On Aging

You want to know what’s most ironic about me having Stage IV cancer? For years, I have been dreaming about how awesome it’d be to be an old lady. No, seriously, old age kicks ass. Let me explain why.

The Hubs and I have been on a lot of cruises, and one of the things I like best about a cruise is that the age of passengers tends to skew pretty old. Old people have the BEST stories, so they make the most interesting dinner companions. One cruise, The Hubs and I sat with a couple of old ladies from England, and man were they a trip. It was so interesting to listen to them talk about their lives, but my favorite thing about them was that one of them would always order an extra side of ice cream with her dessert. Because she’s already lived this long, what’s it gonna do, kill her? Make her fat? Who gives a shit, she’s old.

Old is being a badass. Old is not having to care what anyone thinks of how you look or what you wear. Old is being able to tell it like it is. Old is freedom.

I went to Vegas last December with some girlfriends and we sat for a while in a bar at the Paris casino, and listened to one of the most awesomely bad lounge singers I have ever heard. Guy had a guitar and a karaoke machine and you just KNEW it was gonna be good when he started playing Margaritaville. And I turned to my girlfriends and I said, “When I retire, I am totally gonna be a lounge singer in Vegas. If this guy can get a gig, I sure as hell can.”

You know what else I want to do when I retire? Live in a senior community. It’s just like a college dorm except with Hoverounds. All your friends are in one place, and there’s a cafeteria so you don’t even have to cook, and you can hang out all day in your PJ’s, and when you feel like it, there are enrichment classes to go to and movie nights and shit. See? Just like college, plus HOVEROUNDS.

Now that I have The Cancer, I don’t get to dream about my old age so happily. I can’t just think about the future in a breezy way anymore like I used to. Old age has become my deepest desire, one I am almost afraid to hope for, because there is a good chance it won’t happen for me.

Actually, I already have the shitty parts of old age. I’m tired a lot, my hair fell out, and I spend all my free time at doctor appointments. It would be really nice to get some of the perks too. Like a Hoveround. And getting to be a lounge singer in Vegas.

So, now when I hear people complain about aging, about their wrinkles and the hair growing from their ears and whatever, I dunno. I try to keep in mind that my perspective now is all fucked up, and most people can’t see their wrinkles and their aches and pains the way I do. But mostly I just want to tell people to shut. the. fuck. up. Because there is a lot of awesomeness that happens when you’re old. Old is fucking beautiful.

5 thoughts on “On Aging

  1. Yes, Beth, you got that right, old age is “fucking” beautiful! Thanks for sharing. And I agree that it is the best perspective I’ve heard. I am going to refer to it often.

    Oh, and you’ve got one other thing that comes with “old age”–wisdom!

  2. Yours is the best perspective I’ve heard. I’m turning 50 in July, and now you make me wish it was 70. I wish we were closer in age so I could’ve gotten to know you better while we were growing up. I love you, Beth.

  3. I too have always kinds liked the idea of being older and the freedom that comes with age – even in my later 30s. Not caring what people think, not feeling the need to compete for boys and so forth. I have grey hair, wrinkles etc. starting and I can’t imagine spending tons of $$ to get rid of them. Aren’t they kind of like a badge that says ‘i got this far’? As for 60s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond, those are definite clubs that we should all want to be in. Not for the dr’s appts and the aches and pains, but for the side of ice cream. Loved your post and hoping you can beat The Cancer and get to see lots of grey hairs, wrinkles and saggy boobs. Cheers.
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