Saturday, June 16, 2012

Aging Gracefully

(This is a re-post from one of my other blogs that I am consolidating into PantsParty.)

Here's how I'm working toward this goal:
First and foremost, I have taken up smoking a pipe. I'm not sure I like it yet, but I'm giving it a shot. However, I do think that it is a hobby that could suit me. I went to the tobacconist the other day and picked up a little corn-cob jobby and a sampler of tobaccos and am going to give the whole thing a try. I have no idea what I'm doing yet.
Second, I got a new shoe polishing kit yesterday and went to town on some of my lace-ups. It felt good. It felt right.
I'm thinking about looking around for a good retirement community, as I am getting on in years.
What L is doing:
She, within the last ten minutes, has told me that she wants to get good at gardening. "You know, just some pretty flowers or something..." Which entered my head as a mental image of her standing on the lawn shaking a fist at some kids for messing with her prize-winning roses. I also imagined her to be in a sort of old-lady moomoo in this scenario. Perhaps with a bun in her hair and an apron on. But that remains to be seen.
What most people are not doing:
Acting their age.
Saying no to abundant tattoos that will look silly in pictures when they are holding their grandchildren.
Dressing like adults.
Behaving with even a modicum of dignity or decorum.
All in all, the whole thing is baffling to me. Granted, I do live in a town where people move to avoid having to grow up. But still. It is like being surrounded by a legion of adult infants. But knowing this, is it really my place to say.
This is, after all, America. People ought to be free to do as they please. But I will say that it's hard to respect an adult who looks like they just got done playing over to the playground and now wants to go to Toys R Us to check out the newest video games...
-A.R. Leith

Has Anybody Seen Wall-E?

(This is a re-post from one of my other blogs that I am consolidating into PantsParty.)

If you've seen it, this will make sense. If you haven't...basically, this movie paints a pretty grim--and dim--picture of humanity in the future. Everyone is living in space because it's the future, and that's where people live in the future. Everything worth doing is being done by robots because that's the way things are kind of headed. Where the indictment of humanity comes in is the people themselves. What this picture predicts is that we will basically become blobs of consumption and leisure who are carted around by automated personal shuttles basically murdering Slurpees and cheese puffs all day. People who are so inactive that they have lost bone mass and structure. People so coddled that they never have to think, or do, for themselves again.
And as much as you can say, 'Oh, that's so far fetched.' And as much as you hate that image. And as much as you can claim, 'That will never be me.' I was doing just that today, and it was wonderful...
However, I was watching the television. Have you guys ever watched television? During the day? On a Tuesday? You'd be amazed at the things you'll see there. Today, for example* I was having a viewing while eating my lunch and in one commercial break was able to glimpse exactly the future that Wall E predicts.
The two commercials that ran within minutes of each other, and really kind of spooked me were these:
The first was the one that I am sure you have seen. It involves a gentleman sporting business casual attire and telling you that, even though you don't have the money for it, you deserve some sort of automated personal conveyance. Be it a Rascal or a Hover-Round (sp?) if you are too injured, infirm, or obese to get your happy ass from place to place you need something to do that work for you. Again, if you've seen Wall-E, this should sound familiar.
The second--and by far more disturbing--of the two ads was a similarly pitched advert for...
...wait for it...
...catheters. Yes, I said it. But, more importantly, THEY said it. Here was a seemingly average and surprisingly young-looking woman acting as though it is in no way out of the ordinary or strange for a person to be using (according to the fine print on the screen) up to 200 catheters a month. More importantly, this company was championing the fact that you deserve to have fresh, sterile, catheters. 'Nobody should have to re-use a catheter,' they say. Obviously this slowed down my enjoyment of my lunch more than a little.**
Seeing these two ads***, I was a little saddened by where the people of this country are heading. But if we haven't figured out yet that hasty breeding and medicine extending the average life span are getting us into a whole heap of unforeseen problems, we might as well just sit back and enjoy it. In the end, the whole thing just served to remind me of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer sees someone in a wheelchair and declares, '...and here I've been using my legs, like a sucker.'
-A.R. Leith

"A boy's only right when he knows he knows nothing at all."  -CFP

*It is worth noting that I was watching M*A*S*H on some channel called ION, which may be directed specifically at old people for all I know. But still...
**Don't worry, I was able to finish eating when the show returned. I'm very resilient.
***An honorable mention should go to the commercials on youth programming that have professional athletes having to lure children outdoors to play instead of watching T.V. all day. I don't remember that being a problem when I was a kid, but who knows. Good luck everybody.