Saturday, January 29, 2011

right of passAGE (literally)

During our youth we reach certain milestones as we grow older. At age 16 we get a driver's license, at age 18 we become adults and have the right to vote, at age 21 we reach the legal drinking/gambling age, etc. Those are all exciting birthdays but as we get older they start to lose their appeal. First comes 25, then 30, then 40 bringing nothing with them except clever phrases like, 'the dirty 30' or 'over the hill.' That is until you qualify for the senior citizen's discount at the local Denny's, get your AARP card or can retire and start collecting Social Security (assuming it's even still around when WE get there).

Well, today as I talked with someone who has made it past each of those earlier milestones and is currently working on some of the others, we spoke of the other 'privileges' that come with old age...or rather the behaviors that become more acceptable/excusable the older we get. There are three major ones that we discussed:

1) You no longer have to be politically correct. You can say whatever you want. People can chose to be offended, or they can just chalk it up to your old age and grumpy disposition...or the fact that you 'grew up in a different generation.'

2) You can drive erratically (for example: you can drive 20mph under the speed limit in the fast lane, you can back up without looking over your shoulder, and you can leave your blinker on indefinitely, or not turn it on at all.)

3) Perhaps the most important (and the reason the person wishes to remain anonymous) is the fact that you can 'fart anywhere you want.' By way of example this individual explained that at the beginning of a relationship we are all careful not to break wind in front of the other person; as the relationship progresses we become more comfortable and, in certain instances, passing gas is at least tolerable; but, it is not until we reach our golden years that it is okay to cut the cheese freely in private and in public.

My response to those three suggestions was: 'haven't you already been doing all of those things anyway'...and quick came the reply, 'yeah, but it's getting worse.'

I have to admit that suddenly getting older doesn't seem so bad.

If you have any others you would like to add to list, feel free.

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