Just Exactly How Old is Old?

12 Jun

Old ladies aren’t supposed to run around and jump up and down and play games all the time. Old people are supposed to sit around talking about the weather…” *

One of my brothers likes to remind me about a time when I was 16 and I referred to his then 30-year-old boss as ancient. Now contrast my naive teenage words of wisdom with those of my seven-year-old:

The other night I was reading a book to my son in which a group of second graders were concerned their gym teacher would soon die if she didn’t start curtailing her many athletic activities. As I read the words “Miss Small is a quarter of a century old. That’s like ancient,” my son could be heard shouting “No it isn’t you dumb heads. She’s 25! That’s not old! Old is like 90!”

Obviously my son at seven has a better sense of  what it means to be old than I did at 16. I bet we all have a different opinion about what age we consider to be old.  So just exactly how old do you think is old? And do you really think age matters?

*Gutman, Dan. Miss Small is Off the Wall, Harper Collins, 2009.

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2 Responses to “Just Exactly How Old is Old?”

  1. Robert April 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    One of my nearest and dearest friends turns 83 next month.
    When she’s not part of a hiking group she swims lengths, paints, and sings in a choir.
    She’s also in great shape. We know that because Shirley is also a nudist.
    Within our circle of friends, all between 58 and 61, we all wish we could be half as active as Shirley is when we hit that age.
    Old in age, not old in spirit and action.
    Definitely not ancient.

  2. Laura April 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Personally, I think ‘old’ is when you stop enjoying life. It’s when you sit back and let whatever bitterness and regret you’ve accumulated over the years consume you, inevitably changing the core of your being and taking the ‘light’ from your eyes.

    I was about to write ‘old’ is when your activity level dramatically decreases, but I know some people who aren’t nearly as active as they once were, yet they are positive, level-headed people with a sense of humour.

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