|Nice try, Grandpa.|
It's the age where you notice the ratio of cranberry juice to vodka changing rapidly; until one day you're drinking plain cranberry juice, on purpose, because you read it's supposed to be good for the urethra...
It's the age where you start to notice you and your friends aren't a whole lot of fun anymore, mainly because now you all talk like those overly serious panicky above 40's in those insurance commercials:
#1 "Did you hear about Tom?"
#2 "Yeah. Such a shame, and he was only 73! I wonder what June's gonna do now?"
#1 "Says she's gonna have to move to Yakima, live in her daughter's crawl space."
#2 "Such a shame. Yakima's so damp!"
#1 "I know, so damp! If only she'd had better financial planning."
#2 "You don't think that could happen to us, do you?"
#1 "Of course not, silly; we don't know anyone in Yakima!"
The music gets quieter, the drugs come with printed directions and schedules instead of some guy just saying "hey man, get yourself to a safe place in about half an hour, you know?!" and, slowly but surely, long idiot discussions over some rare vinyl find are replaced with long idiot discussions over the latest episode of "Downton Abbey".
And everyone is home and in bed, falling asleep to the 10PM news...
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm completely unconcerned with mortality and some of the other big issues that arrive and seem to chase off the fun forever. I am concerned with them; but, I'd like to think I have a little perspective.
I'm not saying I have the definitive answers on ANY of this stuff. To be honest, most of my so-called perspective brings more questions than great revelations:
Can I fight, to any successful degree, the physical/mental aspects of aging?
Will a radically modified diet/health care regimen significantly improve my quality of life and add a reasonable number of healthy years to my life?
Will my senior years be actually fun; or that weird square-dancin' and falling asleep while driving kind of old people fun?
If I completely change my ways, am I still gonna die?
Yes. So, fuck it.
Now, obviously the majority of people do not see things my way on this, and that's fine. And, no, I do NOT have a specific death wish of any kind-- it's just, what are you really going to do?
What can you really do?
Well, if the world of advertising is to be believed, plenty!
Pills to make your dick hard. Pills to make your stool soft. There's pills to stop a leaky bladder; and pre-lubed catheters for when your bladder ain't leaky enough! You want gluten-free, or extra gluten with that? If the blue pills ain't poppin' it enough, how about some 1.62% testosterone solution, now in a convenient roll on!
Botox. Chemical peels. Scrotum lifts. Vaginal rejuvenation. Liposuction. Macrobiotics. Crossfit. Yoga. (that damned infernal yoga) Raw food. Veganism. Pilates. Hair plugs. South Beach Diet. Penis pumps. Fish oil, and on and on and on...
But what does it all get you? A slightly less pelican-like neck, a participation button for a senior's half marathon and maybe 5 more years to watch your friends die off while you go from one regimen to the next, looking to keep your scrotally lifted balls in the air for as long as possible.
For what? More and more doctor visits, even as the list of things you allow yourself becomes ever more restrictive? Sure, most likely you'll be technically "healthier"; but will you be any happier? And what memories will you have for your deathbed? "Oh boy, remember the time I juiced that kiwi, rind and all?! Man, heh heh, those were wild times..."
Okay, maybe there's a happy medium here; a logical point between my burn down the mall approach and that of the health 'enthusiasts' on the other side. Perhaps I should tone down the not sleeping/occasional epic drinking binges/cheese on everything/smoking approach a bit; but, I also believe that those on the opposite side could adjust themselves a bit, as well.
Cut loose every now and again! Have some fun, for chrissakes! Have a cigar, or see if hangovers are still as fun as you remember them being! (they are) Stay up all night talking about something other than burial plots or your sister in law's gout.
Lighten the fuck up; and remember: If all you do is try to defy time, all you're doing is wasting it.
No matter what measures you take, one way or another, we're each headed for our personal Yakima.
How do you wanna get there? A parade or a procession?