Mixed Feelings About Getting Old

Baby Boomers: How many of you are proud of your age?After all, research indicates that there are around 72 million of us running around the USA

The Baby Boomers’ 60th birthday

The Baby Boomers’ 60th birthday (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)

and most of us are still pretty vital.

Today I went to an event, talked to several people, and told them my age. Then, I asked, “How old are all of you?”

At first they ignored me, but after my insistence, “I told you my age, now tell me yours,” they confessed to the years they’ve been living on the earth. Just as I suspected, most of them were born within a year or two of me.

What’s really wrong with aging? 

Is it harder to admit we’re closer to the end than others?( We’re talking death here.) Is it because we don’t have the fresh appearance of youth? Let’s face it, it’s not exactly pleasant to look at wrinkles, age spots, skin tags, hair appearing in odd places or white hair.

In “The Picture of Dorion Gray” by Oscar Wilde Dorion Gray made a deal with the devil. His picture would age, not him. He was a hedonistic person, and his portrait reflected that. Do you think people’s looks in the end really reflect the lives they led?

Maybe Rodgers and Hammerstein  knew something important when they wrote these words to “Put on a Happy Face” from the musical, Flower Drum Song.

“I knew a girl so gloomy she wouldn’t laugh or sing. She wouldn’t listen to me, now she’s a mean old thing. So spread sunshine all over the place, and put on a happy face…”

I started noticing my age when I was substitute teaching. I was around 50.  The teachers looked like they could be my kids, and when I told my age to classrooms of kids they were stunned. I’d make them figure it out. I would say, “I was born in 1950, subtract that from the current year, and you’ll know how old I am.”

“Isn’t it time for you to retire?” I’d hear more than once.

Am I a hypocrite because I dye my hair?

It’s a little intimidating for me to look into the mirror and see my grandmother or mother. I haven’t had the nerve to let my hair go grey yet. I’m too vain. I wonder if I’m fooling anyone.

What about plastic surgery?

Unless you intervene with plastic surgery, won’t the truth show up on your face anyway?

I admit that it is disturbing to see that my upper eyelids have disappeared.  They’ve always been droopy anyway. I knew it was going to happen. I do have some lines etched on my face.

Honestly, if plastic surgery was more reasonably priced, I might seriously consider it. How much fun would it be to have people think that I was younger than my real age?  It would be interesting to see if they talked to me differently too.

But, is deceiving people a good idea? How about deceiving yourself?

Elderly beauties

I have an aunt who is almost 90, and she looks pretty good. She swears it’s Oil of Olay, but I think it’s because she’s a terrific person. There’s always Betty White. She’s 90, and her career is going great guns. She did admit to eyelid surgery, but that’s it!

So there you have it. Mixed feelings about getting old. What do you think?

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