It seems like all you ever hear about is how awful it is to get old. Back pain, high blood pressure, grey hair, rest homes, the inability to see or hear anything, heart attacks, and death (yawn) and just a few of the "negatives" which make aging seem less than desirable.
But here's what the pessimists don't tell you: There are also many positive aspects to aging, many of which are cool enough to outweigh the shitty stuff. Then again, I may be somewhat biased when it comes to the elderly, as at the age of 27, I already posses many "old people" traits.
My hair is already going grey, I complain constantly, take far too many pills, spend almost my entire day napping, find loud music obnoxious, and in public places I go out of my way to avoid groups of teenagers because who knows they might be Kubrickian hooligans who'd jump me "just for kicks". So maybe I'm an old person in spirit already. Who knows.
Either way, I think you'll find that I still have some valid reasons why it'll be great to get old. Take a look.
7. YOU DON'T HAVE TO HELP PEOPLE MOVE ANYMORE
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's helping people move. Other than my many glaring character flaws, I'd probably say that not wanting to help people move is my number one reason for not having a lot of friends. I cannot fathom what life would be like for someone with hundreds of close friends. A full 75% of these people's lives must consist of attempting to weasel out of and/or begrudgingly agreeing to help their friends move.
When meeting someone for the first time, I often ask myself: Is this person useful/amusing enough to me that I would be willing to mildly inconvenience myself multiple times in the near future by helping them move? More often than not, the answer is no, and I do not become their friend. I think what I'm trying to say here is: Live a lonely, friendless life so you don't have to feel obligated to help people move heavy furniture.
But There Is Hope...In Oldness
Little recognized fact: Old people are not bound by these rules. Nobody expects some old woman to carry a couch up three flights of apartment stairs. It'd never even be considered as an option. So the elderly get the best of both worlds: They get a free pass on moving day while still maintaining their closest friendships.
And not only that, but when you're old, you can also guilt trip people into helping you move (i.e. doing all the work while you sit in an easy chair because you are old) more easily. If you're lucky, you might not even have to get out of bed.
Talk about fantastic. Being old rules!
6. YOU CAN FEEL SUPERIOR TO THOSE WHO DIED BEFORE THEIR TIME
Whenever I look through he obituaries, I always check the ages of the dead to see how many people died younger than I currently am. I consider these to be the people I've "beaten" at life. So where others might see dead young people and think "It is always a tragedy when a life is snuffed out before its time", I skim through pointing to various notices and saying: "Beat that guy, beat that guy, beat that guy," and so on. It might be heartless, but it really makes you feel like a survivor, you know?
And as you get older, you'll no doubt find that the number of opponents you've vanquished (i.e. people who died younger than you) will increase exponentially, which I've found can really boost your self-esteem. While many of you will no doubt find this "Ha-Ha! you died before I did" attitude to be childish, heartless, or even offensive, you can't deny that it is a fun and healthy way of dealing with the deaths of people you will never meet.
If you find the obituaries depressing (and really, who doesn't) a better way of dealing with them is probably to not read them at all, ever. It's not like you'd be missing anything important anyway. If I ran the newspapers I'd just replace the entire obituary section with a large-print notice which read:
PEOPLE DIE ALL THE TIME. IF YOU NEEDED TO HEAR ABOUT A DEATH IN AN OBITUARY, THE PERSON WHO DIED WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE, SO WHY WASTE YOUR TIME GRIEVING OVER THEIR PASSING? IGNORANCE IS BLISS.
5. OLD MEN DON'T HAVE TO CHASE AFTER PURSE SNATCHERS
If I was walking down the street with a girl today and some guy snatched her purse and ran, society would probably expect me to chase him simply because I'm a (relatively) young man. Let me tell you right now: Never gonna happen.
Girlfriend: That guy just stole my purse!
Me: Oh shit!
Girlfriend: Come on! Go after him! Get it back!
Me: Who, me?!
Girlfriend: You're the man, you're supposed to chase him and get it back for me!
Me: Hey, that's sexism, friend. Why is the male the one who has to risk his life? Whatever happened to gender equality?
Girlfriend: But a man is supposed to come to a girl's rescue!
Me: What is this the 18th century? Are you a damsel in distress? Listen, it's like 100 degrees out here! If you wanna get all sweaty and risk getting knifed in the throat for some chapstick and a couple Chipotle coupons, you can go right ahead, but I'm staying right here.
Girlfriend: Alright then, I'm breaking up with you due to your insufferable selfishness and pointlessly contrarian attitude when it comes to basic social codes. Also all you ever do is eat children's cereal, and watch Walker Texas Ranger reruns.
Me: Sounds good to me. Frankly I'm surprised it took you this long to figure this stuff out (I take out a box of Donut Crunch and begin paging through a funny religious pamphlet I found on a nearby bench and girding myself against the crushing depression which is sure to set in over the next couple of weeks).
Obviously That Was Exaggerated A Bit
But honestly that's usually pretty much how it goes down with me. But as for all that "men should be old-timey hat-tipping, mustache-twirling, ma'am-and-sir using, coat placing over puddle gentlemen" bullshit: You can pound it.
In case you hadn't heard, this is the 21st century. If you wanna walk some one piece bathing suit lifting trapezoidal weights, using the term "man cave" unironically, and taking three and a half hours to shave with a straight razor just because your racist great grandpa did it: Fine, go right ahead. Shit, there's even a Site Build Specifically For Regressive Self-Congratulatory Fauxconoclasts like yourselves. Check it out if you have a chance.
That's why I want to get old. Nobody expects "manliness" from an 86-year-old. "He's just an old man," they'll shrug "why, he's lucky to even be alive after receiving such a scare!" Yes, the standards people set for the elderly are so low that when you're old you even get praised for FAILING TO DIE IN FAIRLY STRESSFUL SITUATIONS.
Sounds like a recipe for contentedness if you ask me.
4. YOU MIGHT AS WELL BECOME ADDICTED TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Some old people tend to complain about how boring their lives are. I've never understood this, as the solution seems pretty obvious to me: Become a prescription drug addict. You're nearly at death's door anyway, so what have you really got to lose?
I'd be easy to take this the wrong way, but all I'm saying is, why not spend your remaining years faking various disorders in order to score some sweet, sweet scripts (Percocet, Valium, Amphetamines, Muscle Relaxants) from an irresponsible doctor? What, you think they're gonna get suspicious of some old person complaining about pain? Not a chance! And since medicare'll probably pay for most of the stuff anyway, I say go wild.
What's The Worst That Could Happen?
Your aging body shuts down due to all the unnecessary stresses you're subjecting it to and you experience a stroke which renders you totally unable to function thus forcing you to spend the remainder of your years in hospice care sucking grey paste through a feeding tube as a human vegetable while all your family can do is clasp your limp hand and await your death?
OK that actually sounds pretty bad. Tell you what: Why don't you just go ahead and toss this one in the "maybe" pile for now.
3. YOU CAN SAY A BUNCH OF RACIST THINGS AND GET AWAY WITH IT
I'm not a big fan of racism in general, but I do get a lot of enjoyment out of using racial epithets. I don't direct them at other humans or anything, I mostly just like to pepper them into casual conversations with friends or use them as exclamatories when I get injured or upset. For me, it's far more cathartic than regular swearing, and it's also a hell of a lot of fun.
So for example, if I bang my knee on a desk or something, instead of saying "Goddammit!" or "Shit!" I scream something like "Fucking wop!" or "Shit Fuck Kike Spic!" Obviously this behavior is both highly offensive and inappropriate, so I have to be very careful who's around when I do it, as I wouldn't want to offend anyone. In other words: I just gotta be careful not to do this at work so I don't get fired.
But Here's My Point
I've always been jealous of old bigots. They're always able to get away with so many more racial slurs than someone like me is. I mean sure, people still get offended when some old guy starts rambling on about "the gooks" or "the blacks" something, but they are far less likely to call him on it than they would be if I had said the same thing. And trust me, I've got plenty of old bigots in my family, so I've got firsthand experience with this kind of thing.
I guess all I'm saying is that it'll be nice when I'm old and people are too afraid to give me a lecture when I drop something on my foot and scream something about micks.
That's a perfectly rational desire, right?
2. LOWERED SEX DRIVE
While most men (likely 99.99%) are likely horrified at the idea that their sex drive will significantly decrease (or in a worst case scenario, vanish entirely) with age. But the more I think about this issue, the more sure I become that I probably wouldn't mind.
I tend to think of the desire for sex as being quite similar to the need for urination, or sleep: It's inconvenient, distracting, and until you get relief from it, it's nearly impossible to concentrate on anything. It's enough to drive a person insane.
For "normal" functions, there are almost always immediate "fixes" available to sufferers. Gotta pee? Go the bathroom. Feeling tired? Get some rest, drink a cup of coffee, or pop some amphetamines. But out in public, sexual urges are all but impossible to get rid of (for those of us who aren't willing to masturbate in a bathroom stall at Whole Foods, anyway).
A World Without Sex?
Consider, for a moment, just how much more peaceful and productive our society could be if men's could be reprogrammed to relieve him from the seeming uncontrollable impulse to plunge his engorged member haphazardly into any moist orifice he happens to come across throughout the day.
Without this constant desperate need for sex, the heterosexual men of the world, now freed from the time-consuming (and expensive) ordeal known as "chasing tail" would now be able to focus their brainpower on issues far more important than sex, like purchasing razors with progressively higher blade counts and working oneself into a blind rage arguing on the internet about healthcare reform. Oh what a world it would be!
Although, for the sake of fairness, I should also point out the one potential "downside" to a world without a male sex drive: Rapid depopulation followed by the extinction of the entire human race.
But hey, no idea is perfect.
1. THUGS ARE FAR LESS LIKELY TO BEAT YOU UP
When it comes to lowering your risk of being randomly assaulted in public, being old is nearly as good as being wheelchair-bound or homeless. This is because (heartless though they may seem) even roving bands of leather-clad, chain-wielding street toughs (still a serious problem in larger cities) have standards when it comes to who they will and will not assault. Those viewed as meek, harmless, or insignificant are often given a "free pass" by violent criminals out of pity. Yes, you'd be hard-pressed to find even a single story of an elderly, handicapped, or mentally challenged person being harmed in any way.
A Shocking Statistic
Were you aware that women over the age of 50 are 74% less likely to be the victim of a "random act of violence" than women who fall below this cutoff? The exact reasons for this disparity are not currently known, but many experts have theorized that these are numbers I have simply pulled out of my ass in order to back up a baseless and borderline idiotic claim about how old people are less likely to be assaulted because people feel sorry for them because they are old.
I am deeply offended by these allegations, but there is little I can do to fight them, as I am but a lowly blue-collar worker who lacks the required funds to mount an adequate legal defense. But let me just ask you this: Why would I take the time to publish something on the internet if it weren't completely true? It simply doesn't make sense.
Traditionally, an article like this would be ended with a quote about aging gracefully or dying with dignity. Obviously I wouldn't pull any shit like that on here, so instead, here's a quote about the stock market from Economist Benjamin Graham, who succumbed to the disease of aging in 1976:
Most of the time common stocks are subject to irrational and excessive price fluctuations in both directions as the consequence of the ingrained tendency of most people to speculate or gamble... to give way to hope, fear and greed.
Thanks for the words of wisdom Ben.
Goodnight to all!