10. Senior Discounts. Sometimes they don’t amount to much, sometimes they do, but the thrill of not having to pay full price almost makes up for any cheapness and gives us a feeling that we are sticking it to the big guys. (“Hey, AMC Loews! I paid $2 less than your other adult patrons for the same movie! Nya-ha-ha!”) One of these days I am going to keep track of all the senior discounts I get and see how much money I “saved,” especially if I ended up buying a lot of stuff I didn’t need because they were bargains.
9. You can wear whatever you want, and nobody cares. Do you want to wear crocs with a tuxedo? Why not? How about an old sweater over a cocktail dress? Go for it! After a lifetime of making ourselves uncomfortable to look good, we have earned the right to be sloppy. If you have shrunk, but your pants haven’t, pull them up and belt them around your chest. Complete the outfit with a Hawaiian shirt and an old straw fedora. Or buy some new pants. It’s up to you.
8. You’ve seen more movies and television shows and gone through more news events than anyone younger than you are, which might come in handy if you are ever on a quiz show. Aside from that, it’s just a lot of random knowledge taking up brain cell space. It makes us feel good, though, which is worth something, I guess.
7. If you kept anything from your childhood in good condition, you could now sell it on eBay for a small fortune. That only happens, of course, with toys you never wanted, which were left in their boxes or hardly touched. We demolished all of our other toys in the act of actually playing with them. The same thing applies to vintage clothing.
6. You can quickly get out of doing things you don’t want to do by citing your age and your ailments. Do you want to hang a picture on the wall? You know you could do it yourself and get it over with, but why do it if you can claim an attack of arthritis and get a kind person to do it for you? Caution: Don’t do this too often or people will start to make wide detours when approaching your door.
5. You always have something to talk about (i.e., those same ailments). Whenever people of “a certain age” get together, the subject invariably turns to arthritic knees, cataracts, hearing loss, osteoporosis and any one of a number of ailments that afflict senior citizens on a daily basis. If we have to live with it, we get to talk about it. Those are the rules.
4. You are allowed, even expected, to be cranky. You have a right to be a curmudgeon if you want to be one. On the other hand, you can have a lot of fun surprising people by being cheerful and spreading sunshine wherever you go, especially if you know some decent off-color jokes.
3. You used to think that the Watergate scandal was the lowest point any President of the United States could hit, and you were sorry that it happened when your generation was in its prime. Then along came Donald Trump. You now realize that even Richard Nixon was a model of integrity in comparison. Eavesdropping on the opposition? Erasing a tape? A mere bag of shells compared to what we now hear every day on the news channels! This is good ammunition to shoot in the face of the younger generations: things were good when we were young. Our Presidents had human-level IQs.
2. It’s easier to order a meal in a restaurant now because your choices are limited to what you can still eat. “I already know what I want. I’ll have filet of sole with mashed potatoes – no gravy, just butter – and creamed corn, with tapioca pudding for dessert.”
And the No. 1 best thing about growing old(er) is:
1. You’re still alive! You didn’t die before your time. And as long as you are drawing breath, you can find ways to kick ass, such as becoming a humor writer.