Mired in self-deception as I am, I am also brought up short when same-age friends actually think of themselves as old. A very good friend recently had to buy a new washer and dryer. The decision was fraught with drama for her because a.) money is tight and b.) she's not good with big purchases anyway. So she was asking me all kinds of questions about whether I was happy with the washer and dryer I bought back in, oh, 2006. She was particularly interested in whether I liked my front loading washer. She was a little leery of them...because, maybe, it would be hard to bend over to load and unload as she got older. Wut? Luckily, she's a very good friend so I didn't have to pull any punches. Dude, WTF? I asked. You're buying this washer/dryer in 2013, so that sucker is not gonna last 30 years, and if you're worrying about being able to bend over to unload it ten years from now when you're 61, maybe your efforts would be better expended making sure you stay in shape enough to bend over to unload a washing machine rather than buying appliances that will be easier to use when you're decrepit. I felt the same way I feel when I see people in their 50s or 60s in online home improvement forums (shut up, it's a vice) who refuse to buy houses or condos with two floors because they don't want to have to go up and down stairs as they get older. Fuck that. If I move out of this house, which has three floors including the unfinished basement, I swear I will buy a condo that has more than one story, just so I make sure I'm going up and down flights of stairs every single day of my life till I'm 95 or dead. Use it or lose it! What do people not understand about that?
You'll be happy to know my friend saw my POV. She admitted that maybe she was overly influenced by all her elderly neighbors in her condo complex and that she probably ought to talk to younger people more often, hahaha.
^^^ That's the face I see when I look in the mirror these days, but damn, I can unload my washing machine and run up the freaking stairs.
Meanwhile in another online forum, someone made a tangential remark that BMI was actually well-correlated with health in younger women but not older women. Tell me more! I said. But the commenter did not come back. Another poster took it upon herself to look it up for us, and apparently, in women over 60, BMIs over 25 are actually recommended. Further research seemed to indicate that fatter old women are less likely to break a hip. BRB, I said, on ten year bulk... But it led to an interesting discussion. Okay, maybe you're less likely to break a hip if you're overweight, but what about the health consequences of abdominal fat, which post-menopausal women are more likely to have? And can it possibly be good to suddenly put on a bunch of weight in your late 50s/early 60s just to get over that BMI 25 mark, if you've been sitting at 20 or 22 before that? And how does having more muscle mass and a superior body composition to the average over-60 sedentary person effect any of this? That last question seems crucial to me. What is the population of the women in these studies? I'm betting they draw more from the pool who are afraid to bend over to get their pants out of the laundry than the minority who are still running up the stairs.
In summary, blah blah blah. Wear your sunscreen and use eye cream every day, kids, or you'll look like me and lolcat. And remember to keep the door of your front loader open so it doesn't get stinky in there.