I thought we were going to stay youthful, or at least young-minded, forever. I thought we were so much more hip than our own parents were in our 50s. Yes, for sure middle age would be the new 30s for my generation.
Then why is it at just about every dining out experience with friends as I sit around a table looking at gorgeous and youthful-looking 50-somethings, just as I start sipping my finely aged wine, the middle-aged whine begins?
I am speaking of the whine about the back pain, the whine about insomnia, and the whine about high cholesterol. The list goes on -- see below.
At various times in my recent past, in mixed groups, items on the following list of things have been discussed, and almost always while at a nice, relaxing setting such as dinner out:
Constipation, Overeating/Weight, Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Insomnia, Hot Flashes and Menopause, Prostate, Hearing loss, Bloat, Balding, Vision/Needing Reading Glasses, Earwax -- I kid you not, Digestion/Indigestion, Arthritis, Hip Replacement, Back problems, Knee problems, Keloid scarring, Allergies, Congestion, Sleep Apnea/snoring, Leg Cramps, Thyroid/underactive, Dry Eyes, Dental or Gum Issues, Bunions
The above is not the list of side effects from some new medication advertised on TV, though it sure looks like one. It is also NOT an exaggeration.
In fact, I am sure I am missing quite a few things -- but I generated the list by thinking of people we have been out dining with just recently, so I didn't have to go far into my (aged) memory bank to mine all of those whiny nuggets.
What are we, 100 years old? I thought our generation was in pretty good shape, but hearing these health complaints, discussions, and whines, it may not be the case.
This is from a group of relatively healthy, youthful, and active middle-agers, mind you. Maybe we just look and dress and act younger than the prior generation. Maybe we delude ourselves by going to music concerts, and rocking out to pretend we are still quite youthful.
We are taking vitamins, exercising more, eating healthier, buying organic and free-range, and some of us crazies (my hand is raised) are even doing Yoga for better bone density.
A brief interlude for an all-too-true joke:
A young German, a young Frenchman, and a Middle-ager are struggling through the desert.
"Ach!" protests the German, "I am so thirsty! I must have a beer!"
"Mon dieu!' exclaims the Frenchman, "I am so thirsty! I must have a glass of wine!"
"Oh no!" says the Middle-ager, "I am so thirsty! I must have diabetes!"
The list of complaints shouldn't surprise or annoy me as much as it does. It is simply a reality check that we are staring straight into the senior citizen realm next.
I personally can wait for the seniors-days discounts and the like. Despite the list of above complaints from my social group, I am just not ready to leap from middle aged to senior. No thanks.
So in the meantime, it would be nice to get together, sip some wine, and hold the whine.