General chatter - A rant about age

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09-20-2007, 06:02 PM
Hi Pals.
I feel a rant coming on.
I recently turned 51. I didn't say anything to anyone last year because I didn't want anyone to make a big deal about a number just because it ended in a zero.

I didn't want to get those stupid cards that made bad jokes about old people forgetting where they put stuff, and not being able to see or chew or whatever.

I'm not old.

Why is 50 considered old? Suppose I die at age 80. That means I spend 30 years being "old??" That can't be right. Somebody spends over a third of their life being old??? How can that be??

If you had a dog (ok, I know certain breeds die younger than others, but suppose you had a medium sized mutt dog) that was 7 or 8 years old, would you say it was "old??"

I know people who are my age who describe themselves as old. I don't know why. If it's at all true that "what you think about you bring about" then I don't want to think that I am bringing about negative things associated with being elderly. There are positive things associated with being elderly, but those are not what my friends are talking about when they describe themselves as "old."

I have lost a few friends, friends who died at around my age. People would say "oh, they were so young...." But....they mean these people were so young to die, not for anything else. Now how can a person be in the "old" category and at the same time be "too young to die." Pick One. I say if you're too young to die, you're not old yet.

I don't want to hear any more of those stupid "old people" jokes or get those stupid cards. Why is it any different from ethnic slurs that we all know are in poor taste? It might be "all in good fun" but I don't see where the fun is.

Oh- I'm not talking about anyone on 3FC; just people out there in general society that I'm picking up this "old people" stuff from.

I don't feel old. Yet.

End of rant; comments welcome.


09-20-2007, 06:04 PM
I suddenly feel like going outside naked in a rain storm.

09-20-2007, 06:06 PM
I believe age is just a number. You're only as old as you choose to be.

09-20-2007, 06:11 PM
Seriously, Jo, I know exactly what you mean, but in a different context.

I'm the youngest of 4 children and my parents are 72 and 63. Does that mean they're "old?" I don't think they're old. At what point does one BECOME old? To a 16-year-old 30 is old--well, now I'm 31 and I know people well into their 80's that still drive and go out and do things and just generally get along well on their own.

I think "old" is a mind-set, but one we establish to judge OTHERS--not ourselves or those close to us. I actually think AGING is the more... appropriate... term. We are all aging until we die. We only become "old" when WE feel as though we are.

09-20-2007, 06:28 PM
Girl, I'm 2 years older than you and I'm definitely not old!!! Age is only a number and a state of mind just as you said. I wouldn't go back to any age under 50 because there is a wonderful shift in attitude you acquire as you age. I feel so much more relaxed and self assured than I've ever felt. What's that saying: you're old enough to know better, but young enough not to care. So, say that to whatever idiot makes a deragatory remark to you.

09-20-2007, 06:29 PM
4 Myself -- Yes, it is what one FEELS like that is important, but just wait till you get to be MY age;)
and get things like an invitation to play some old tunes this weekend in a "geriatric" hippie band..... I am not geriatric, whether it's all in good fun or not.

09-20-2007, 06:31 PM
Thanks, Deedee - i just hate the stereotypes!

09-20-2007, 06:31 PM
When I turned fifteen, I couldn't wait until I was 40 years old. I am a writer, have been all my life, and thought that by the time I was 40 I would have so much to write about and so many experiences.

When I turned twenty-seven I got very depressed because I was so old. Yes, I was ancient and old enough that I should get the senior discount. I felt like ym life was over and figured I had better pick out my funeral clothes.

When I turned thirty I felt like my life had finally started and didn't see anything that could stand in my way of living. I am not old and I am not young, I am just in my thirties and ready for what life throws at me. I have the experience of my yesterdays and the dreams of tomorrow.

09-20-2007, 06:36 PM
I totally agree with the "over the hill" cards and jokes ... none of them are really that funny.

I also don't understand people (usually women) who lie about their age. I'm 37, frequently get told I look much younger, so I proudly announce my age when I'm asked!

Two phrases come to mind ...

This one I'm paraphrasing but I think I read it somewhere here on 3FC (but I can't remember where): you're not "old" until you've lived beyond life expectancy.

This one I saw on a bumper sticker once: "Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the h3ll happened". :D

09-20-2007, 06:48 PM
When I was 5 then 10 was old. When I was 10 then 16 was old. When I was 18 then 25 was old and 30 was ancient. As I turned 30 I felt a little old but knew that you weren't really old until 40. At 45 I started trying to "ease" into the year I would turn 50. Well that passed 3 years ago. Younger people think I am OLD....older folks at church think I am YOUNG.

The cards and comments don't bother me...heck I feel lucky to have lived this long! :)

I don't really feel old...unless you count trying to get up after sitting so long....ohhhh ~ ouch..... these damn old bones......;)

09-20-2007, 10:09 PM
I definitely don't think 50 is old. Whenever I tell my parents a story (Mom is 55, Dad is 57) and I say "blah blah blah this old guy cut me off in traffic blah blah blah" my mom always thinks it's someone around "her" age and I have to say no way, like 80. But, even 80 isn't old to me, because my grandparents are in their mid-eighties and I don't think they are!

Like dixiedieter said, you're only as old as you want to be!

09-21-2007, 12:33 AM
Hey Spiny, happy belated birthday, age is just a number....kinda like those things you see on that device called a scale. :hug:

09-21-2007, 07:26 AM
When I was working at Mastercuts, I felt 'old'. I'm 41 and the girls I worked with were all 25 and younger. Most of them weren't even born yet when I started to work at Penney's in 1984!! BUT, they made me feel old, but they also made me feel grateful to be the age I'm at. I wouldn't want to be in my early 20's again for ANYTHING! So DRAMATIC over men/boys, shoes, 'what should I wear'...TWO girls slept with the boss's boyfriend. Gawd...all I wanted to do was go home and make a potato salad and be a normal 'old' person.

On the other hand, they also made me feel younger by association. Such as, things in my life started to become 'wicked cool' and my daughter would say, "Mom?" as if to say, "You're too old to talk like that..."

My problem is that when I was a teenager, I was a professional at it, meaning I was VERY happy with being a teenager and wallowed in it and went to football games and hung out with friends, etc. When I became around 24 or so and all my friends graduated from college and got jobs and spouses, I felt so deserted and found my self on the beach looking for my friends having a campfire and found the 'little kids' had taken over. I had a long time in my life where I felt very old but mostly in my later 20's and 30's. I was very depressed for a long time.

BUT, to make a long story short, I 'grew up' and realized I'm not old, but a grown up and should start acting like one. I got married and had kids (actually, I had kids, THEN got married - just a technicality) and learned how to cook. I'm SO enjoying my 40's. I actually feel younger now than when I was in my 20's.

When someone asks me how old I am, I say 21...with 20 years of experience. And, I feel like I'm a younger 41 year old because I compare myself to my mom when she was my age and I am SOOO much younger at heart and way more hip than my mom was at my age. Age is just a old you FEEL is important and that it totally up to the individual.

09-21-2007, 07:29 AM
Oh, and by the way...I'm so 'grown up' now that I decided that 41 is the perfect age to open my own barber shop/beauty salon. My DH and I are in the process, as we speak, of renovating an old storefront into a salon. I went to the Small Business Association in my county and a very nice lady took me by the hand, showed me all the steps I had to take and got me started adn we should be open October 1!! God willing and the creek don't rise, that is!! Keep your fingers crossed adn say your prayers for me that I'm successful!! I feel so grown up!!

09-21-2007, 08:03 AM
This one I saw on a bumper sticker once: "Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the h3ll happened". :D

Love that one! I'm 41, young to some people, ancient to my kids. But many days, deep inside I still feel like a kid playing like I'm a grown up!

09-21-2007, 09:28 AM
I had my 52nd birthday last week and I don't feel any older than I did at 20 and I don't see "an old person" when I look in the mirror. (ok, I dye my hair and I use copious amounts of "wrinkle stuff")

I teach computer lab at a school that is all kindergarten (300 kids). A couple of days ago I thought I was looking pretty good. I had a new size 10 skirt on and was having a good hair day and I 've dropped about 40lbs etc. Some little boys were sitting outside of my classroom on a bench waiting for the recess bell to ring. One of them jabbed the other and said "You see that lady there?" and he pointed to me. The other said "Yeah, that's Ms. Cat, the computer teacher" and then the first one said "Well, she's a dear sweet old lady".
My bubble was burst, but it was really funny. I then took into account that they were 5 years old and I guess a 12 year old would be old to them. I also thought it was better to be a dear sweet old lady than a mean old battle ax.

09-21-2007, 09:36 AM
I had my 52nd birthday last week and I don't feel any older than I did at 20 and I don't see "an old person" when I look in the mirror. (ok, I dye my hair and I use copious amounts of "wrinkle stuff")

If your icon is recent, you look great and much, MUCH younger ;)

BTW - when I was 5, I was scared of teenagers and thought 20-somethings were archaic.

09-21-2007, 09:44 AM
Holy smokes! I'm 68 and sure don't think of myself as old. It's definitely a state of mind! I think people get old when they stop doping things and start complaining about getting old. Crabbing about weather and health is part of the syndrome too. I totally agree that those dumb getting old cards are horrible!

09-21-2007, 10:22 AM
Have you seen these t-shirts that say things like, "50 is the new 30?" Who in their right mind would want to delay their retirement by twenty years? I also don't understand the relatively recent belief that a woman comes into her own in her 50's. A woman can be confident and secure in her identity at any age- the sooner the better!

I don't want to be younger because I already did that- and quite well, I might add! I had the single and 20-ish lifestyle, complete with the little apartment downtown, the odd assembly of single friends and dreams of success.

I don't want to be older because I'm not quite done with this age yet. I have a mortgage and a wedding to plan. I have finally achieved enough success to step up my retirement savings without limiting my diet to ramen noodles and tap water. Plus, I still need to figure out how to take care of my lawn... and take a walk in my suburb without a dog or stroller and not be immediately suspicious.

I'll just keep savoring the benefits and the baggage of each age! If I do it right, there'll be nothing to miss and everything to look forward to in the next year. So far, so good!

09-21-2007, 10:51 AM
I'm 27 and I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 25. About a month ago, someone at work was complaining about turning 30. I told him he should be happy to have had 30 years - some people don't! I'm thankful for every day I can get :)

09-21-2007, 10:56 AM
Yeah! What makes people appear old is the excessive complaining that some "old fogies" do!

I have a friend who turned 50 recently. She looks 35 and still parties like she's 25. She's not old, at all.

However, SHE has a friend who is something like 55 and looks it. This friend of hers whines and complains incessantly about things that don't matter. I viewed it as being a "crotchety old person" though if she complained that much and was closer to my age (I'm 21), I'd think she was just a pessimistic biatch!

I'm bad at guessing ages (though I'm GREAT at guessing WEIGHT! haha) and I definitely think part of one's age is just their mindset. Some older people forget how to laugh and have a good time because they're too busy being jaded by life's misfortunes to see the positives. *I* started to get like that at one point (honestly, not that long ago - back in April or May, then I realized I needed to change some things in my life)

09-21-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm 27 and I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 25. About a month ago, someone at work was complaining about turning 30. I told him he should be happy to have had 30 years - some people don't! I'm thankful for every day I can get :)

Aww, what kind of cancer did/do you have? Did you get it removed? Are you in remission now?

09-21-2007, 11:12 AM
Aww, what kind of cancer did/do you have? Did you get it removed? Are you in remission now?

I have chronic myelegenous leukemia. I take targeted chemo (targeted to the bad cells, not all of them - so i have my hair and stuff) that keeps me in remission. Think of it like a diabetic taking insulin. If I don't take it, I will come out of remission. At some point, the disease will most likely mutate and I will have to switch to a 2nd medication that is available or have a bone marrow transplant.

09-21-2007, 11:33 AM
I completely agree with you, although I am only 21 I do believe that there is a bias about age, yes about 5-6 decades ago 50 was considered old because the life span was not as long as it is now, but if people would really think about it people are living to be 100+ if that is the case how can anyone at 50 be considered old?

I was picking out cards yesterday for my dad's birthday party that I am having for him this weekend and he is turning 55; any cards that I pick out make no reference to his age because honestly I find those cards about being over the hill mean. I don't consider my dad over the hill....he looks a lot younger than 55 and I avoid anything about old age like the plague.

On the flip side I hate that people consider me too young to know anything about my subject or about anything for that matter. I will go to see people about issues that I am having with my college or go to speak with doctors or people in my field and I am spoken to as if I am a child. Granted I do not look 21 (never have looked my age...I would say 18 at most), but it irks me to no end that just because I am younger to them means I am ignorant. Sorry for my little rant

Also on a side note dixiedieter.....Go WVU....I saw your football and got excited, I currently go to WVU and bleed blue and gold ;)

09-21-2007, 12:42 PM
50 is NOT old!

09-21-2007, 12:52 PM
Techwife -- I wish you all the best in your new business!!

09-21-2007, 12:59 PM
Techwife -- I wish you all the best in your new business!!

No kidding - How exciting!! I didn't want to "hijack" the thread and change the subject but Techwife that is fantastic!!!

09-21-2007, 01:06 PM
Lori - I wish you continued success with your treatments.
Nightengale -- I think I might be like your partying friend!
Lafayette -- I never never never ever ever ever want to retire! And/but I know I'm not in my right mind either!

And I know people who are 10 years younger than me who are complaining about how old they are. I tilt my head sideways.

09-21-2007, 01:34 PM
I'm 44 and old by my 16 year old DD's standards (but not mine!). My in-laws are in their early to mid 60's and they are not old to my standards. My parents are in their 80's. They are old. I agree with the notion that you aren't old until you've surpassed your life's expectancy.

Techwife~best of luck to you in your new business venture!!!! That must be exciting! It's hard work being an business owner (trust me--I know!), but it has it's rewards!

Suzanne 3FC
09-21-2007, 02:02 PM
I suddenly feel like going outside naked in a rain storm.

Uh oh, that's the kind of thing I've warned my son will be a signal to put me in the old folks home :lol:

09-21-2007, 02:55 PM
Yep, that running through the storm naked goes with my saying "old enough to know better, but young enough not to care", LOL.

09-21-2007, 07:06 PM
I'm 52 and love it - I wouldn't be "younger" for anything - I've "gotten through" all that.

My dad will be 90 in November and my mom will be 89 in April. They still travel at least twice a week 60 miles one way to St. Louis to do their grocery shopping because they like the stores there better! :rofl: They still do yardwork, housework and put me to shame with their energy. They look around 70.'s just what you do with it - They also have eaten right, never smoked nor drank alcohol to the excess and enjoyed friends and family. They still get together with friends they have had for 50 years.

Can you tell I admire them? Sure wish I had their genes! I was adopted.