Who among us has not heard granny drop the “F” bomb and complain about her food, or her chair, or the pimple on her ass? And our first reaction is often to roll our eyes and dismiss her as a crotchety old person. But you would think we’d have it in us to be a bit more sensitive since we are all just old people in the making. And I’d be willing to bet that most old people would be far less ornery if they were dismissed a little less often. Shown some respect. Appreciated more for the incredible wisdom they house than the faculties they have lost.
Having just finished reading “Water for Elephants,” which is narrated in part by a 93 year old man, and having read the incredible tributes that several friends have recently written about their beloved grandparents upon their passing, I find myself pondering the vast untapped wisdom of our elders and regretting the relatively little exposure I have had to it. I have always lived a significant distance from my grandparents and never been diligent to put in the work it would have taken to develop good long distance relationships. This makes me sad and I hope that, one day, my grandchildren are more diligent than I was.
In considering this elderly wisdom that I have not sufficiently availed myself of, I did some research looking for the advice of old folks. For better or for worse, here are some things I found. Feel free to add to the list.
- We all make mistakes and sometimes the hardest part of making a mistake is letting it go.
- When you think “I’ll just have one more drink” – don’t have it.
- Don’t be surprised when people are not pleased for your success and are happy when you fail.
- Never look at your mom when she’s eating a banana.
- Life is like riding a bike. If you look down or look back, you’ll fall off. The only way to get where you want to go is to look forward.
- Son, now you are married, you must learn this important lesson on dealing with a wife. If you are going out for a night on the town, tell her you are coming home an hour or two later than you actually intend to. That way, when you arrive home ‘early’ she’ll be delighted that you’ve cut short your night out to be with her.
- Never trust a man with a beard, he’s hiding something.
- If you take longer strides when you’re walking, your shoes will last longer.
- Never sleep with a woman who’s problems are worse than your own.
- Never skimp on spending money on a good pair of shoes and a decent bed. If you’re not in one, you’re in the other.
- Always leave a party while you’re still having fun, you’re a young lad now but later you’ll understand.
- He who is scared and runs away, lives to run another day!
- Always take a dump when you’re at work, you’re getting paid for it.
- Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
- “If we spent as much time feeling positive about getting older, as we do trying to stay young, how much different our lives would be.” Rob Brown
- “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Fred Astaire