What’s so funny about growing old? Not a whole lot, according to the wisest man who ever lived. Here’s what Solomon said about our “Golden Years:”
Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young,
Before the years take their toll and your vigour wanes,
Before your vision dims and the world blurs
And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.
Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.
The shades are pulled down on the world.
You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.
The hum of the household fades away.
You are wakened now by bird-song.
Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.
Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.
Your hair turns apple-blossom white,
Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body.
Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest,
While your friends make plans for your funeral.
Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 (The Message)
Old King Solomon said it all, didn’t he? Sure, aches and pains aren’t much fun. Getting wrinkles along with a bigger belly (or butt) isn’t much of a laugh either. And say, those mirrors are getting downright vicious! Tell me, do you make a shopping list because you know you can’t trust your memory, and then go off and forget the list? Yep, been there and done that. So my fellow maturing baby boomers, other than joining the vampires in avoiding mirrors and taping our grocery list to our wrist, how can we best cope with the ageing dilemma?
I say quotable quotes! That’s right; let’s turn to the most humorous quotes we can find on ageing and see if that doesn’t help ease the burden of seeing too way too many candles glaring at us on the birthday cake.
Here’s the cream of the crop — or at least the best I have been able to dig up:
“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.” Dave Barry (1947-) American humorist
“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball (1911-1989) American actress
“If you want to recapture your youth, just cut off his allowance.” Al Bernstein American writer and actor
“There’s no fool like an old fool — you can’t beat experience.” Jacob Morton Braude (1896-1970) American writer, author
“By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” George Burns (1896-1996) American comedian and actor
“I can’t understand why I flunked American history. When I was a kid there was so little of it.” George Burns
“If you live to the age of a hundred you have it made because very few people die past the age of a hundred.” George Burns
“Nice to be here? At my age, it’s nice to be anywhere.” George Burns
“Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read.” George Burns
“No man knows he is young while he is young.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) English writer
“Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternatives.” Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) French actor and singer
“He is so old that his blood type was discontinued.” Bill Dana (1924- ) American comedian, actor and screenwriter
“I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.” Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) American comedian and actor
“The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it.” Doris Day (1924- ) American actress, singer
“One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it’s such a nice change from being young.” Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958) American author
“I wake up every morning at nine and grab the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.” Harry Hershfield (1885-1974) American comic artist
“Middle age is when you still believe you’ll feel better in the morning.” Bob Hope (1903-2003) American comedian, actor
“Middle age is when your age starts to show around the middle.” Bob Hope
“If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.” Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937) American journalist
“Whenever a man’s friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.” Washington Irving (1783-1859) American author
“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” Groucho Marx (1890-1977) American comedian
“Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.” Golda Meir (1898-1978) Prime Minister of Israel
“A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, ”At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.’ ” Claude D. Pepper (1900-1989) Florida Senator and a Representative
“Some grow bitter with age; the more their teeth drop out, the more biting they get.” George D. Prentice (1802-1870)
“The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of their blood.” Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946)
“I’m so lonesome; they are all dying; I have hardly a warm personal enemy left.” James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) American painter, etcher, and wit
“I am not young enough to know everything.” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish author and wit
“As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.” Oscar Wilde
There, did that help? Yeah, I know. Some of the quotes aren’t that funny. I just threw them in to see if you were still awake. Why don’t you memorize a few of these quotations and try them out on an old friend or two? You might brighten up their day. Or they may just hold up their ear trumpet and cry, “Eh?”
If I haven’t listed your favourite ageing quote, email it to me and I’ll include it in the next article.
I believe you eventually become whatever you allow your mind to think about. So if you want to be happy during the “senior years,” my advice is: start a collection of humorous quotes. It sure beats mulling over your aches and pains! Who knows, after a few inspiring words from George Burns or Oscar Wilde, even that old buzzard you see in the mirror might start to look more chirpy.