"You're 75 years young today!"
No I'm not. I'm 75 and my body knows every inch of it. And I love the word "old". Yes, I do. I french kiss it to the ground most days. Because I've made it to "old". I claim and embrace my status. Old. That's me. Old.
"You're only as young as you feel!"
Well, my body feels punk some days, my "feelings" have nothing to do with it. I consider it a major achievement to climb out of my bed after a night of severe leg cramps and an unremitting bladder. I truly "feel" that applause would be mighty encouraging to help me to continue with my slow day.
"She died after losing her battle with cancer."
That's the heartbreaking one. The obits love the word battle. As if she just wasn't strong/courageous/armed enough to battle properly like a good wee soldier. And win. We all lose. Death claims us all eventually. Why not succumb when things get too rough? Die with dignity at a party of your own making, saying farewell, posting one last blog entry like some blogmates have done? This battling thing (while severely ill) has got to go. A terrible image.
"Old age ain't no place for sissies."
Well, it is. Old age is for everybody if we are lucky enough to live that long. Sissy or not. Wimp or not. Old age is not a monolith. Some are sissies at sixty. Some are brave wee mountain climbers at 90. I can't emulate you, you can't emulate me. Our journeys and personalities are completely different. I can climb on stage and bring the house down while you would
There is no handbook. We do the best we can. I embrace it, others Botox their way through, giggling they don't look/feel/behave their age. Whatever rings your chimes, whatever floats your boat.
I can be a sissy now and again. Like most of us. Throw a midnight blocked toilet at me and watch me mewl like a baby. A flat tire? Where's my minder? An unusual lump? Ring the undertaker. Stat.
We are complex in our old age. And that's the fun of it. Fears, laughter, groaning sessions with our contemporaries, bright smiles in place for the young 'uns, saying yes to new opportunities, that's the one piece of advice I'd pass on.
Say yes. If you can. And you're not having a sissy day.
And please don't trope yourself.