Writing about getting older, especially after you’ve hit fifty or thereabouts, has become quite an industry. The subject now rivals books on Gardening, Beauty, Sex, Yoga, Health, Religion, Cable-TV Inspired Politics, and Self Help. You could blanket Yasgur’s Farm with books about Sixty being the new Forty, Sixty being the new Sixty, or Sixty simply being Sixty.
There are silly ones, serious ones, worrisome ones, fascinating ones, funny ones.
Sometimes I think we should have another cultural revolution like we did in The Sixties. Instead of burning draft cards and bras, we should burn these books. You can even toss mine into the fire if you want.
Although there is one I happily devoured recently that pretty much summed it up for me – along with being humorous, serious, full of pungent truisms, and wildly entertaining. You should flip through it before setting it aflame:
You're Old, I'm Old . . . Get Used to It! Twenty Reasons Why Growing Old Is Great
by Virginia Ironside
No matter what they say, sixty will never be the new forty. But sixty- five-year-old British writer Virginia Ironside is determined to convince people that getting old is not so bad-even for a Baby Boomer who interviewed the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix early in her career.
Among scores of other concerns, Ms. Ironside nails digestion and death. She gives only lip service to one of my favorite subjects – drooling. But I’ve covered that topic in its entirety.
Virginia’s take on being a modern-day grandparent is the best I’ve read. There’s an abridged version on the web somewhere, but I’m not linking to it because you really should savor the whole chapter.
I’ll allow you to read this, however:
And watch this – culled from her one-woman show The Virginia Monologues:
…I’d deem it an honor to spend ‘a couple of minutes’ with Ms. VI…
So grab the book, step away from the bonfire, just far enough so you’ll have enough light to read, laugh out loud dozens of times – and when you’re done maybe you should save this one from the flames.
Virginia Ironside’s Web Site: