It’s Not OK to Be Old

Lately I’ve been observing the TV commercials that are running now for enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans, as well as various pharmaceutical ads than run around the nightly network news (only watched by dinosaurs, presumably).  I’ve only seen a few brave advertisers who dare to show real people in their late 60’s or 70’s.  Most of them are like that United Healthcare commercial, where the handsome white-haired guy teaches his granddaughter how to play “Born to Be Wild.”  “You’re more rock and roll than rocking chair,” it says.

I have some respect for this viewpoint, since aging has changed enormously with the advent of the baby boomers.  However, I’m really tired of the premise that aging is just another phase of life, and you’ll be hot/handsome/Viagra loaded until the day you die.

Let’s face it, aging stinks.  Even the relatively minor problems I’ve faced so far remind me that I’d rather be 30 than 50.  But, you know what?  We don’t have a choice.  We either get older or we die.  I’ve never been one to die young and leave a beautiful corpse.  I intend to die old, beating young’uns with my cane if they offend me.

What bothers me is this pretense that we can stave it off with facelifts, healthy living, etc.  Granted, healthy living can make a huge difference.  But it can’t turn back the clock.  It just keeps ticking, no matter what we do.  I read an article in More magazine about women being shocked that they couldn’t get pregnant after age 40.  Hello?  Any legitimate fertility website will tell you the truth about that.  And no credit to Hollywood stars who lie about how they had their babies.  JLo, I’m talking to you.

Forgive the rant, please, gentle readers.  I just wish we could all age gracefully, be accepted as valuable and cherished members of society, make a living wage, and enjoy the life we have, while we have it.  That’s all.  Peace out.


Author: writinghersense

Marketer, memoir writer, cat lover, Tennessee native, now a NYer.

One thought on “It’s Not OK to Be Old”

  1. I like what you say. I recently published an essay called “An Elders Manifesto” on the subject and have been getting emails from readers saying, in a nutshell, “Yes.” I think the main difference between what I say in the essay and what you’ve said above is the part about how getting old “stinks.” I’ve got enough infirmities not to argue with that sentiment, but there’s more, or should be, or could be, to getting old. Ageism is as corrosive as any other -ism. I think we just don’t realize it and accept and then incorporate what it says about us. I’d love to hear what you think of that essay, or rather of the thoughts I tried to express.

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