I Think I Want to Be Old: How to Know if *You* Have Turned Old

A fundamental rule of the universe is that old age happens overnight. One day you are young and can handily stay up past eleven, the next you have nose hair and don’t understand the plot of any Avengers movie and you think a Kardashian is a meal delivery service.

All old people are different, of course, so one can’t generalize about them as a group. But it is a fact that all old people are marked by one universal trait: They no longer care who hears them fart.

Here are six more differences between the non-old and old:

1.  Old people understand that personal comfort is a human right. Non-old people worry about how they’ll be perceived by others, which is why they do not wear elasticized pants to work.

2. Old people do not care about your party. Old people will send a note that says something along the lines of I didn’t realize you were under the impression that I liked you. I do not. I’m staying home to watch MSNBC and eat Chicken in a Bisket crackers with grape jelly.

Non-old people will attend events with people they do not like because they think social harmony is a virtue. In a pinch, they’ll make up a believable excuse: “Oh, gosh. I so wish I could attend your CrossFit themed birthday party, but I’ve agreed to bottle-feed shelter otters that day.”

3. Old people will gladly and loudly point out that nobody actually knows what a blockchain is.  They know that Twitter is an elaborate social hoax propagated by Silicon Valley.

The non-old do not question stupid things, such as raw milk, mustache pomade, and Pete Davidson, even when they suspect they are being punked.

4. The old are guided by constant low-level outrage by all of the ways the world simply makes no sense. Whoever heard of putting fake desserts on a tray at a restaurant? Whoever heard of going camping in the winter? Why isn’t there a salad bar at every restaurant? Who needs that many tattoos? Why are there holes in brand-new jeans? Whoever heard of brunch? Eat breakfast or lunch. Pick one. Why do they keep letting Tom Cruise be in movies?

The non-old will go with the flow, even if it means doing goat yoga at dawn.

5. Old people waste nothing and save everything. If they have leftovers, they will eat them even if there’s a layer of mold growing on top. The old will spend an afternoon test-driving a car to get a free set of barbecue tools. They will watch all the shows on Netflix to get their money’s worth. They will re-carpet the all-season porch with leftover carpet from the bowling alley. It will glow in the dark. And feature dancing bowling pins.

The non-old are happy to throw things away in a quest for minimalism. Old people think Marie Kondo sells frozen pies.

6. The old expect to have at least one aching body part at all times. They don’t know what mindfulness is, but they do doze sitting up while eating an ice cream cone.

The non-old practice self-care to maintain health, wellness, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s empire.

If you have discovered you are old, don’t panic. Being old is not determined by chronological age. It’s a state of mind.

As it turns out, there is great power in recognizing that the world is off its rocker. The old have seized the right to feel sure of themselves, content with their life, and at peace with the fact that they just listened to an entire audiobook on shuffle and were no more confused than if they had listened to the chapters in order.

The old have seen the most glorious and beautiful aspect of aging, something you simply cannot know until you reach the summit for yourself: When you are old, you don’t have to pretend anymore.

The truth is that brunch is stupid. Now you can say it out loud.

74 thoughts on “I Think I Want to Be Old: How to Know if *You* Have Turned Old

  1. Although I’m not quite at the “fart in front of people and don’t care” stage, I’m older – and it’s a great place to be. I’d never have said bring it on when I was younger, but now that I’m here I’m loving how much I just don’t care about shite. I wish I could have been older when I was younger!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I have a long way to go to reach old age. My mother died three years ago at 103 and she reckoned she hadn’t reached old age. The aches and pains I have must be as a result of what I have eaten. They will soon pass and in my own good time I will join you. In the meanwhile we will both keep taking the pills the doctors kid themselves are keeping us alive. Cheers to you old timer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Justgail68

      Those pills. For years I obediently took pill upon pill till the fiasco with the oxy. I am one of the odd ones that do not respond to it. After telling doctors who said keep taking it here’s some stronger- I had enough. Stopped, they said oh no you have to keep taking it. Got down to 1/2 a low dose pill twice a day before I convinced them to let me just stop. Mindfulness, distraction, exercise, low dose non opioid pain killer as needed- not forced on me and for the first time in years I am dealing with the pain. Also discovered I really don’t have diabetes! All the meds I was taking for that! No wonder my tests were almost always fine or showing me on the low side. Result question every thing and stick to what you are feeling until tests, etc can say what’s going on. Keep taking your meds but if you feel something is wrong get a second opinion. Would have saved me years of misery.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for (almost) being fair to both the non-olds and the olds. I think I’m in the middle zone. Reading your blog, I’m no more put at ease knowing that I will be walking down the glowing bowling alley carpet soon. One of the best things happened as I got older, though, is that I no longer hate Tom Cruise. Funny…

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  4. Yes, you got it 😁 and me with my mid life crisis is still waivering in thoughts old and young! But I see them all around me… the spirit staying afloat even if the body doesn’t hold! Great observation and good writing

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  5. It has been my experience that old people farting is not because they don’t care who hears them, but because there’s no muscle tone to stop farts from expressing themselves when they want, where they want 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I certainly recognize “that the world is off its rocker” and can relate to much of this. There is great freedom in finally being old, and I’m learning to enjoy that aspect of it and ignore the yucky stuff that comes along with it. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha – don’t wait to be older to ‘do older’. I didn’t have enough confidence in myself when I was younger to march to my own drum beat. Now that I’m older and ‘doing older’, I’m a lot happier – which is not to say that being young is a bad place to be, either – lol! However, if I could have had even a small portion of the mind-set then which I now have about life, the universe, and everything, I would have liked me more. You don’t have to go the whole hog of ‘doing older’, but you can take a leaf or two from that book anytime. Maybe not the farting thing right now, though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hate to rain on your parade, but I totally disagree with you. When I finally realised I was old, I was in my 78th year, and I felt ripped off . Now I’m 80 and I have to face the fact that I’ll never be better than I am now. It’s a sobering thought.
    Your post is good fun and it has lifted the spirits of many, Farts are involuntary and have no respect for people or places.

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  10. You totally stole my thunder with this. I’ve seen some millennial good- baby boomer bad stuff around and the grumpy old man in me rises up. So sorry,, kids, but you did not invent IPA,, whole wheat bread or political activism (Remember that old Neil Young song Four dead baby boomers in Ohio)?
    Okay, that’s enough of that. Thanks for a great post. Oh, and Tom Cruise gets to be in movies because he owns a movie studio.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t listen to audiobooks because I’m afraid I’ll get distracted and miss something important. My mind is always wandering. That’s why I like the printed word. I go to movies and plays at the theatre because it helps me focus to have only one thing available to do. And I think Tom Cruise should retire. Because I don’t like him….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t do audiobooks for the same reason! I can do podcasts while I’m doing mindless tasks, like dishes. Full confession: I’ve sort of liked the last few movies Tom Cruise was in. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  12. Ms. Seifert,

    I realized a few things after I read your post. Chief among them is the fact that, if I were to use said post as a barometer, I have been ‘old’ since I was 17 years of age. The other thing I realized is that I very rarely come across a post via the “Discover” feature in this app that is completely perfect. You are the bar that we all should strive to clear.

    On an unrelated note, I made the mistake of reading this in the same room as my children. “A mistake?” You ask. Yes dammit. After I was done giggling like a little girl, and wiping the tears out of my eyes after reading about Marie Kondo selling frozen pies, I had to explain to them why that line was funny and I have never felt more alone.

    Your New Follower,

    M

    Liked by 1 person

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