Sixty is the new thirty, they say.
Well, I have news for them, and for you. It isn’t.
While there’s no precise age at which one suddenly becomes old, there is a constellation of telling symptoms that can serve as a guide. While I’ve written on the subject before, this time I’ve devised a highly scientific questionnaire to determine whether you are in fact properly old.
1. You need to sit down to put your socks or tights on. On the rare occasions that you don’t, it’s because you can’t find your socks.
2. Despite turning up the volume on the TV, you still can’t hear the dialogue, let alone grasp the plot.
3. You once had legendary nights out. These days, a nice cup of tea and a slice of Battenberg cake are far more appealing.
4. Besides, high heels have become intolerable.
5. You’re shorter and your back is more bent than it used to be, and now you can no longer correct your posture by sitting up straight. Don’t you wish you’d listened to your mother?
6. You always make sure you wrap up warm, just as your mother told you to. In fact, you now realise she was right about everything. Including those winkle-picker shoes.
7. Health is now a major preoccupation. If you and your friends were to stop discussing medical problems, there’d be no conversation at all.
8. On the rare occasions that you’re not collecting a prescription, you still make use of the chair the pharmacist keeps by the counter.
9. Of course, you groan with relief every time you sit down.
10. You may well have an iPhone and use Siri. Your most common request? “Siri, tell me what I’m doing here.”
There may be one or two other pointers as well. Please pitch in and let me know what I’ve missed out. Sorry, but my memory isn’t quite what it used to be. Can’t imagine why.
In case you missed it, The Times newspaper has just published a piece called Let the Elderly Make Love, Not Cocoa.