Facing And Fessing Up To Old Age
October 12, 2003 9:22 PM   Subscribe

You Are As Old As You Feel But... You feel old anyway, right? Well, senectitude is not just an attitude, dude. You are getting older. Deal with it. Listen, for instance, to old man Cicero. He knows. And if you're still enough of a spring chicken to wonder what your emotional age is, (not to mention tolerate Oprah), here's a little consolatory quiz to pep you up.
posted by MiguelCardoso (24 comments total)
For some reason, rather quickly, grey is popping up everywhere. Last year it was just a hair or two. Perhaps I'm in a time warp or reading too much MetaTalk.
posted by moonbird at 9:52 PM on October 12, 2003

Oprah.com, migs? seriously?
posted by PrinceValium at 11:32 PM on October 12, 2003

It's a last link joke, Prince. Couldn't you tell? Are you losing your sense of humour in your dotage? ;) The really good stuff, apart from the Cicero, is in the Baltimore Study on Aging (second link).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:35 PM on October 12, 2003

Cicero and Oprah in the same post. The mind reels. Thanks Miguel!
posted by homunculus at 11:51 PM on October 12, 2003

book is one of my favorites on the subject. It's by Jean Amery, which means a lot of sour, angry diatribes about growing old. Either Amery's point is the fight against the alienation that comes with old age is futile, or he's crotchety. Well worth the read, regardless.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 11:59 PM on October 12, 2003

posted by quonsar at 12:09 AM on October 13, 2003

"But to return to my own case: I am in my eighty-fourth year. I could wish that I had been able to make the same boast as Cyrus; but, after all, I can say this: I am not indeed as vigorous as I was as a private soldier in the Punic war, or as quaestor in the same war, or as consul in Spain, and four years later when as a military tribune I took part in the engagement at Thermopylae under the consul Manius Acilius Glabrio; but yet, as you see, old age has not entirely destroyed my muscles, has not quite brought me to the ground. The Senate-house does not find all my vigour gone, nor the rostra, nor my friends, nor my clients, nor my foreign guests. For I have never given in to that ancient and much-praised proverb:

Old when young is old for long."

In short: it stinks, but be glad you were young once and that you could be a lot older. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:37 AM on October 13, 2003

That emotional test was stupid and it was probably designed by stupid-heads.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:54 AM on October 13, 2003

Youth is wasted on the young.
posted by UncleFes at 5:54 AM on October 13, 2003

Life attacks us like a blind beast. It swallows up time, the years of our life, it passes like a typhoon and leaves nothing behind. Not even memory, because memory is made of the same swift, ungraspable substance out of which illusions emerge and then disappear. —Alvaro Mutis, from The Adventures of Maqroll
posted by rushmc at 6:19 AM on October 13, 2003

I am a proponent of suspended adolescence. (oh, and isn't 30 the new 20?)
posted by shoepal at 6:20 AM on October 13, 2003

I liked how the Oprah emotional test was basically:

"You're faced with a dilemma or conflict. Do you:
A.) pout;
B.) whine;
C.) stamp your feet, pout, AND whine; or
D.) do something totally reasonable?"
posted by lisa g at 6:29 AM on October 13, 2003

Yeah, and there was no way to choose more than one answer. I like to do something totally reasonable AND pout.
posted by JanetLand at 6:35 AM on October 13, 2003

Agreed, lisa, and yet life itself quite often presents just those same choices but we have a much harder time choosing "D" somehow!
posted by rushmc at 6:36 AM on October 13, 2003

I am an emotional adolescent. But I knew that. I just wish I had the body to go with it.
posted by jonmc at 6:54 AM on October 13, 2003

For a moment there I thought Miguel was saying he was 84, which in the context of this thread is all well and good, but could have meant we would all have to wait ages for him to come and bail us out when we all become innocent victims of the local justice system during Euro2004.
posted by biffa at 6:56 AM on October 13, 2003

According to that test I've met a lot of emotional adolescents.

I'm 17.

posted by Veritron at 7:44 AM on October 13, 2003

Youth is wasted on the young.

posted by Ufez Jones at 9:03 AM on October 13, 2003

Youth is wasted on the young.


No, it's true. I know I'd enjoy it a lot more if I got to have it again. ('Course then I wouldn't really be young, would I? I guess I'll have to wait for my second childhood.)
posted by timeistight at 10:00 AM on October 13, 2003

yes, youth is wasted on the young. there is an oft quoted passage i've heard, something about gratitude for lust and desire being things of the past, but i still haven't bought totally into that one.
posted by quonsar at 3:15 PM on October 13, 2003

La jeunesse est une ivresse continuelle: c'est la fièvre de la raison.

Youth is one long intoxication: it is reason in a fever.

La Rochefoucauld
posted by y2karl at 7:14 PM on October 13, 2003

You Are As Old As You Feel

A popular misconception. You are in fact as old as you smell.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:37 PM on October 13, 2003

That "youth is wasted on the young" attitude always has irritated the hell out of me. In my experience (I don't include MeFiers in this thread since I have no idea what you've done with your lives), the person who says it is usually someone who wasted his or her youth, and so they presume all the other young things are doing the same. Very condescending and insulting.</rant
posted by orange swan at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2003

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