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Saturday, August 24, 2013

let's talk about old people!

Oh, age. One of my favorite topics to rant about discuss.  I saw a birthday card yesterday (did not buy, because all the birthday cards I buy have either wiseass jokes or cute animals [or both] on them) that posited the question "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"  Oooo, deep.  See why I didn't purchase it?  Where's the sarcasm value in that?  N E Way, the answer in my case would be, like, 33.  I sorta kinda refuse to believe that I am any older than my mid-30s, all evidence to the contrary.  It's a mild shock every time I look in the mirror and see a tired old lady looking back at me or put my old-lady hands on a younger person's skin and observe the difference.

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.



  1. I think of myself as 16 and slim. I'm actually 50 and obese. I don't generally wear makeup or moisturizer or bother with any of that stuff. Mirrors are for making sure everything is tucked in properly, so imagine my surprise when I tried to use my 25 year old makeup skills with new makeup I bought for a special occasion. My eye lids were creeping all over the place. In order to cover up all the sun damage I guess I put things on a little thick and I came out looking like I was crazy. I lost a little of my strut that day. It's OK I'm right back to delusional now!!

  2. This whole post was one big "me too!!!"

    I feel like I'm about 30, and the mirror is a big freakin' unpleasant surprise every time I look at it. And one thing I LOVE about our ptown condo is that even though every room is tiny, they are stacked up on 3 floors so I'm going to be climbing stairs for decades to come. Especially since my memory is already crap and I have to go up and down 3 or 4 times just to complete one task because I keep forgetting what it is I came up for. I figure once I'm completely senile, I'm going to be in amazing shape!

    I remember thinking people in their 60's were old; now that I'm 53 I'm thinking "old" probably starts at what, 97?

  3. OMG, so totally YES to all that! I am pretty ballsy to feel that way, given that the gym is not my second home. I do, however, work outside quite a bit and am not particularly sedentary (my attention span is too short for that). I am also planning to start some strength training in Nov. Hopefully that should augment my natural restlessness. A couple of new bloggers (new for me) have really motivated me :) Thank you, couple of new bloggers, you may save me from myself!