Old Age Ain’t for Sissies
I had a birthday recently and since I am now at an age that is older than dirt, I began to think about old age and the way we look at aging in America. We label older people as “senior citizens” or “retirees” and treat them generally in one of two ways: with disdain for what we believe is their insufficient knowledge of technology, or with pity for trying to keep up appearances in a world they no longer fit nor understand. Remember when the elderly were treated with respect, reverence and veneration? No longer. Now it’s “Go home to your shuffleboard, your horseshoes, your knitting and your needlepoint, and leave technology and the Internet to the young who are computer and Wii-proficient.”
The young don’t know it yet but “old age ain’t for sissies.” – Bette Davis.
I’ve discovered a marvelous way to fight agism and disrespect – with the powerful weapons of humor and laughter. Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Amen. So keep in mind that an optimist laughs to forget while a pessimist forgets to laugh, and join me in laughing at these funny “old age” one-liners.
You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.
Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.
I’m so old they’ve cancelled my blood type.
I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.
Gray hair is God’s graffiti.
Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.
Don’t worry about senility. When you become senile, you won’t know it.
If you live to be 100, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.
At my age, flowers scare me.
I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.
Nice to be here! At my age it’s nice to be anywhere.
When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.
He’s so old that when he orders a 3-minute egg, they ask for the money up front.
Note: When George Burns was in his 90s, he would often escort beautiful young ladies in their 20s to special events. When asked why he didn’t date women his own age, he responded, “There are no women my age!”
You can live to be 100 if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be 100.
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
The future ain’t what it used to be.
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. - Jack Benny
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. - Mark Twain
Oh, to be 70 again! - Georges Clemenceau
Talk about getting old. I was getting dressed and a Peeping Tom looked in the window, took a look, and pulled down the shade. - Joan Rivers
You know you’re getting old when everything hurts. And what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work. - Hy Gardner
I refuse to admit I’m more than 52, even if that does make my sons illegitimate. - Lady Nancy Astor
After the age of 80, everything reminds you of something else. - Lowell Thomas
The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they are too old to do it. - Anne Bancroft
Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough. - Groucho Marx
You know you’re getting old when all the names in your black book have M.D. after them. - Harrison Ford
I’d like to grow very old as slowly as possible. - Charles Lamb
To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. - Bernard Baruch
Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese. - Billie Burke
I like Florida. Everything is in the 80s: the temperature, the ages, and the IQs. - George Carlin
For three days after death, hair and finger nails continue to grow. But phone calls taper off. - Johnny Carson.
My grandmother is over 80 and still doesn’t need glasses. She drinks right out of the bottle. - Henny Youngman
There is still no cure for the common birthday. - John Glenn
What most people consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy. - Voltaire
The woman who tells her age is either too young to have anything to lose or too old to have anything to gain. - Chinese proverb
My favorite old age one-liners
Growing old is compulsory – growing up is optional.
Gray hair is inherited. We get it from our children.
Children are a great comfort in your old age … and they help you reach it faster, too.
Three things happen to warn you of advancing age. The first is you lose your memory … and I can’t remember the other two.
If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you are getting old. Squash their toes with your rocking chair.
Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
Old age is when former classmates are so gray, wrinkled, and bald that they don’t recognize you.
By the time you’re 80 years old you’ve learned everything. The hard part is remembering it.
Growing old is mandatory. Growing wise is optional.
Old age is far, far better than the alternative!
If you know any other great, funny one-liners about old age, please tell me about them in a comment and I’ll be happy to respond. Thanks.
© Copyright BJ Rakow 2011. All rights reserved.
- Old Age Benefits
It is said that as you get older, you get wiser. Have you heard that, too? The only wiser I get has a ‘Bud’ in front of it. But I have learned of multiple old age benefits over time, and I am delighted to share them with you – in rhyme.
- Oldest Worker Award Sally Gordon Age 101
At the age of 101, Sally Gordon won America's Outstanding Oldest Worker Award for 2010, at a ceremony in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was honored at the State Capitol as America's
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Groucho Marx said getting older isn't a problem - you just have to live long enough. So here are some suggestions for becoming a centenarian. Thats not a person who collects Lincoln pennies. Its someone...
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Includes valuable information for older workers, and how to negotiate salary successfully.
Comments for Old Age Ain't for Sissies
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 31, 2016:
Foune this "good one" by searching for Humor and for Chuckles.
Just think! This has been waiting for me for five years, and my own humorous offerings are lost out there in the ether net under some more obscure categories.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 18, 2013:
Thanks for returning, Sean, and sharing your thoughts. You are so right about young folks communicating less in person since the advent of the Internet and social networks.
Happy to hear you won't be spending your life complaining about getting older. It IS so much better than the alternative, y'know. :)
If you enjoy laughing, take a look at my hub, "Old Age Benefits."
Sean on January 18, 2013:
(boomarked this page so I could check back in)
Dunno if I got life planned out, really. I have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. I have no plan for between now and old age. I just don't really fear getting old. Actually, I probably do fear 55-65 because I might feel kinda tired but still have to work. But I don't fear retirement age.
It's probably that old people are more honest, both with others and themselves. Young people these days are increasingly anti-social and socially awkward (probably because the internet does half our communicating nowadays for us) but we pretend not to be. We attend events and speak to people we don't want to because we feel we're not living if we don't. We think we need as many people in our lives as possible, when the truth is we're only really comfortable with a select few.
I think as people get older, they care less about silly stuff like that.
And I don't mean anti-social and selfish to the extreme. Just little things. Maybe it could feel patronising, but people just accept things from old people. "Well, he's old" can be an excuse for a lot. I think people think that you've been around so long you're allowed a little more social leeway. Or perhaps it is patronising, or pity. I guess it depends on the person. Either way, I'll take it.
Maybe I'm naïve. But at least I won't spend my life complaining about getting older. It's crazy these days. People start worrying about their age at about 25 nowadays.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 16, 2013:
Hi, Sean. When I was in my 20's, eons ago, I thought old age was anyone over 35. Now that I am older than soil, old age is simply anyone older than me. So old age seems cool to you? Well, I can tell you from my experience it is plenty cool as long as you have the good health to enjoy it.
Nice to know you have your life's plan laid out - do hope good fortune finds your address.
I don't know if older folks are more anti-social and/or selfish - maybe they are just being more honest. Too little time left to be a hypocrite. Whatcha think?
Whatever, thanks for finding this and sharing your thoughts.
Sean on January 16, 2013:
This is weird, but I just came across these quotes.
I'm in my 20s and to me old age looks pretty cool. I think I'll spend a lot of time schooling people on my x-box or playstation. By that time I'll be a generation of old gamers. I can chill for most of the day, which is cool because I'm pretty lazy anyway. I'll keep a steady supply of weed and beer to help with the aches and pains.
Hopefully I have a son who will watch sports with me from time to time and can do stuff like get my shopping and fix shit that broke in the house. If I don't have friends, I'll make some online. If I'm single, I'll hit the Bingo halls and hit on the old chicks there. My approach game should be so strong by then.
Also, you can get away with being a bit more selfish and anti-social when you're older. Everyone is like that anyway but we pretend not to be. When you're old, you can just be real about it.
Bring it on. I think I will enjoy my life more knowing that I'll enjoy being an old dude.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 18, 2012:
Thank you, Chris, they say it takes one to know one! :)
carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on December 17, 2012:
funny post !!!!! I'm right there with ya on this!
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 05, 2012:
I don't think of you as old, ps, so don't give it another moment's thought. Of course, I don't think of myself as old either although I AM older than soil. (That came before dirt!) It's all in the mind, m'dear, though good health does count for a lot!
Thanks for sharing that insensitive remark made by that young whippersnapper - what does he know? Do you know the first time I really felt old? It was back in the day when gas stations had real live attendants - remember them? The first time one of those young guys asked, "May I help you, Ma'am," as I pulled in for gas, that's when I felt really old. Until that day I had been 'Miss.'
Thanks for loving the quotes, the bookmarking and the Angels. You ARE a sweetie-pie.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 05, 2012:
Hi, Barry. Please forgive my delay in responding to your comment. If your Dad passed away at the age of 92 you do have some very good genes. That 'green bananas' line is great. I loved it the first time I heard it years ago from Groucho Marx. He must have borrowed it from your Dad. Thanks for the visit. :)
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 05, 2012:
You nailed it on this one. I really felt my age nine years ago for the first time. I was at an Easter Egg hunt with my grandson and a guy in his late thirties early forties called me an "Old Lady." Wow, that hurt. I had not thought of myself as old but I guess others had/did. I don't even THINK I am old know but I am definitely older. Age is such relative thing. My Daddy was 93 when he died---that to me is old. But old is in the eye and mind of the beholder I suppose. Loved the quotes...am bookmarking them for future review. Sending Angels your way :) ps
Barry on September 20, 2012:
My 92 year old Dad passed away today, peacefully in his sleep. He'll be sadly missed. For the past few years he refused to buy green bananas as he couldn't be sure he'd be alive to eat them! Dad retained a great sense of humour to the end!
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on May 04, 2012:
Thank you, Larry, for the congrats and the kind comments. You are obviously a gentleman ... and a scholar. Your 90-year-old mother-in-law certainly has the right positive attitude. Wish her the best of health for me.
Larry Wall on May 03, 2012:
First, congratulations for writing a Hub that has endured so long. Secondly, your title, Getting Old ain't for sissies," is a quote my 90-year-old mother-in-law constantly uses as her health declines. Her solution: Stay Young. Now we just have to figure out how to do that.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 25, 2011:
Thank you for your visit, Drdepjoe, and loving these one-liners. So you're going to be 60? Congratulations! That's just a baby in the scheme of things. Trust me.
Thank you for your thanks and loving everything I write. Please visit more often. :)
Drdepjoe on December 23, 2011:
Love your 1 liners here. Where did the time go? I cannot believe that I will be 50. Did I say 50? I mean 60. Thank you DRBJ. Love everything you write.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 13, 2011:
It's so nice to meet you, Deborah, and I really relate to your comments. In fact, they are the very same statements I often say to myself. I used to call myself older than dirt but I don't say that any more. Now I label myself as older than soil. Why? Because soil came before dirt. :) Thank you for enjoying this hub. You might like to read "Old Age Benefits" as well.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 12, 2011:
this is so funny and good.. thanks for putting this together.. I wont tell you my age. some days I cant believe how old I am.. . It's been fun life a lot of sorrow but still I can have fun.. Some days I feel older than other days.. lol.. thanks again.. I enjoyed this post so much..
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on October 09, 2011:
Absolutely my pleasure, htodd. Thanks for stopping by. Have you read my latest - "Old Age Benefits"?
htodd from United States on October 09, 2011:
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on September 11, 2011:
Oh. what a smart lady your mom was, Holle! I wouldn't be surprised if Bette Davis learned that 'sissy' quote from her. And your humor, my dear, is not too shabby either.
As to waking up with aches and pains as God's way of letting me know I'm still alive, I need to send Him an email. All right already, I got the message. :D
Thanks for the buttons dance, m'luv.
Holle Abee from Georgia on September 11, 2011:
I danced on your buttons! My mom always said the same thing - old age isn't for sissies. She also said that when you're old, waking up with aches and pains is God's way of letting you know you're still alive. lol
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on September 06, 2011:
Thanks for loving this, gm, now I love you, too. You might also like to read my hub, "Getting Older Ain't a Problem. You Just Have to Live Long Enough."
Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 05, 2011:
Loved this hub! It was so right-on!
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on June 24, 2011:
Good to see you here, Sally, thank you for visiting. Yes, our culture focuses more on women and the aging process than it does on men.
"Made the belly bounce and the mind reflect?" What an accurate and astonishing way to put it. Thank you and thanks, too, for the awsome and the FB sharing. :)
Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on June 24, 2011:
I loved how you brought both men and women together by sharing their words about ageing. Our culture is much less kind to older women than to older men, but inside the head, inside the heart, both sexes mark the passing of time in similar ways...it's the beginning of the end.
Thanks for this compilation of words that make the belly bounce and the mind reflect.
Up and awesome and shared on fb.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on April 26, 2011:
Ain't that the truth, Ghost?
I've always believed that one of the worst things about getting really old is that chances are you will have lost many of your friends. That's old!
Thanks, pal, for the up and 'hilarious.' Glad you enjoyed this.
Ghost32 on April 26, 2011:
I've always like the one about a person never qualifying as old until he's outlived all his enemies.
For some of us, that's some kinda old!
Up and hilarious.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 25, 2011:
Me, too, Dolores, these are my most favorite quotes. Bette Davis was a wit in real life, too, from all that I have read about her. She was definitely before her time.
Thank you for searching and finding this hub. You are a sweetie pie!
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on February 25, 2011:
I love those quotes! And Bette Davis's quote is such a classic!
amillar from Scotland, UK on January 15, 2011:
Yo cold be right.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:
Thank you, amillar, for appreciating my brilliant joking quotes. I appreciate you. Humor (without the u) is my middle name. Laughter is essential for growth, happiness and well-being.
Why do Brits include the extra 'u' in humor? Here's a possible answer: so the humour will last longer! Whatcha think?
amillar from Scotland, UK on January 14, 2011:
Where did you get all these brilliant joke-quotes? You're like an encyclopaedia.
I love humour, I could read it all day long (but I still don't know why we Brits need the extra u in it).
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on October 15, 2010:
Hi, nt, good to see you and read your incisive comments. I agree that never dying would be very scary - the worst part is you would have lost all your family members and dearest friends.
Happy to see my lil buddy, the naked mole rat, getting some attention. Love your description of my avatar. Now I will have difficulty seeing it any other way.
nettraveller from USA on October 13, 2010:
I sometimes think I'd like to achieve immortality the way Woody Allen says (as you mention in this hub), but thinking about never ever dying is scary too. I would like a long life extension, though. My hope is for a situation like that described by Ray Kurzweil in "The Age of Spiritual Machines". They should hurry up with that, though. I don't have forever to wait! Great hub! and btw, yes this avatar is your friend the naked mole rat. I have seen your own avatar described as "My wife and my mother-in-law".
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on September 27, 2010:
Hi, James. Love your comment. As soon as you become old enough, about 80 or so, I'll include it with your name. Yes, Henny and Voltaire may have led disparate lives but they both knew a lot about the vagaries of old age - and how to deliver a funny line.
James A Watkins from Chicago on September 27, 2010:
"Old age is when former classmates are so gray, wrinkled, and bald that they don’t recognize you."
I love this Hub. The Henny Youngman is hilarious and I must add that Voltaire was on to something. :D
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 17, 2010:
Oh, Duchess, you have made my day as well. What a remarkable quote and what a great mantra to have. Date of disintegration? I passed that long ago.
Maybe because my curiosity is insatiable as Edith suggests but also because I am interested in many, many things, big, small, important, and not. Thanks for stopping by and your irresistible comments.
Duchess OBlunt on August 17, 2010:
I try to read at least a few hubs each morning as I don't have any other time during the day. I'm glad I found this one as I will start my day with a smile, and knowing that there are others who feel just like I do! I might actually feel this thing called old age creeping up on me if I slowed down a little. (which is probably a good reason to stay active!)
Since you opened it up and asked for contributions to your quotes, I'll leave you with this thought by Edith Wharton
It spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in a small way.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 13, 2010:
Since you had the courage, or perhaps the temerity, to ask, I shall answer your question. Since I am a lady, I do not fart. If I did, the result might be dusty as you suggest. Regarding my age, read my hub: "Math Equation for Success in Life" which provides a clue at the end.
Thank you for your (?) interest! :)
Sweetsusieg from Michigan on August 12, 2010:
After I posted my comment, I spent the day chuckling at the thought of what people would think when they read it. You know, one of those embarrassing moment things... Lemme ask you this - Do you fart dust? Rather personal I know, just trying to gauge your age...
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 11, 2010:
Oh, sweetsusie, I loved your comment probably because unfortunately, being older than dirt myself, I can well relate to it. Laughing too hard often makes me leak, too and not just at one end.
Aging is mandatory but aging gracefully - that's a whole 'nother ballgame.
And bifocals - that could be the subject of an entire hub.
Sweetsusieg from Michigan on August 11, 2010:
I truly enjoyed reading this, as I tilted my head up to look through my bifocals so I can see better! I had to bring my head down every time I got a real good laugh otherwise I might have snotted in my mouth!!! It seems the older I get the wider open my mouth gets when I laugh and I have less control over my bodily functions. I guess I'm just glad I used the bathroom before reading.
Bless you for reminding me how much fun I am having trying to age gracefully!
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 03, 2010:
Gus - thanks for your always gracious comments; I always appreciate hearing from you.
Delighted you enjoyed this "good stuff" - I had fun collecting it. I enjoy reading your good stuff, too. :)
Gustave Kilthau from USA on August 03, 2010:
drbj - My wonderful friend! Had I not written that sort-of ode to age (?) I might never have discovered this great article that you put together. I am particularly impressed with the words of Yogi Berra and of Bill Cosby, maybe most particularly those of Yogi, that fireplug with ears... "Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours." That guy was funny even when he never intended himself to be funny.
I had fun reading this good stuff.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on June 09, 2010:
Thank you, Petra, that is a spot on comment and I will treasure it.
I recognized the power of humor and laughter and started laughing long, long ago and as I get older see no need to do less of it. Live, love, laugh is my motto.
Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on June 09, 2010:
Since there is little we can do about age, pretending to accept it and laughing at it remains the only alternative. Because you asked for it, here is the one line I like best about dealing with getting old: “in its graceful generosity, God takes your sight away before giving you wrinkles”.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on May 30, 2010:
What a perceptive, intelligent person you are, Al, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm delighted you found both wisdom and laughter in this hub - that was precisely why I wrote it.
Thank you for the visit, the perspicacious comments, and the lovely regards and blessings. To you, too.
Mystique1957 from Caracas-Venezuela on May 30, 2010:
I just laughed my heart´s out, but most important I got all the wisdom in between chuckles! It is a pleasure to read you for the first time, it´ll be a pleasure to follow you as well. This has been rated up and funny!
Warmest regards and infinite heavenly blessings(and more healthy,useful years!)
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 11, 2010:
Ah, my friend, you are so right. Old age is awful, even worse than you suggest unless ... unless you can somehow remain in fairly good health.
Then it's amazing how smart you think you become and how little the little things really matter. What's most important is love, family and BFFs.
Andria on March 11, 2010:
Growing older sucks. I can't really fathom why we have to suffer it. Why can't we just remain virile and fit - then drop dead, in the same way that we do anyway?
This is another of Mother Natures mistakes. It's why we ignore the aged, hide them away or pretend it's not going to happen to us. An accidental genetic cock-up.
We heal with remarkable speed, we're almost a walking miracle in many ways. Then old age kicks in. It's a travesty, that's what it is.
When I get to meet my maker, I shall be bypassing him and grabbing Mother Nature for a good heart to heart. It's about time the mistakes were rectified and grey hair, wrinkles and leaky bladders and false teeth were knocked on the head.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 31, 2009:
Thank you, my friend. This one's for you - my favorite quote about work: Question: "How many people work here?" Answer: "About half of them!"
marcofratelli from Australia on December 29, 2009:
Haha, there are some great quotes here! I love it.
drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on December 29, 2009:
Thanks, jayjay, I appreciate the Mae West quote which is new to me, and I appreciate you. One of her quotes I often use is: "He who hesitates is last." Succinct and right on.
jayjay40 from Bristol England on December 28, 2009:
What a laugh, this hub was a real pick-me-up. Here's a quote from Mae West 'You are never too old to become younger