Saturday, October 06, 2012

The two things people most want to know

When I watched this the first time I thought it was a hoot. The second time I watched it struck me differently. Mary Maxwell is 72, and though I'm certain a lot of what she said was for comic effect, her remarks seem more likely to apply to today's 85 year-old than the 70s crowd. But then she is speaking to an audience of people who provide professional caregiving services for the elderly in their homes. They aren't there to hear about how the newer generation of "old folks" are aging slower than their parents and grandparents, assuming they have taken care of themselves.

I look at my 71 year old husband, and even though he has significant health problems he has none of the doddering attributes of age Mary Maxwell talks of. He is not absent-minded, he is the "detail-man" of the household. He keeps track of the household accounts, my business accounts and a non-profit account he is treasurer of without the slightest problem. He is extremely pleasant and enjoyable to be with.

I complain that I cannot find the word I am looking for. He reminds me I've been complaining of this since I was 20. My head is a busy place, but generally working on a project or problem, not thinking about earrings or the hairdressers.

What I find is on the whole is basically we are not much different at 66 and 71 than we were at 20 and 25. Wiser, more settled, more compassionate and far richer in experience but we still prefer the company of one or two people over a crowd, and for a good portion of the day each of us needs to be entirely alone. We have no more interest in popular culture now than we did then, and aside from the news, PBS Science programs and the odd documentary we could probably live without TV, though we cannot say that about our computers, reader and ipad. Since he was a programmer back when computers were the size of Volkswagons we have always embraced computer technology. Also sworn at it a good deal, but still...

So, crack your jokes Mary. I like the short clips on her blog, where she hands out some fairly acid advice to people like the mother-in-law who didn't want to share her "treasured" family recipe for marinara sauce with the daughter-in-law she "doesn't trust". Mary concludes her advice by saying, "I've tasted your marinara sauce, and it's not worth fighting over." (or something of that ilk)

Mary blogs about being older with her characteristic dry wit here. I'm adding her to my blog roll because she is one funny lady and Lord knows I need a funny and LOLcats has just become too repetitive and predictable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He reminds me I've been complaining of this since I was 20.

That sounds like my Mom. She always says I can't remember that person's name. I tell her that she never remembered names, it has nothing to do with being 89.