Dichotomy of Age
There exists a double standard when it comes to aging. Everything is hunky-dory from the time we are born, all through adolescence, school, college, and career. Then, all of a sudden, a duplicity rears its ugly head and we’re seen as “old”. Along with that vision (from the younger set—and yes, some of the “older” set) we have suddenly lost all the attributes of youth.
I appreciate very much that “seniors” get very minor financial breaks by businesses, we should, we’re not making those big bucks anymore, and fixed incomes can’t match full time salaries. And I’m glad there is an AARP, and Medicare. I fully accept I can’t work my ass off physically as I use to, re-shingle my roof, or split a cord of wood in one afternoon, but I draw the line right there—physical endurance—that’s it.
It upsets me that our society suddenly shoves us into various pockets of diminished intellect, value, emotion, and ability. My vast experience gave me what no ‘right out of college’ professional could possibly have—far more knowledge. Was that 25 year-old a manager on a 2.02 Billion Dollar project; has he testified on the stand regarding numerous environmental concerns; has he written hundreds of documents and professional journal articles; or taught students how to think? I have. No, it doesn’t make me a better person or special at all, but it does make me ‘smarter.’ I’m one hell of a lot keener now than when I graduated with my gung-ho Ph.D. Just because my damn muscles today can’t match my twenty or thirty year old muscles, don’t go projecting that inability anywhere else—yet society does—big time.
Case in point-1: How often will a company hire a seasoned professional over 65 instead of a 25 year old suave looking guy in a slim three-piece suit with nowhere near the experience? Need I answer that? I can out-write, out-think, out-produce, and out-manage any 25 year old, but companies will nearly always place their bet on the younger guy. I’m not “knocking” the younger set at all, I was once there, wanted that job, and glad I got it, but I sure as hell wasn’t smarter than the older guy competing with me.
Case in point-2: TV is full of romance, passion, sex, and love. We see unclad gorgeous male and female bodies in all positions of passion fill the evening shows. Great looking young high school kids, and thirty and forty year old models are continually entwined, moaning, kissing and cuddling—their lovely naked butts right there in front of us. They are deeply emotional, passionate, loving, sensitive, and may even cry because they love someone so much. That’s great—and beautiful. But how many times have you seen an “Older” couple with the same love story, profoundly emotional, kissing, entwined, tears? I can’t think of any.
The “Less than Senior” population (in the majority), have two very skewed misconceptions about us. One, they assume we somehow left all our emotions behind when it comes to passion, love, and affection (or don’t want to imagine it); and two, they believe we can no longer feel love or as much depth of emotion as ‘they’ do, because after so long, surely you must lose it. So, without realizing, the “Senior” minority is unfairly pushed into the closet, while the good looking, virile, younger set are assumed to be the exclusive owners of passion.
Okay all you “younger set” who may be reading this (if you haven’t stopped by now), quit shaking your heads at me—I know you are. I’m not at all upset. I envy you, and I damn well wish I were your age. Celebrate your passion, just know I too own it, and I too celebrate it. Don’t shudder thinking that when I kiss my beautiful wife, I get turned on, even with wrinkles on my brow (yes, that’s us at the top). You don’t get offended seeing those beautiful young bodies gyrating in the movies—so just understand that a few wrinkles aren’t barriers to passion, but in fact are but lines of script written upon our faces declaring a beautiful life filled with love and passion. Erase that dumb “age” duplicity because it doesn’t exist—won’t you please? Society needs to stop and understand that to pigeonhole based on how many times a person has traveled around the sun, makes no sense whatsoever.
If you believe for a second an eighteen or twenty year old has more passion or love than a seventy year old, well, simply put, you’re flat-ass wrong. Hey, I was once an eighteen year old, a twenty year old, a thirty year old, and a forty year old. When I fell ass over teakettle in love with a girl in high school (she knows who she is), it was intense and real, and made tears flow from my eyes. And when I fell in love with my wife, it was intense and real, and made tears flow from my eyes. And the love I have today for my wife, is intense and real, and makes tears flow from my eyes. And when I think of that beautiful girl in high school I fell in love with, it is still intense and real and brings tears to my eyes. You get the point?
Look, please, don’t think for a moment that the younger set have anything over the senior set, except maybe the ability to get hired or split a cord of wood. My ability to think, comprehend, create, and produce, as well as my depth of emotion, passion, love, and empathy, have only “Increased” with time and experience—NOT diminished.
Society, look at the facts (other than the number of years alive), and see every “Individual” for all they are, age aside. Sure, there will come a time when everyone will eventually lose their mental faculties, and that’s when you can call me ‘old’ and be correct that I’m diminished. And we all will get there—including you, noone is immune. But until then, though we have wrinkles and our hair line is retreating, know that we have just as much depth, intellect, creativity, vitality, ability, passion, emotion, and love as you do—NO!—in all honesty, we lead you in all those areas, but hey, it won’t be long until you catch up to us. I wish you love. tj