By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate
According to an age-old maxim that has never appeared in Maxim, the racy men’s magazine whose target audience is not exactly geezers like me, age is relative, especially if you have old relatives.
I am one of the oldest relatives in my family, not counting those who are dead, and recently proved it by reaching the ripe old age of 60. In fact, I was so ripe that I had to take a shower.
Because I have passed this milestone, which is better than passing a kidney stone, I am offering some pearls of wisdom to all you people who are younger than I am, which these days is just about everybody. Those few who are actually older either don’t need my wisdom or do but will promptly forget it.
Here is the first pearl, which I got at a pawnshop: Wisdom comes too late in life to be useful to you and is best passed on to your children, who aren’t wise enough to realize that you finally know what you’re talking about.
As my children will swear, and not even under oath, I have never known what I was talking about, so what’s the point in starting now?
A lot of people my age say they don’t want to be a burden to their children. Not me. Being a burden is my goal.
Fortunately, my kids don’t have to worry just yet because 60 is the new 50. Or maybe even the new 40. At least that’s what baby boomers believe. As a boomer who is bad at math (and has the checkbook to prove it), I think this makes perfect sense.
I have had people tell me (because I have asked them to) that I don’t look 60. Each time, I have responded: “You mean I look even older? I must be having a bad face day.”
These people will invariably smile and say, “No, you look younger.” Then they will make some lame excuse about being late for a root canal and walk swiftly away.
Still, this is the best time of life because you can do everything you have always done, but if there is something you don’t want to do, you can pull the age card.
“I don’t think I should be shoveling snow anymore,” you might say to no one in particular, because no one in particular will listen to you.
Or, “I don’t think I should be lugging furniture anymore.”
Or, “I do think I should be lying in a hammock with a beer.”
This last one may not work, especially on a nice summer day when you really ought to be doing something that won’t give you a heart attack, like cutting the grass, but it’s worth trying anyway.
Here’s another pearl: Exercise and health food will kill you. Eat what you want because at some point in your life, someone will discover that the supposedly good things you have been eating for so long are now bad for you and that the bad things are really pretty good after all. And for God’s sake, don’t take up running because you will be hit by a car driven by either a young maniac who is texting or a little old man who can’t see over the steering wheel.
Speaking of driving, you can’t do it if you don’t know where you put your car keys. Check your right pocket. If they’re not there, look on the kitchen counter.
Here is the last pearl, which I plan to give to my wife before the cops find out it’s missing: Never grow up. I have lived so long because I am shockingly immature, which makes me feel young.
My wife, who is the same age and is as beautiful as ever, is the real reason for my longevity. If it weren’t for her, I would be either dead or in prison.
So enjoy life, fellow sexagenarians, don’t forget where you put your car keys and know that there are plenty of good times ahead.