far as boobs go.

Or as the old joke goes....Your spouse asks you to come upstairs to have sex and you say "pick one or the other...I can't do both". That's old.

Cheryl P. said...

You are always so sweet, RK. That grandson #1 better watch out. My grandmother lived to be 101 so time is on my side.

How embarrassing for your mom. Never fun to slip up like that. Kind of in the same vein of asking someone when their baby is due.

Cheryl P. said...

I love those lyrics.....how appropriate for the subject. As far as Fleetwood Mac songs go, I don't recall ever hearing that one. Maybe it's loss of memory though...you obviously have a great memory.

Don't kids say the cutest things. Their concept of what is old is just so interesting.

Cheryl P. said...

After seeing pictures of you, I agree that you don't look 68. I don't think gray hair or even balding necessarily are the indicators. There is something that is somewhat undefinable that weighs in to how we perceive a person's age. When my grandma was in her nineties, she still had a youthfulness about her. Her smile...maybe??? She really didn't look old until after she turned 100. However, I know people in their 50's that look old. Again, I can't quite define why...not so much their actions but more like they have an old soul.

I think I was the one that said 60 is the new forty. haha

AletaObrien said...

I like the Oldometer! That's perfect and definitely perspectively kept!
Hmmm, maybe that's why I have never attended a high school reunion?

lisleman said...

I'm not sure who wrote it. I first heard it done by Leo Kottke, a great guitar picker.

Cheryl P. said...

OH, Aleta, if you went to your reunion everyone else would feel old. You have mentioned your age in previous posts so from my perspective (that being an older person) you look amazing. And there is the fact you have a new born which also lends itself to how young you are.

Wendy said...

When I returned to university later in life (ha!), I took a course called Teaching Older Adults. Well, I presumed they actually meant my age, but they meant around 70! I was so confused. I designed for my term paper a one hour seminar I called Stomp Out Ageism (perhaps I'll share from it another time). I agree with you that 'old' is about perspective and I JUST love that Oldometer (gotta get that one into the lexicon). However, I do not accept the idea of old as in- you are too OLD to do that. ( whatever that is). Now there is old and older and then there is just plain old ageism, no different than sexism or racism. I don't mind being 'older' right now, because gosh, that is fact. Just don't say I am too old to do something I want to do!

Cheryl P. said...

I agree that any time there is a classification that contains the words old or senior, there is gray area. Am I old if I have an AARP card?...not as far as most senior citizen discounts go. Again, it's a matter of perspective.

While I often feel "old" I, also, agree that most things a person would want to accomplish is probably possible. There are exceptions, though. I can't get pregnant, I can't run like I once could thanks to my left hip being "difficult to get along with". The list grows continually.

Ageism ...you probably don't want to get me started. This culture that does every conceivable thing to diminish the value of it's older population but flaunts the idea that anything done by the young is trendy and important.... Especially in relationship to advertising....irritates the &^%#& out of me.

momto8blog said...

you are as old as you feel! funny how our perspective on age changes though as we age!!!!

abeerfortheshower said...

That 12 year rule is scary, but it's true, 17 year olds DO seem young. And yet 41 year olds don't seem ancient to me. Keep in mind I have relatives that are in the 90-100 range, so I'm prepared to be around forever. Take THAT, future grandchildren!

Robyn Engel said...

If only age really was just a state of mind! I'm sure someone over 65 said that one. But I do have friends who are 20 years older than me, look my age (40 something, pushing 50 with as much fervor as I can for the next 3+ yrs), and are as spunky as ever. They inspire me.


babs (beetle) said...

I'm here to tell you that 70 is NOT old. I'm not there yet, but Mo is and there's not much she can't do that she's always done. I am 67 and still act like I'm 12 at times. Old is a state of mind. We can't help the body falling apart, but we can stay young at heart. We have always mixed with people younger than ourselves and have never 'acted' our age. I refuse to be an old lady ;)

Cheryl P. said...

Exactly, I think there is definitely a change of how we view age as we approach middle-age or older. We (by that I mean the older among us) feel as we are still emotionally our young selves but our bodies don't necessarily look young...or at least as young as we once did.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree that 41 year old wouldn't seem ancient...just older that a 29 year old. From a 59 year old's perspective 41 seems pretty young. When my grandma was in her 100's I felt that perhaps, I have longevity on my side as well. I guess time will tell. I might still move in to my g-boy's house someday.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree...There is probably a correlation between our attitudes and the image we give off but it is limited to a certain extent. If it was within our control to keep looking young, merely by thinking young....no one would ever need plastic surgery. I do love to see older people that are vibrant and current though. They definitely appear younger than some of their stodgy counterparts.

Cheryl P. said...

I think a lot of younger people come across old because of the way they act and vice versa. My 87 year old friend seems like she should be in her early 60s. I don't ever plan to become an "old fogey" but I am not pleased at some of the aging aspects of my body. Staying young at heart is important, I think.

meleahrebeccah said...

"Hubby asked G-Boy #1, if when Grandma and Grandpa get old, can we live at his house. G-Boy #1 didn't miss a beat, before he said. " I will have a house someday, but you will be dead already."

I am hysterical laughing at that answer!!

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your friend, Betty.



"I would never ask a question that I don't want an answer to."


Cheryl P. said...

I find it odd how differently people age and how people perceive age. People like your dad seem (even over the Internet) to be young and vibrant and then I run into people in their 50's that seem elderly. It really is a crap shoot.

meleahrebeccah said...

That's SO true. My dad is 65 years old ­ but he's more spry than some people in their 30's!

Linda R. said...

Sadly, this is all so true. But, you make me laugh over it anyway. I got a wake up call the other day when I realized I had a pair of my husband's jeans in my drawer...only after I put them on and the only telling sign was that they were too long. Sad, but true.

Cheryl P. said...

Some days I am just fine with my age...other days not so much. I have also, stacked jeans in the wrong pile but let's be thankful that our husband's jeans are too big for us. The day, I can't fit into them is going to depress me beyond my limits.