Sunday 23 October 2016

Working it out: Time to slow down - when I'm 120

John Masterson

Published 06/04/2015 | 02:30

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger

Knowing that Mick Jagger got his bus pass years ago, and that Joan Collins is a very sexy octogenarian doesn't make ageing any easier. Anyone who tells you that they don't mind growing older is lying. Full stop. But we all know it is preferable to the alternative.

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The people who sell the tickets and popcorn at the cinema look about 12 to me. It is not surprising that they see anyone over 40 as ancient. One such youngster recently asked me if any of our party were senior citizens. I said 'no' and was about to pay full price when I pointed to the youngest of our group, who was touching 50. I apologised to the ticket seller. "Sorry, one of is," I explained, identifying her, and promptly got a reduced price. I have still not been forgiven but it gave us all a good laugh.

I get my hair cut when someone tells me it is getting too long. I stop at the first place I see that looks like a barber's rather than anything fancy where they would ask me too many multiple-choice questions about how I would like it cut. I keep it simple. "How much would you like off?" Plenty. Do your worst.

The young lad chopped away and did all the stuff with mirrors to make sure I was satisfied. I was just happy it was finished and stood up to pay. "Are you a pensioner?" he asked. You know how people say "you are a very clever boy and you are three" when making small talk to a child only to get a withering look and be told in no uncertain terms that "I am three and a half"? I now know how that child feels. I am NOT a pensioner.

I looked at the reduced price available for the grey/white generation and decided that if he is stupid enough to think I am a pensioner he can give me the €4 reduction for the insult. I left without much spring in my step. If you are as young as you feel he made me feel 97.

I am the same age now as my grandmother was when she came to live with us. We certainly thought she was from the ark. She had been widowed at 29 and never married again. She gardened in her tweeds. We never noticed her training for a marathon. Perish the thought. Back then. The sight of her in jeans, T-shirt and runners is not one we were ever treated to. Today she would probably follow a morning ski with a skinful of wine and watch a DVD with her feet up on the table before retiring for the night with her current lover.

I still enjoy being able to hit a golf ball further than people half my age. Though it is not happening as often as it used to. I am delighted that 80 has become the new 60. I hope that when I am 120 it is being talked of as time to slow down a bit. Just so long as I have eyesight good enough to get all of the bargains I am entitled to. And, from today, the ones I am not entitled to! Yet.

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