Sunday, December 27, 2015

Old people—yuck!

The elderly may sometimes slur, but more often they get slurred. These days I’m struck by the casual ageism that drops into conversations and essays without a ripple. Some examples from my notebook:

“There are quite a few semi-old people traveling with really desperately old people who are clearly their parents. Men after a certain age simply should not wear shorts, I’ve decided; the skin seems denuded and practically crying out for hair, particularly on the calves. It’s just about the only body area where you actually want more hair on older men.”
Shipping Out, by David Foster Wallace

 “When I look at [my old paperbacks] objectively, like a child looking at the tented skin of a beloved grandparent, I must admit that they are not physically attractive.”
The Shelf, by Phyllis Rose

“The parents are just on the other side of 40, still relatively young, still relatively attractive.”
—Modern Love, New York Times, September 24, 2015

“Hoodie … a piece of clothing that makes you look hip and cool if you are under 40 years old but that you shouldn’t be using over 40 if you don’t want to appear as a pervert and/or a slob.”
—"How to Fold Your Hoodie Into a Pillow or a Laptop Bag," Lifehacker

Moral: Being old is really, really fun, but only if you have body hair and like having people think you’re a pervert.

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