Shakespeare had seven ages of man. I being a far lesser mortal have but five, all prosaic. From 0 to 20 you’re a kid. From 20 to 40 young; 40 to 60 middle aged; 60 to 80 old. After 80 you’re ancient. Almost everyone want to live to be ancient, but nobody wants to be ancient. But there are some compensatory rewards to extreme superannuation if you know how to avail yourself of them. Here’s a brief guide.
The following applies only to those fortunate enough to enter ancienthood relatively intact. Thus, if you are a fortunate oldster you can hear, see, drive a car at night without hitting anything, walk unaided, and still remember what your car keys are for. If you are a member of this select cohort you are empowered beyond the border of condign behavior.
You can forever stop worrying about your health. What’s the point? Do you want to live to be 80? You’ve already done that. No need to adopt a healthy diet. Whatever diet you’ve been consuming for the past four score or more years has worked – so eat all the fat and red meat you want. You’ve likely outlived several sets of doctors who’ve been trying to take all the fun out of your life.
Exercise? Forget about it. What’s your goal? To live to be 80? Mission accomplished. You can also repeat yourself as often as you like. Turn on the TV, break out the popcorn loaded with melted butter, put your feet up, and binge watch the newest Netflix series. The only exercise you’ll need is racing an old lady for the motorized shopping cart at Walmart.
As for appointments, parties, social events of any kind – go early leave late, or the reverse. Better still, don’t show up at all. Go to parties you’re not invited to. Blame all this aberrant behavior on your failing memory. Of course, you know your memory is OK, but no one else will believe it so take advantage of putative forgetfulness.
Be the first in line at a buffet. Feel free to take the last piece of chocolate layer cake. Go back for thirds, even if some people haven’t yet had their first go at the food.
Don’t give a fig about politics, but be sure to ostentatiously proclaim whatever position is out of favor with the majority that’s present at any gathering. Be sure that your views are offered at the same volume as that of an Airbus taking off. As with memory those around you will think you’re going deaf even though you can still hear a mouse eating cheese. You also have license to ignore anyone you choose. You can also ask them to speak louder until they’re at Boeing level. Then ask them why they’re shouting.
As for global warming, it’s no concern of yours. All you care about is a bed warmer. Let someone else worry about the planet’s temperature as long as yours is 98.6. Be sure to get a disabled parking card and then take up two spaces when you park. One cannot have too much room exiting and entering a vehicle. At the airport always step up when early boarding is announced for those who need extra time or who are in some way disabled . In the unlikely event of someone asking what your problem is, tell them to mind their own business as your medical history is private and privileged.
When some well meaning youngster of 60 or so calls you ‘Honey’ or ‘Sweetie’ tell them to put a sock in it and then call him or her ‘Sonny’. When you leave your dentist or doctor’s office take a pile of their magazines home with you. They’re almost certainly way out of date but you can use them in the cat’s litter box.
Money. If you have any spend it. The long run was more than a decade ago. Where you’re going it won’t do you any good. Let your progeny or heirs earn their own. Buy lots of expensive clothes if that’s your thing. On the other hand feel free to wear pajamas to a formal affair – if there still are any. It’s pretty hard to dress down for anything these days. At performances or lectures always sit in the front row and fall asleep when the show starts waking only for the interval or the conclusion of the event. Loud snoring is a nice touch.
Most important. If you take anything away from this piece, this is it. Stay away from doctors! Virtually anything they’ll do to you at this stage of life will make it shorter and/or more painful. The only exception to this admonition is if something hurts or causes more than minimal discomfort.
I could go on, but you get the idea. An Ancient can live like a teenager without any of the penalties associated with that parlous stage of life. You have arrived at the point where it really is a wonderful life.