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You Know You’re Getting Old When…

There are many well-known warning signs that you are getting old. Most of them are physical, like graying hair, wrinkled skin, decreased vision, slow metabolism, sexual dysfunction, aches and pains…well, you get the point. We’ve been warned about these and most people watch out for them like a sea captain watching a storm on the horizon. But there are lesser known and more subtle signs of aging that nobody warns you about. Here are a few of the ones that I have noticed. 

You know you you’re getting old when …

… instead of saying, “It’s been years…,” you find yourself saying, “It’s been decades…”

It can be unsettling when you realize that it’s been so long since the last time you saw someone or did something or went somewhere. The more things that can be measured in decades, the older you are. 

… when “You look good” becomes an incomplete sentence. 

After you turn fifty, pretty much anytime someone tells you “You look good” what they really mean is “You look good…for your age.”

… halfway through watching a movie on TV, you realize you’ve seen it before.

And I’m not just talking about a movie you saw thirty years ago. I’m talking about a movie you saw five years ago. The worst is when you have to keep watching it because now you can’t remember how it ends.

… they’re tearing down structures that you remember being built.

You expect a building to last longer than you will.

… you start getting mail from AARP.

If anyone from AARP is reading this, please stop putting us on your mailing list when we turn 50. It freaks people out. We think, “What the hell are they sending me this for? I’m not retired. I’m only 50!” And then we realize, “Oh shit. I’m going to be retiring soon and I need to start thinking about this stuff.” And then we get depressed. As if turning 50 wasn’t depressing enough.

… Don Rickles was your favorite comedian.

I used to live for his appearances on The Tonight Show. I would always check TV Guide to see what other guests would be on the show because the best part was watching him make fun of them. Oh, look! He’s going to be on with Dolly Parton! He’s probably gonna make boob jokes! Or, he’s going to be on with Sinatra! I hope he doesn’t piss-off Frank!

…your doctor’s diagnoses are usually the same.

After describing a new and worrisome symptom, you keep hearing the same response, “That happens at your age.”

… you make that grunting noise when you sit. 

If you’re Gentile, it generally sounds like you’re taking a crap. 

If you’re Jewish, it usually sounds like, “Oy!”

…you look at old people differently.

Because you’re starting to realize that some of them are actually younger than you.

… the cute receptionist at your office is young enough to be your daughter.

When she’s young enough to be your granddaughter, it’s time to retire.

… the President of the United States is younger than you.

For most of the country, Barack Obama’s victory in 2004 was a historical moment because we had just elected our first black president. For me, it was a historical moment because we had just elected the first president who was younger than me.

… “going to bed” with someone usually means sleeping.

I haven’t enjoyed napping this much since I was a toddler. These days, I probably like it as much as sex. And it takes a lot less effort.

For men only:

… you get jealous when you hear the guy peeing in the stall next to you.

Ahhh, to be able to pee like that again. Like a faucet turned on all the way and not like a hose that has sprung a leak. I remember those days fondly. Now I have to stand there and wait for an uncomfortable period of time just to make sure I’m completely done. Too often I jump the gun and literally get pissed at myself when I feel that last trickle going down my leg. I have seriously considered inventing a drip-proof spout for the penis. 

… you prefer to pee sitting down.

It’s just more practical. You’re there much longer, so it only makes sense to make yourself comfortable. And that way you can read while you’re waiting. Besides, the stream doesn’t always go where you want it to. By sitting down, there’s no muss and no fuss.

What warning signs made you first realize that you were getting old?

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Richard Basis
Richard Basis
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