Turning sixty needn’t be traumatic. You should be used to being old by now; you turned fifty, and fifty-five, and you’ve had some practice. Its nothing to worry about.
You are just that much closer to death, or outliving your savings. Doesn’t that make you feel better? Now, take my hand and join me as we venture forth into our sixties.
First though, let me get my glasses, a jacket, a bottle of water, a walker, some supportive shoes, my cell phone in case I fall down and you can’t help me up, and some snacks.
I may also need something to read, more snacks. my reading glasses, a little pocket money, and can my dog come along, too?
Wait, I need to make sure I turned off the oven and the lights…
1)Forget writing a bucket list.
You don’t need it. You should have been doing all the things you wanted to do, by now. If you haven’t, get cracking. If you think there are things you won’t do now because you are too old, or it’s undignified, or you don’t have the money, then suck it up.
Or, come up with a substitute. Take a drive out to LA and cruise the freeways. Come down to Fremont St. in Las Vegas and get on the zip line. Go to California Adventure Park and ride that airplane. Its pretty cool, and you don’t have to worry about crashing.
Shoot, I coast down a short hill on my bike while listening to Sly and The Family Stone, or ‘Sukiyaki’ (the original version), and I get a rush. Don’t tell me only young people are adrenaline junkies.
Bucket lists are unnecessary.
Buckets just remind me of mops and dirty floors, and who needs that? I can’t even see the floor when I’m not wearing my glasses, so as far as I’m concerned, its clean. That goes for the rest of the house, too.
I did a lot of research about turning sixty, at least thirty minutes, so far. I’m even reading deep, thoughtful books about the subject, like Dave Barry’s Turning Fifty.
Ha! Turning fifty is child’s play.
If fifty is the new thirty, then sixty is the new Honda Civic. Oh, wait. This isn’t about cars. Cars get to be vintage, we get to be talked out of collecting Social Security.
There are a ton of articles written about this subject. It must be some kind of a milestone. It would be more to the point if people wrote about turning thirteen, or hitting forty. Those are far more traumatic.
I’ve actually passed sixty and am into my second year on this wild ride of a decade. Sometimes, it’s so crazy, I get dizzy!
That may just be medication kicking in, though. In that case, we can call this The Sixties! And, be legal about it.
What a rush!
2) Preparing beforehand is our best bet to turning sixty gracefully.
Even Wikihow has written about ‘Turning Sixty Gracefully in Fourteen Easy Steps’.
Just fourteen easy steps! I’m already tired, and will need a nap by Step 8.
And, where were they when I was hitting puberty and had a unibrow? I had to sneak looks at Cosmopolitan and hope for insights from Tiger Beat.
Preparing beforehand means that if you haven’t been working on turning sixty since middle school, you are pretty much screwed. You can never catch up, and will just have to hope for a little grace to be thrust upon you.
Some of the steps in Wikihow are quite useful, and are illustrated with pictures of someone who isn’t old enough to get her driver’s license.
Maybe she actually is a middle schooler, and is preparing to turn sixty tomorrow. Hopefully, they won’t take away her driver’s license because she’s getting too old to drive.
One of the pictures that illustrate these fourteen steps shows a container of petroleum jelly being held in someone’s palm. I was quite taken aback; I couldn’t imagine how Vaseline might figure in my twilight years.
My fears were soon set at rest when Wikihow suggested I change my skin care routine, and not use Vaseline, anymore.
Petroleum jelly has never been my moisturizer of choice. Its certainly cheaper than the ones I have been using, but if I can’t use it any longer, I’d like to know how I’m going to soothe that diaper rash from wearing Depends.
Their site also suggests using eyebrow liner and foundation. Since I’ve always done the first, and never the second, these graceful steps will be lost on me. Also, it says you shouldn’t let your hair get frizzy, and you should think about cutting it.
My, my. The Harpo Marx Salon of Beauty is not going to be pleased about this.
3) Don’t go downhill unless it’s on skis.
Other writers who may, or may not, be turning sixty, (Wikihow using that young model has shaken my faith in people under thirty) state quite emphatically that they are not going to go downhill. They will continue to challenge themselves physically and mentally.
At the new year, inspirational posters showed up on my social media wall suggesting that I should leave my comfort zone and make 2015 a banner year for adventures.
This will never do. I work hard to stay in a comfort zone, I don’t care what year it is.
4) Everybody becomes attractive.
One of the advantages I’ve noticed about getting older is that hardly anyone qualifies as unattractive anymore. When I was younger, I could be quite judgmental.
Now, almost everyone is as ‘cute as a button’, even people whose parents were quite obviously from other planets, such as Judge Judy and Rush Limbaugh.
On second thought, those two cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be categorized as being cute as buttons. We have to have some standards.
Speaking of cute buttons, remember all the times you longed to grab someone’s adorable butt? Or, at least cop a feel? No? Was that only me? Well, when you get older, you can grab any available body you want for ‘support’ and no one minds!
You begin to flirt with everyone, including five year olds and attractive trees. (Hey, it was dark out, and I didn’t have my glasses, and anyway, I’m Not Ashamed of Loving Trees.)
5) Sex is better than ever.
Lovemaking becomes very special, because you only do it annually. I said, annually, although God-speed if you want to do the other.
And if the annual outing takes place with only yourself, that counts. After all, who knows what you like better than you? You don’t even have to brush your teeth.
My mother always objected to the sex scenes in movies, and I never understood why. Now, I do. It looks like a lot of work.
You also start wishing that those actors were your sons or grandsons, they’re so cute. They’re just pretty faces, because you can’t hear them. They don’t ‘speak up’.
6) Driving is still a hoot.
When you get older, you start obeying all the rules of the road. At least I do, when I’m not breaking a bunch of them. I cut through parking lots to avoid lights, make the occasional illegal U turn, go over the speed limit… I’d better stop there.
This is another thing that happens when you get older.
You start bragging about doing illegal things, things that are totally untrue. Really.
I just made all that stuff up. I drive just like a dignified old lady from Long Island. Fifty miles an hour in the far left lane with my turn signal on the entire way.
7) You can fool all the little people all the time.
Another little known advantage of age is that all your old jokes and sayings still work on middle schoolers. I taught those grades for three years, and it was a hoot, when it was not hell served up on toast.
They are at that wonderful age, like the one you will be, in approximately twenty years, when you can convince them of all kinds of outrageous things. Its not even a problem if they go home and check with their parents.
Their parents are forty years younger, and your jokes are new to them, too.
Sometimes their parents didn’t get past the eighth grade, so its all good. Not only that, but I could beat most of their kids at arm wrestling.
Elementary school kids are no challenge, and high schoolers work out, but middle schoolers are strong and young enough to be shocked when you beat them out at anything.
8) New trends can take a walk.
Life can be more interesting when you aren’t up to date with all the new trends.
For instance, you might think android refers to a new kind of hemorrhoid, and ask the pharmacist about how it should be treated.
He won’t know what it is either, and a whole slew of new lawsuits will be filed. And you really don’t care if your phone is smart, because almost everything since the VCR has been smarter than you. I never did figure out the VCR, and then it disappeared.
9) Rules of proper decorum are no longer applicable.
Some of the articles I read don’t have actual practical advice, but they do list other advantages to turning sixty. For instance, one says its okay to work in the garden without a bra.
I’ve was running around the neighborhood without a top when I was six, and never worried overmuch about a bra ever since. If you are going to wait for your sixties to do that, you are missing out on hanging out, so to speak.
10) You don’t have to succumb to sexual harassment.
Another advantage, one article tells me, is that you are aware of the excitement that an office romance can bring, but now you are old enough to know better than to engage in one.
I’d like to see the sixty year-old who is still desirable to the twenty and thirty year-olds who populate the majority of offices. And then I want to know who their doctor is.
11) At sixty you can admit you were wrong about not trusting anyone over thirty.
When you turn sixty, of course, you have to say that ‘you can’t trust anyone over 95′.
Ninety-five year-olds cannot be trusted with anything. I was never sure why the thirty-one year-old couldn’t be trusted, and then I turned thirty, and still didn’t know why.
I’ve read numerous articles telling me that my generation is responsible for most of the ills of the world, all because we overindulged ourselves and bought stuff.
Since most of the grandparents I’ve ever met are taking care of their grandchildren full-time, because the parents won’t, or can’t, I’m not sure how my generation is being so selfish.
I’m also reminded of the times I have searched for a job and been interviewed by someone young enough to be my grandchild, and I was not always hired.
Hmmm… Who’s in charge, again?
12) One wise man, writing his sixty reasons to be happy about turning sixty, said that compatibility is highly overrated.
I have never been completely compatible with anyone except dogs. And, dogs, he says, are stupid and selfish. Well, there you go. I can be secure in the knowledge that I am finally compatible with someone.
Someone who is often selfish, occasionally stupid, incontinent, (especially during allergy season when a good sneeze can cause a personal tsunami) who will eat anything, and whose morals and loyalty can be bought and sold when you are in possession of…. CHEESE.
A dog knows what is important in life, and that is…. CHEESE. And what do some people do with CHEESE? They age it, that’s what!
Making new friends is exhausting, anyway. A non-profit for the cantankerous sixty year-old that works like eHarmony, only for finding friends exactly like ourselves, would fill a niche.
Would I even like that person who is so hard to please she needs an organization to find new friends?
13) Turning sixty means you can be seriously cantankerous.
It’s the Cadillac of moods. Its quite fun, sometimes.
Making new friends after sixty is a future filled with arguments over the environment, politics, or whether we really need a multiple vitamin. And what if I like someone better than they like me? This seems impossible, but stranger things have happened.
I regularly pretend to be fun, cool, and hip, but eventually someone will see through the facade and realize I didn’t really watch the news, see Dancing With the Stars, and that I don’t want to volunteer for anything, unless I get paid.
14) Turning sixty means getting to speak your mind more often.
This will not make you many new friends anyway, so you can fulfill number 13 more easily.
I had a great-aunt, who lived to be one hundred. When we were gathered at a family reunion several years back, she told my sister in-law, in front of everyone, that her dress was too short, and she could see her crotch!
Do you think my great-aunt made a new friend?
As for the issue of trust, I’ve always thought that a person who told the truth from their perspective, no matter how unsavory it may be to someone else, would automatically be deemed trustworthy, although not necessarily compatible with anyone.
This is only partly true.
People, old and young, hate facts and truth. So, when they reach the tender age of sixty, don’t tell them.
And for goodness’ sake, do something about those eyebrows.