February 26th at Terminal Five. Oh yes, we will be there.
That is all.
I read a newspaper article a few days ago that referred to a 62 year old man as “elderly.” As in “The elderly man was home alone when the theft occurred.”
What do you think when you read that line? Do you think of a frail old man, probably with a cane and a limp, sitting in a rocking chair just waiting for his aide to come over and make him breakfast? Something like that?
62 is not elderly. Most people are still working at 62. Most people are still very active at 62. There are 62 year olds who still play in rock bands, who go to the gym every day, who are CEOs. 62 is not elderly.
What is elderly? Does it even exist anymore? I know 80somethings who are still taking vacations. I met an 86 year old woman Friday who needed an adjournment for her court date because she couldn’t get off work. Work. 86 years old and still working.
I know, elderly is just a word. But it’s a word with connotations. You think elderly, and you automatically think old, frail, inactive, in the sunset of one’s life.
The older I get, the more the idea of being elderly becomes a foreign concept to me. The older my parents get, the more distant the idea of elderly becomes. Maybe once upon a time, 40 was old. Now even 70 isn’t old and 80 isn’t elderly. It’s all about the perspective. I resent a newspaper calling a 62 year old man elderly. I resent it because I’m fast approaching my 60s. I resent it because when I read the story further, it turned out that 62 year old man was the president of his own company who just got back from a trip to California to see his grandkids and was getting ready to go to work when someone stole his car. Does that sound like elderly to you?
Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my reading of the word, my preconceived notion about what elderly implies. I think we should do away with the word. People are living longer, their quality of life at advanced ages better and better. I mean, jesus christ, Mick Jagger is 71. Do you think any media outlet is going to refer to him as elderly?
50 is the new 30 and 70 is the new 50 and 62 is not elderly. I’m only ten years away from 62 and if you think ten years from now I’m going to be spending my days sitting in a rocking chair waving my cane around in the air while I tell youngsters to get off my lawn, you’re crazy. I’ll still be working. Still rocking out. Still probably telling dick jokes on twitter. I’ll be a lot of things at 62. Yea, I’ll be older. But I won’t be elderly.