I’m getting older. Yes, I know we are all getting older, but at some point (40s – 50s) you realize you are on the downhill side of life. Not only is your age telling you this, but I have observed there are also definitive clues that you are approaching the end of the conscious part of the journey. In this blog, I have attempted to capture the ten most telling signs that you are about to add “senior” in front of the word “citizen.”
1. Your Body Is Changing
Your hair starts to thin, turn grey or white, or falls out completely. This is especially traumatic for guys who believe their hair is the sexiest part of their appearance, and a dead-giveaway to age. Look how important hair was to Elvis or the Beatles. Nobody real believes bald is beautiful, unless it’s on an eagle. The hair that once grew on your head now sprouts from your ears and nose. Parts of your body stop working; and what does work, hurts. Your six-pack turns into a keg. Your skin begins to resemble the prunes you eat to keep your digestive system working.
2. Your Sex Life Disappears
Remember when you were a teenager? Your hormones ran rampant all the time. All guys had to do to get a boner was just look at their hand. That’s gone now, but with age comes wisdom. I’ve discovered all pleasure is based on pressure & release, so a good BM is just as satisfying as sex, plus you don’t have to shave or brush your teeth. Having the same partner for years can also kill the sex drive. I suggested role-playing to my wife to spice things up, but she got mad when I showed her the photo of the model/actress selected to play her part.
3. People Address you Differently
Suddenly you are no longer called Bob, but Mister, or even worse, Pops or Old Timer. Women get up to offer you their seat on the bus or subway. Restaurants give you a senior discount without asking. People talk louder when they speak to you. Children offer to help you across the street. Friends begin each sentence with, “Do you remember when…”
4. Your Junk Mail is Different
No longer do you get pitches to go cliff dive in Mexico, climb Kilimanjaro, or earn $$ giving blood, so you can pay the rent. First sign of getting older is an invitation to join AARP, The Association of Retired People. You throw the first few letters away, mentally denying you are old enough to be eligible. After awhile, you start looking at the benefits, like this new dating service they offer. Check this out:
a) Lifetime supply of Viagra to the first 30 men to sign up (not much financial risk here considering the average member’s age).
b) Money back guarantee if your partner dies before the end of the first date.
c) Discounts on hearing aids, ambulances, bridgework, and coffins.
5. Senior Discounts Abound
Not only AARP wants to offer you discounts. I can get 20% off my bill at Denny’s. But if I’m already worried about dying early, why would I want to eat at Denny’s? I appreciate the savings, but why don’t they offer discounts on stuff I really want to buy…like big screen TVs, medical marijuana, or hookers?
6. Start Receiving Offers to Pre-pay Your Funeral
Really? Why would I want to do this? If I give you my money now, will I get a better plot? Maybe one with a view? They say the logic behind the concept is to eliminate details at the moment your loved ones are consumed with grief. Are you kidding? My kids will be out hitting the bars, celebrating finally getting their hands on the rest of my money. Besides, I want to be cremated. Of course, they offer a package for that as well. Do I get my money back if I die in a fire?
7. Your Drug Use Doubles
No, not the fun stuff. You take a pill to get to sleep, a pill to wake up, a pill to get excited, and a pill to calm down. Did you ever read the label on these pills? One line describes the benefit, and ten lines are dedicated to the side-effects. “This drug may cause a severe rash, brain damage, loss of appetite and irritability.” That’s nothing…I had those reactions from my ex-wife. The warnings continue…”patient may develop a third nipple, desire to watch Dancing With The Stars; possibly an uncontrollable urge to commit a senseless crime or spend three straight hours playing whack a mole on the Santa Monica Pier.”
8. Financial Advisers Suddenly Find You Fascinating
On a weekly basis, unknown “experts” invite you to a 3:30pm dinner to tell you how to invest your money. When you ask them how they made their money, they respond, “By inviting old people to dinner, and then slowly depleting their nest eggs.”
9. Become Obsessed with Death
Like Woody Allen, you think about death a lot, maybe make a movie on the subject. You turn to the obituaries first in the newspaper to see if any of your friends, or yourself, are listed there. “In memorandum” is your favorite part of the Oscars. You tend to wear a lot of black clothing. You wander through cemeteries admiring the craftsmanship on the carved headstones.
10. Return to Religion
Maybe you never left, but as you get older you start paying attention. I’m not sure there is a heaven, but why chance it. I know there is a hell, because I spent a week in Cleveland once. If you aren’t sure which one to pick, try the Catholics. A priest can absolve you of any past indiscretions, and at least give you a shot at the Pearly Gates. Besides, what other spiritual leader gets to wear a three-foot hat to work everyday.
Well, that’s all the time I have (for now, not permanently)…
Rich Allan is the author of the comedy/adventure novel, “Drafted,” and a new political thriller, “Party Favors,” coming to a Kindle near you soon.