“In reality, perpetually young seniors don’t and won’t fit the stereotype of old people… We drop such questions as, ‘What’s the latest Instagram news about Kim Kardashian? Did you send a Snapchat text to me about Rihanna’s latest selfie?’ We also refuse to admit that we have a landline, a relic, signifying old age.”
Let’s just say our seniors will get us laughing and thinking and feeling. I can’t wait!
I’m Not Getting Old (Wink, Wink!) You Are!
Many of us mature women and men – seniors – think that our peers have grown old, but not us. We lament when we especially see friends from long ago, “What happened to her, to her once pretty young face? Why, he looks like a jumping jack – a slow one – the way he shakes when he walks. Too bad she’s so stooped over that she looks as if she is permanently tending a garden.” Yup, we gloat as we say to ourselves about them, “Thank goodness, I’m not getting old; they are.”
Even when we look in the mirror, we see our air-brushed or photo-shopped selves. Few lines map our smooth faces; lush hair covers our scalps, and bags hardly appear under our eyes. To be sure, we view ourselves through the prism of a 30 0r 40-something person. Consequently, when we see our peers, we smugly tell ourselves, “So sad that they are getting old, but not me.”
And we seniors – those of us who are not getting old – hear very well – so what if everyone else around us mumbles or speaks too softly during conversations. Pray tell, we should ask someone to speak louder during a conversation. We pretend we are too preoccupied with other things to join the discussions. At home, though, we blast the television, turning the volume up so much so that our grandchildren question our sanity when the visit. They ask, “Are you crazy; you don’t think that’s loud? What’s wrong with your hearing? “Doesn’t it hurt your ears?” We deny, deny, deny that there’s anything wrong. We tell ourselves, “We’re not getting old, other people are.”
In reality, perpetually young seniors don’t and won’t fit the stereotype of old people. We tell ourselves that we are current, relevant, not stuck in our ways, willing to change. We boast to our grandchildren, for instance, about knowing most of the words to the top ten pop songs, even as we hide the fact that we still listen to the oldies radio station. When talking to young people, we let them know that we are computer savvy, aware of social media. We drop such questions as, “What’s the latest Instagram news about Kim Kardashian? Did you send a Snapchat text to me about Rihanna’s latest selfie?” We also refuse to admit that we have a landline, a relic, signifying old age. Indeed, to stay relevant in a youth- oriented society, many of us say to ourselves, especially as we look at an aging peer, “I’m not getting old, you are.”