Getting Old

Facebook posts are quick to suggest that I am getting older, with questions such as, If You Remember This, or the equally disturbing Age Test. The inference is that to remember is to be old. Based on this, I must be older than dirt, as not only do I remember them, it doesn’t seem that long ago. I’ve played pick-up sticks (before and after children), watched Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Ed, Petticoat Junction, The Walton’s, Our Gang, and Gilligan’s Island, interacted with egg beaters, video and audio tapes, rotary phones, table jukeboxs, and S&H Green Stamps.

I not only was familiar with the items or shows, but reviewing posts from the generation under me was enlightening, as they recalled how they were getting older based on their knowledge of these items. So… if they are feeling old, than I must be older than dirt. All of this has a disturbing effect on the “baby boomer” generation, which is my generation. Disturbing, because we refuse to get old. We think we are young, so we are. We shed the clothing of previous older generations. Instead of saying, “I can’t wear this,” we said, “Why not? Just watch me”… and we did. We still drive the “wow” cars, and frequent the gyms (sometimes).

We have discarded almost every trapping of old age except, maybe, one. While we put up a good fight, we eventually lost the battle. Yes, we fought every step of the way to being grandparents, often reminding our children we were simply not old enough. To our dismay, they refused to listen. It took only the first look at that beautiful face, and we were sucked into the world of grandparenting with love and joy. We even accepted being called Gran, Granny, Ma-maw, Papaw, Paps, or any other name those wonderful children could think up. And we did not feel old. Instead, we felt more alive and vigorous.

As I said, we refuse to get old. As every “baby boomer” knows, we are on a first name basis with our doctors, but that doesn’t mean we’re old, we just want to keep in touch. Pharmacists know us by name, and we’ve become acquainted with chiropractors. Dentists get rich from our vanity and we make wearing glasses fashionable. Lasers are our friends and hair color designs are our passion. We love herbs and excite the world of cosmetics. But… we refuse to acknowledge getting older. We feel young… well, actually, there’s the rub. The joints just “ain’t what they used to be,” and the long swims have become somewhat shorter. Worst of all is the generation under us undermining our position of refusal to get old. They are trying to push us into “old age.” After all, they believe they are getting old. So, younger generation, stop, think, be young… before it is too late for us all!

Source: K. P. Guessen