A Test for Seniors

A few years ago my husband and I were discussing aging and we posed the question, “When do you become old?” The Canadian government declared us old when we turned 65 but we both agreed that while we were older, we weren’t old. At that time we agreed that when we reached 70, we would probably be old. My friend, who was rapidly approaching 70 was a bit (or a lot) annoyed by this and I had to agree, she didn’t seem old.

  • Last week I was looking after two of my grandchildren and when 9 year-old Owen and I came to a street we had to cross, he said, “Grandma, it will be easy to cross this street because cars stop for the elderly.” Well, goody!

Really, everyone ages at a different rate, so I came up with a few signs that you can watch out for to let you know that you are old, possibly approaching elderly, and well on your way to ancient.

  • When you are in the check-out line at the grocery store or at Walmart, do you set your items down, wait patiently and then act surprised when the clerk tells you the amount? Did you not think she was going to ask you for money? Do you fumble in your purse or pocket for your change purse and then slowly, very slowly count out every cent? While this is happening do you compliment the clerk on her hairstyle and ask her where she gets it done?
  • When you go out for dinner, do you bring 2 for 1 coupons with you? Do you at least wait for the lunch crowd to clear out before entering the restaurant? If you see friends at a nearby table, do you talk to them LOUDLY across the restaurant about your recent surgery, the more embarrassing the better?
  • Do you wait for “free bus day for seniors” to ride the bus? Do you always ask for the senior’s discount at Tim Horton’s? Do you order decaf tea or coffee because God forbid you have caffeine; you wouldn’t be able to have your usual two or three naps in the afternoon?
  • If there is ANY ambient noise – a fan, a passing car, the wind – do you have to ask everyone to repeat themselves?
  • Do you need several pairs of glasses when you go visiting? Sunglasses, reading glasses, distance glasses. You never know when you”ll  be asked to look at photos of grandchildren.
  • When you are a passenger in your daughter’s car, has she already got out, unstrapped the children, and brought a load of groceries into the house by the time you have your seatbelt undone?
  • When you buy an item and the clerk tells you it has a 25 year guarantee, do you laugh hysterically?
  • Do you complain about the air conditioning and/or the heating wherever you are because it is just too cold or too hot?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are definitely old.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your day. – Maureen

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7 responses

  1. I refer to myself at 70 as “seasoned” rather than “old/elderly.” For me, “seasoned” means wisdom, knowledge , skills, strength, etc., — experiences gained over ten+ decades. Whereas, “old/elderly” is viewed by so many as feeble, weak, forgetful, unaware, befuddled, oblivious, etc.

    Your post resonated with me.

    • I loved your post on your trip to Martha’s Vineyard. I’m going to “follow” you. I think we share some of the same values.

      I agree with your comments. I think ageism will be something to watch, in both our countries. Many people think “old” people have nothing to offer. They are often thought of as burdens. This is a pity.

  2. I love how old people (not me of course) take a nice long time putting away their change, zipping the coin purse, shutting the purse, and then move down the line 10 inches so the person behind them (always me) can put down her items.

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