Old people are people

Time for those vague resolutions soon! I don’t bother with anything specific. I don’t smoke and I don’t think it’s possible for me to lose or gain much more weight (perks of constant movement).
’Find out how to slow down time’ is a good resolution. I try to stay as zen as I can most of the time but now and then I realise I’m still young-young, and find myself wondering ‘Am I doing this right?’ My ear seems to be adept these days at picking out ’kids-these-days’ speak, ’oh to be young again’ speeches from friends and passing strangers. These speeches make me feel uncertain about being in my twenties, not better.
What am I supposed to be doing with my body while it’s fit and agile? Gymnastics? You need two hands for that and a lot of control. Rollercoasters? You’ll have to force me. Dance? Given the right setting. One old-person joke that’s never made me laugh is ’Don’t dance too hard; you’ll throw out a hip!’ Ouch, that sounds like an excruciating situation. Maybe you get the joke when you’re past 80. Maybe such jokes offer comfort and help you accept that you’re living at an age which nature didn’t intend, and you should celebrate that. Still, I am thankful that for now my hips are locked in for the ride.
Often I hear people below old-old age referring to the latter as if they’re more an object than a human.
’Typical old driver, should be off the road.’
’Typical old walker, walks too slow and won’t let you pass.’
’Typical old blah blah blah.’

Does the speaker think s/he will avoid becoming a ’typical old person’? We are all heading in the same direction, and will all one day do something deemed a typically old person thing to do. And we’ll probably have some young fuck judging us for it. Some arguments are worth discussion – such as when one should stop driving – but I’d like to see how willing most youngsters will be to throw away their licenses when they reach that age. It can’t be easy to admit that such an important ability and source of independence is gone forever.
There is a reverse view towards the elderly too, and I’m not looking forward to experiencing it. Ever seen a contestant in a gameshow mention that their grandmother is in the audience? There’s a 90% chance that after this the camera will move to the waving grandmother and then to the presenter, and the presenter will go ’aww’ or ’how sweet!’ Being old and a bit frail is associated with cuteness. Why? Being old means you should be more experienced in life than everybody else. I hope that by the time I’m 80 I’ll have perfected the formula of not giving a shit. If anything, I want to be the one patronising the youngsters.
’Aw, you’re upset because you broke your iPhone 20099? It doesn’t matter kid, none of this matters, we’ll be dead soon.’
There are still people around who lived through the 60s and I don’t think you’d call many of their tales sweet. Some of them experienced Hendrix, others broke on through to the other side. Yes, they took a lot of LSD. You can’t pretend these people were born in a rocking chair. And I’m not dismissing the good old sock-knitting, tea-making grandmother here. We all need one. Just know that she most definitely has some dark secret that you would struggle to handle. Maybe she mangles pigeons’ feet for fun. Maybe once upon a time she wasn’t a massive racist. You know, stuff like that.
My life resolution is to try and appreciate this temporary existence as much as possible while remembering that it’s really just a crazy game with no real objective. Nobody honestly knows what we’re doing here. When, on this slow yet quickening journey, I do hopefully reach old age I hope I will be OK with my position and mocking my younger self for failing in his attempts to sound deep and wise when he actually didn’t know anything. Happy New Year. I wonder how fast this one will pass.


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