Some Advantages of Being 60 in 2010
I turned 60 this year. It was extremely vexing, because I still believe my mother is 60. In fact, I went away to Mexico at birthday time because I also believed that, if you were out of the country, it wouldn’t count. (I planned to do that every year for the next ten years.) But my friends and family still celebrated it and the Canada Pension Plan still gave me money. So I turned 60 in 2010.
Lately, I’ve discovered there are actually advantages to being 60. Here are some of them.
1. You can talk to cute young guys and they talk back. Case in point: on my way to visit my mother (who is apparently older than 60), I stopped to pee at a gas station (we’re hear to talk about the advantages, not the disadvantages, so enough said). A cute young guy was rooting around in the garbage can, so I asked him what he was searching for. He looked up, grinned, and told me he threw his cigarettes out with his Happy Meal discards. I laughed and told him I hoped he’d find them (without even repeating the Surgeon General’s warning). Later, I was exiting at the same time as Cute Young Guy. He held the door open for me, smiled and held up his ciggies. We laughed together! I was able to watch his nice butt as he walked away. Cute young guys don’t find 60-year-olds a threat. You remind them a bit of their mothers, but without the criticism. The Perfect Mom, in other words. Little do they know! Such innocence or ignorance, I’m not sure which. In reality, you are gazing at their butts from behind your sunglasses. And as long as you don’t moan out loud or drool, you get away with it.
2. You can pretend to younger people that you used to be a flower child or hippy and hint at a wild past. You can make stuff up if you didn’t happen to be wild, and everyone will believe it. You can say you went to Woodstock (okay, maybe it was the movie, but don’t tell them that). You can show knowledge of reefers and hookahs and weed and pot and toking and no one will even try to arrest you. You can pretend you knew about free love. You can say things like, “If you remember the 60’s, you weren’t really there” and people will think you’re cool because, after all, you were there.
3. You can talk about peace and love and conservation. You can say, in the 1960’s and 70’s, we tried our best, but look at us, we didn’t get anywhere. We’re fat and comfortable and wasteful. Then you can shrug your shoulders and give up all responsibility. You just hand it off to your children and grandchildren with a huge sigh.
4. Since the baby boomers are the largest group in the population, we have changed everything around. 60 is the new 50, 50 the new 40, etc. We can rearrange anything to make ourselves feel better. Old broads like Susan Sarandon and Cher are still sexy. (In the past, hitting 30 was a death knell for actresses.) So I really turned 50. (But I’m not giving the CPP back.)
5. You’re not quite at the age where swearing, drinking too much tequila, dancing on the patio, and doing flips in the pool are seen as outlandish. You are charming, funny, dynamic, and energetic.