I recently saw a T-shirt with the saying, “I thought getting old would take longer.” Yeah, I can definitely identify with that. All of a sudden I realize that my lofty dream of entering the Miss America pageant “someday when I get the time” has crashed and burned. I’ve probably even missed the boat for the “Miss America Old Bat” contest. Suddenly, my body is falling apart, one aching part at a time. Just when I get used to the constant arthritis in my hands, my back gives out, then my heart decides to get in on the act, and I find I have to forage for my reading glasses to read the large print on something. All my free time is spent in social interactions at the various doctors’ offices I am now a patient of. (Yeah, I know I ended a sentence with a preposition. So sue me. I’m old and I don’t care.) Still, I heard a comforting thought the other day—I don’t have to worry so much about being sentenced to life in prison for a crime I may commit. After all, there’s not that much time left. Not that I had particularly thought all that much about being given a life sentence before, but it did get me to thinking about other advantages of growing old. Here are a few (gleaned from hours—okay, a few minutes—of internet research):

  1. You can call it a senior moment and get away with pretty much anything.
  2. Your secrets are safe with your friends. They can’t remember them either.
  3. Whatever age you are is the new 30.
  4. Your failing eyesight is nature’s way of protecting you from shock as you walk past the mirror.
  5. Tossing and turning all night counts as exercise.
  6. Your childhood toys are now collectables and antiques.
  7. You don’t have to eat healthy food. You need all the preservatives you can get.
  8. You can click your “Life Alert” button to see how many firefighters show up. (Yeah, I like THAT one!)
  9. You don’t need to quote, “Age is just a number.” You can’t remember your age anyway.
  10. By the time you retire, you’ll know what you want to be when you grow up.
  11. There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.
  12. Things you buy now won’t wear out.
  13. You enjoy hearing about other people’s operations.
  14. You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.
  15. Your investment in health insurance is finally paying off.
  16. You don’t worry anymore about holding in your stomach.
  17. You get respect for having graduated from school without the internet.
  18. You reach the age where your brain goes from, “You probably shouldn’t say that,” to “What the heck, let’s see what happens.”
  19. You are told to slow down by the doctor, not the police.
  20. People no longer regard you as a hypochondriac.

Come to think of it, old age is not so bad when you consider the alternative. And remember, old age is always fifteen years older than you are.