Show me respect, but not because I’m old, I’m not, definitely not. Much.
Do they not teach politeness and good behaviour in schools anymore? Anyway, whilst I lament the falling standards of etiquette and good manners amongst the new generation, particular respect for those that are older, in everyday interactions; on the other hand I stand resolutely indignant and affronted anytime such due regard is shown to me, apparently for my advancing years.
I suppose I do have a grey beard (only because hair dyes give me skin irritation, not because I’m actually aged!) but does that mean it’s okay to address me as ‘uncle’? Or is there more to my appearance and demeanour that says ‘senior citizen’ than I realise?
Okay, I’m not exactly high on fashion, not particularly athletic, usually harbour a kind of exhausted stance (well I’m unfit, not old!) and don’t necessarily engage in typically ‘yoofy’ things like, I dunno, sports, or clubbing, or going out much (but that’s because I’m Billy-no-mates, not decrepit!). Anyway I have too much work to do (because I’m intense, not senile and slow).
Welcome to the 21st century, where people are staying healthier for longer, dying later and living fuller lives. Well some people that is, not the ones typically found in Mall food courts (which is where I’m mostly to be sighted… Oo er… Hey, the only thing I get from McDonalds these days is tea!).
So defining old age, and even middle age for that matter, has become much more ambiguous, particularly when you look at some celebs who appear to have casually carried their 30s well into their 50s.
I maintain that age is not something you burden your body with, but something you manifest in your mind – as they say: you’re as old or as young as you feel. I remain excitable and full of fascination and wonderment at this amazing world and life as ever – so I feel young. I believe I’m continuing to grown, and learn and develop as a human being and as an intellectual – and so I feel young.
Admittedly I am a slave to force-of-habits and reluctant to change in some areas of my life, but overall I want to move with the world, I want to be a 21st Century Citizen, even if it’s not quite as sci-fi as we all thought it would be in the 20th Century.
But even as I say all this, I realise I’m listening to Billboard Top 100 hits of the 70s on YouTube in the background (well they don’t make music like they used to, that’s for sure!). Not only am I thoroughly enjoying it and finding that I can actually sing along to most of the songs, I also realise, somewhat to my horror, that I even recall having seen some of these videos the first time around!
Okay, fine. Hold the door open for me and do give up your seat. Perhaps I do need a sit down.