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Aging in Sneakers

This blog is about outrage against stereotypes of age, sex and marital status. I also rant about the medical profession and talk about comedy. When you put these together, being old, single and female completes the perfect trifecta, making you a target for society in general and the medical profession in particular

This is a blog for raving, for gym memberships instead of rocking chairs, for coworking spaces instead of senior centers, and replacing calm acceptance with a few well-chosen four-letter words. I want to be blown out like a candle, while I’m still burning.

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Why do we make fun of getting old?

Cartoon circling around Facebook, suggesting that people get all saggy and baggy as they age.

First of all, a lot of the time you can prevent sags and bags with exercise, if you start early enough.

And second, there’s not much you can do about sagging and bagging, in some cases. It goes with the territory. Even if you’re totally fit your skin won’t hang the same way as you age.

We don’t make fun of disabled people. Why is this funny?

What everyone should get somewhere north of age 70 

(1) Your own personal cyanide pill. At this point, modern medicine can only do so much for you. If you want to check out, you should be able to do so, on your own terms, without explaining to anyone.

If you’re worried about upsetting your family, you should get access to a hitman from your local Mafia enclave. They’ll make it quick, clean and painless. Your family will be told, “An unfortunate accident and she had no pain at the end.”

(2) The right to use 4-letter words, including the F-word, any time, especially when you’re talking to a doctor, an insurance company, or some broker who cold-called you to transfer your IRA to his company. You’d be surprised how much gets done after you call somebody a mother-fucking idiot.

(3) The ability to make a citizen’s arrest of anyone who calls you “honey” or “dear,” especially in a professional setting. If they grew up in South Philly, they can plead mitigating circumstances.

(4) The right to knock somebody on their ass if they grab your arm without permission, thinking they’re being kind and helpful, when in fact they’re being patronizing and controlling.

Alternatively, you can hand them your big heavy backpack and say, “Oh, that’s so nice, dear – how about carrying this for me?” all the way to the door of your gym.

(5) The right to opt-out forever from all age-related mailing lists, especially those invitations from AARP and those newsletters from health care agencies, hearing aid companies and hospitals.

Recently the WSJ published a silly article suggesting that older people are “nicer,” based on scores from a standard personality test. Aside from the fact that I hate personality tests, I was horrified and offended. The WSJ seems to be perpetuating the stereotype of older people as easier to push around.

One person responded with gusto. Read the letter here. He’s not nice at all, he says. Telemarketers don’t call back. His internist sends an assistant to examine him. He’s not warm and fuzzy at all.

My role model in fact!