Vince Van Patten Says Stop All The Age Clichés


Life and getting older, wow, everyone seems to hate it. They abhor it. They deny it. I understand. There are some serious downsides, but some wonderful upsides. Here are a few of the downs that I particularly can’t stand now that I’m a senior, but don’t really feel like one. See if you agree.

Getting called “sweetie” by the young waitress. That’s reserved for the ancient!

That means I’m officially harmless now with no semblance of sex appeal and everyone knows that.

That could ruin any man’s day. Sure, they mean well. When you look older the upside is you look more lovable, perhaps. Rough trade-off.

Another example: when an older buddy of yours says the cliché to you “ain’t it a bitch getting old?”

Okay, Captain Obvious! Just because you’ve thrown in the towel doesn’t mean I’m coming to your Big Mac party! My ego is fighting this chapter cha chi! Lay off and step away from the respirator!

And then strangers sometimes say with a suspicious smile. “You still play any tennis?”

I shoot back, “Of course, I still play tennis! How fucking old do I look?!”

At least I feel like saying that but usually, don’t. I get it. I don’t blame them. I see my deep crow’s feet, my turkey neck, but I can still move on the asphalt court, knee braces and all, I tell them.

Then, I try to engage them with some prop bet on the court to no avail! Yes, I can be pretty pathetic.

Now that I’ve shared some of my ego driven insecurities, here are some of the good things I’ve noticed about getting older.

First of all, and this should be pretty obvious, you are extremely lucky if you get to be a little older! And if you’re still relatively healthy, you’ve drawn out to a two-outer!

Second, it’s great to reminisce and tell stories of what was. Brag to the kids and friends of old landmarks that were, back in the old days, and compare to what’s there now. Also, you gain perspective. You gain a wisdom of life. Time is not such a mystery. You feel closer to the history of the world. You soften on people’s shortcomings and your own. You accept more, and appreciate more, like the last few bites of an ice cream cone.

You fear a little less about the end because you’ve seen so many people you know and love who have gone before.

You cherish life even more and definitely become wiser, if you’re lucky. It’s really all perfect.

Now just don’t call me “sweetie.”

Until next time, play loose and bluff on the river!