- You don't care what people think of your opinions
- You can get away with eccentricities the young can't
- You can sleep in most days
- People will happily drive you around
- People don't expect so much of you
- You've no qualms about complaining vigorously
- You can get away with being lazy, self-indulgent or offensive
- You lose your sense of shame
- You no longer strive for self-improvement
- You no longer worry about the state of the world
- Your appearance doesn't matter any more
I don't see myself the same way, though. I don't feel indifferent to other people's opinions. I don't feel I can do whatever I like because of my age. I don't feel it's okay to complain about everything. I don't feel like parading my eccentricities. I don't think people should expect less of me. And I don't see why I should give up trying to improve myself.
I don't see myself as some useless old dodderer who expects everyone else to bend over backwards to accommodate me. I have more self-respect than that. People should demand the same of me as they demand of younger people, and I should meet those expectations as far as I can. I find it acutely embarrassing when other oldies are berating some hapless shop assistant or insisting on some special treatment others wouldn't get.
It would be different if I was frail and infirm and incapable of looking after myself properly. But as I'm still fit and healthy that doesn't apply. So I don't see any reason to dump my social obligations and act like a helpless child.
I may be old but I'm not a basket case.
Pic: not Lynne Reid Banks!