By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
The past Saturday, a book at the Palatine Library caught my attention.
Having been in senior living and health care for the past 35 years, I was intrigued by the title “You’re Old, I’m Old… Get Used to It!” and by the author, who is a product of the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll of the 1960s. As a journalist in her youth, author Virginia Ironside interviewed the likes of The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.
Instantaneously the below songs began “rolling” through my head.
The Rolling Stones • Brown Sugar
Jimi Hendrix • Purple Haze
Virginia, who is blazing her way through her sixties, pens an advice column for the Independent newspaper in London, England. The inside back cover notes that the book has been developed into a one-women stage show called the Virginia Monologues, which was first performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009.
Copy in a banner on the top of the front cover proclaims that the book contains “20 Reasons Why Growing Old is Great.”
She wrote “You’re Old, I’m Old” because she found nothing when she went searching for “something entertaining and perceptive” to help her through the decade of her sixties. After all, she notes, there was “Catcher in the Rye” to help her through her teens, books by Erma Bombeck once she became a “young mum” and, of course, the “Fear of Flying” by Erica Jong.
Being old is great, Virginia argues. It is fun, interesting and liberating. It is something to celebrate. “I don’t WANT to be young anymore.”
I thoroughly enjoyed many of her insights and humor.
On Downsizing — “I see reducing as being like something you do to a wine sauce.” After you have simmered it for ages, what started as something sloppy and tasteless turns into something delicious.
On Looks — “There is no excuse when you’re old to let yourself go. A good looking oldie can have the time of his or her life.”
On Terminology — She quite likes “over the hill” because once you’re over the hill the view of everything is better than when you were struggling up it.
If you find yourself pining for your youth, Virginia says that you can console yourself in the knowledge that there are many things that you will never have to do again such as sacrificing comfort for style, worrying about what the world will be like in 50 years, and thinking Bob Dylan is a god.
“The less future we have in front of us,
the more we can enjoy the now”
It is one of the reasons why growing old is great, says Virginia.
I think you will find “You’re Old, I’m Old… Get Used to It!” to be a funny and memorable read that challenges our obsession with youth.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.
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