I Wish I Were Old

From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my articles from the now-defunct humor section, Tangent.
I Wish I Were Old

Mark J. Lehman
Managing Editor

Originally Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm only going to say this once: I wish I were old.

I don't mean older, like when kids wish they could be 18 years old so they can legally smoke Marlboros and watch pornography. No, I mean old, old -- like, smell like mothballs and forget where I put my teeth, old. Sure, it doesn't sound glamorous now, but keep reading and I think you'll be surprised.

Have you ever gone to Denny's with only $5 to your name, and all you really wanted was a couple of eggs and a short stack? The day you stop in for breakfast, however, happens to be the day after their $1.99 Grand Slam special has finished, and you cannot find anything other than a side of hash browns for less than $6.49. But wait! Eureka! A secret menu, filled with items that sound the same, yet cost conspicuously less, has just poked its head out from behind the dessert menu. Interestingly, each entree is preceded by the word "senior," but you give it little thought, since, after all, you're a senior in high school/college/life.

Then, like a mallet to the face, you see the small print at the bottom "For patrons over 55."

I'm only going to say this once: I wish I were old.

Despite the Muesli breakfasts and the frequent and uncontrollable urination -- or perhaps because of them -- old people have it good. Being old is like having a "get out of jail free" card, only instead of jail, you can substitute pretty much any word or phrase you want -- like "bad situation" or "boring dinner party" or "work." The best part, though, is that you don't even have to fake anything. You can just say "I'm bored," or "This sucks," or even just a loud mumble and flatulence work well to illustrate your disgust with whatever situation in which you might be stuck.

Back to the Denny's example. One of the main differences between college students and old people is not how much they party, because I know quite a few oldsters who can really bust a groove, some even without busting their hips. No, the big difference is in disposable incomes. Once you're old and retired, you've put in your hours and now you've got a wealth of cash to throw around frivolously. Best of all, though, is that having a driver's license that says you were born more than 60 years ago is like having a discount card for the entire world. Old folks only pay about 70% of what non-olds pay on movies, dinners and even strip clubs.

I'm only going to say this once: I wish I were old.

From being able to drive like a maniac to getting the chance to say "In my day..." and follow it with a long story that nobody cares about but everybody has to listen to, there's nothing about being old that doesn't appeal to me. If it doesn't appeal to you, though, then I guess it just "Depends" on your point of view.
[via Los Angeles Loyolan: http://www.laloyolan.com/2.4416/1.398777]
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