Tag Archives: AARP

Geezerhood for dummies

Since today is National Senior Citizens Day, I thought we could all take a break from our busy schedule of lying about being at Woodstock, and using periods in texts just to aggravate the grandkids. Stay with me while I share some priceless* information from our good friends at the AARP on the subject of living in place. (You do plan on living for a while, right?)

This concept, also known as aging in place, means adapting your home to your age—perhaps by lopping off the second floor to get rid of those knee-killing stairs! Seriously, there are lots of practical, helpful ways to do this. Sadly, the AARP’s ideas are uncommonly bad.

Their first mistake was outsourcing the piece to those Property Brothers from HGTV (bless their hearts) and putting it in the form of a cartoon. This multi-page spread shows the bros leading their own parents through the house, while offering these king-size pearls of wisdom:

“Bedside units hold books, glasses, water, and medicine.”
“Low-flow toilets reduce water bills.”
“Non-slip floor surfaces reduce falls.”
“Elvis really is dead. He’s not hanging out at the Burger King in Kalamazoo.”

Okay, I made up the last one, but you get the idea. These yutzes** must think us elders have the brains of a kohlrabi. So what did you expect from the magazine that invited you to, “Meet Joe’s Prostate?”

The worst part is that many of their suggestions truly make no sense for seniors (or anyone else). The article notes, “A raised dishwasher eases the burden of bending and lifting.” Except that the cartoon shows, right next to said dishwasher, a fridge with the freezer at the bottom WHICH REQUIRES BENDING AND LIFTING EVERY TIME YOU TAKE SOMETHING OUT.

Still in the kitchen: “Under-counter lighting makes midnight snacking easier.” Right, and while we’re at it, let’s facilitate weight gain and heartburn. And get this: for the bathroom, they propose robo-toilets with “voice-activated flushing and lids that raise automatically.” So when Joe’s prostate gets him up at 3:00 a.m. and the privy suddenly gets balky, he’ll be yelling, “FLUSH! I SAID FLUSH!” and Jane, awakened out of a hot dream involving Harrison Ford, will be telling Alexa, ‘Look up divorce lawyer NOW!”

This panel sums up the witlessness of the story. Would any real husband be so dense as to blurt out, “She’s got a lot more to store!” emphasized by that thought-balloon next to his head? The wife would probably have her own balloon, with a big red X over his vintage Playboy collection.


*Since it doesn’t come with a price, it’s worth exactly what you paid for it. Get it?
**Similar to “putz:” dimwitted, but without the added meaning of being slang for “schlong.”

Brain washday

When you reach a certain age, you get tons of unsolicited advice on how to make the most out of your remaining years (months? minutes?). Half the new-old-age barkers give you the pitch that these times are magical and blessed, while the other half say, “Son, you’ve got one foot under the daisies already. Better shape up quick.” Without even trying, you run into something like this item from AARP, the print version of which was headlined, “Cleanse Your Brain.”

WARNING! DISCLAIMER! The foregoing phrase should NOT in any way be taken as an instruction to do something spectacularly ill-advised involving a cordless drill, a funnel, and a bottle of Mr. Clean. (Know what “trepanning” means in this context? Don’t even look it up.)

The article is legit science about the glymphatic system, which is what the brain uses to clear out damaged protein, dirty fluids, and other waste. It got me to thinking: what if I could purge the memory bank portion of my brain? That’d free up space on the cerebral hard drive for all the Important Stuff I need to absorb and retain, especially how to stave off wrinkles and decrepitude.  After 63 years and a few odd weeks, it’s time for a super-duper spring cleaning!

But what memories would I unload? Things like algebra, sociology, the infield fly rule, sentence diagramming, medieval history, how to drive a stick shift, and the name of the person I just met are already gone. What’s left to lose?

Getting beaten up on the playground and being hopeless at sports. Trashing those memories – several school years’ worth – would do wonders for my self-esteem. Ditto all my romantic rejections from junior high onward, job flubs, bad life choices, and other sundry gaffes like busting up my fender in the car wash. No, that didn’t happen! I’d remember if I’d been that dumb!

Song lyrics. “Satisfaction,” “Purple Haze,” “Crossroads,” “I Will Follow,” and “Once in a Lifetime” can stay. I do not ever need to recall “Don’t You Want Me,” “Achy Breaky Heart,” or anything by Madonna, the Eagles, or anyone named Osmond.

Everything I ever learned about manners and etiquette. Useless in today’s world. Go to a restaurant and see how many people never look up from their phones during dinner, even when the maitre d’ politely informs them the place is about to be engulfed by a volcano.

Sports trivia (a redundant phrase anyway). The games I saw from the stands in college? I’ll keep ‘em. The name of the backup quarterback on a 3-13 NFL team, so lousy I had to get tanked every Sunday to watch them on TV? Not so much.

Old TV shows.  I remember “My Mother the Car,” “Men Behaving Badly,” and many episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Why?

Certain web surfing moments.  Not that I ever actually checked out “Vixen Virgins of Vegas” and the like, but if I somehow got there by mistake, it’d be helpful to truthfully not recall it.

Best. Blog Post.

Best. Sex. Ever!” Those words adorn the cover of a magazine that landed in our snail-mailbox the other day. But if you think you know what that magazine was, you’re probably wrong. No, not Cosmopolitan, nor Elle, Glamour, Redbook, Red Book in a Plain Brown Wrapper, House & Garden (Of Wild, Torrid Pleasures), Self, O, The BIG O, Ohhh Yesssss!, or the other usual suspects.

Give up? It was AARP. Those wacky folks who gave the world a new concept in senior dating are at it again! Of course, it’s no surprise that lots of people who are way beyond 50 – AARP’s threshold for geezers members – are “active.” The article, slightly shortened online, is in Q&A format and does give some good information, especially about medical issues.

What this story mostly shows is that, especially for my fellow men, age sure doesn’t bring wisdom about ye olde bootye calle. Here’s one of the questions: “I was put on [a name brand drug] for low testosterone. Now my energy and libido are both up, but I keep dreaming my wife of 45 years is having sex with other men. The dreams wake me up, and they’re so exciting that I can’t get back to sleep. My doctor says there’s no reason to be concerned. The problem is, I’m losing sleep. Ever heard of this before?” Nope, and I wish I still hadn’t. Try easing up on the snake oil drug.

AARP magazine coverAnother one: “I’m a 54-year-old man. I usually have sex once or twice a week but never more than that. I feel like I’m really slowing down. Is there something wrong with me, or is this just how it goes?” Dude, there are plenty of younger studs for whom once or twice a year would be a leap forward. Count your blessings. If you’re “slowing down,” it might be something bigger than your, uh, mattress, like too much stress or too little exercise.

And one more: “Can you recommend good sex videos for older couples? My spouse and I would like to learn some new techniques, but a lot of the instructional websites we’ve seen advertised look flaky.” I myself, of course, ahem, claim no knowledge of or expertise in evaluating any such videos and have the redacted credit card history to prove it. My guess is they’re trying to make everything look like porn. Hey, comparing one’s self to young, gorgeous, impossibly-endowed guys and gals is a good thing! Even a 97-year-old can leap tall, um, buildings at a single bound!

Things change and we adapt. If you’re still worried about missing out on the Best Ever!, take a cue and a little common sense from my regular spiritual adviser, the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, who speaks for a generation in this classic tune: “What I Used To Do All Night (Now Takes Me All Night To Do).” The Rev has another good one in the same vein: “Hey You Little Bastards, Get Off My Lawn.” Someday I’ll actually be old enough to say that. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to catch up on my sleep.