20 Jan

So a couple years ago I went on a trip in which I spent four and a half “fun” filled days with the 65 and over crowd. There were very few almost miniscule moments where I actually got to converse with people closer to my age bracket. Please make note that all the people I spent time with are people that I love very much but no matter how much of an “old soul” I am there is still a very large, canyon size, generational gap that can not be avoided. So what did I do to keep my mind from going even more crazy than it already is, I spent those four days doing one of the things I do best, I observed. I decided that I would compile my observations into sort of a guide on how to survive the oldies but the goodies generation. In it you will find things you should be prepared for such as, topics of conversations, smells, and when would be a good time to either block the conversation out or go to your happy place, or put in your ear buds and turn up your iPod cause some things you really just don’t need to know. I will also give you advice on things you should learn to do before you venture in this quest and also some packing tips.

Topics of discussion:
1. Have you ever wondered what kind of nuts you can and cannot chew with your false teeth? No, well, you will found out. Apparently cashew are softer than most, therefore easier to chew. TIP: Put on your, To Do When Old list: Stock up on cashews.

2. Casino, Casino, Casino, Casino. Two hours later, more casino. This is what the old people are doing these days. It’s the IT thing for the 65 and older crowd. There is no better time spent than in front of a slot machine pushing a button hoping to hit it big. If you are slightly interested in gambling then you should probably should bring a pad and pen along because you will be learning how to get to various casinos, which machines to play and not to play, which casino pays out more, which casino are you going to lose all your money at, how to get back home from various casinos, the best times to go to the casino, and which casinos have the best and cheapest buffets. You will also be privileged in knowing about all the times they have won money and exactly how much they won. Apparently once you hit a certain age your DNA mutates and adds the “I gotta gamble” gene. But I don’t like to gamble you say. Doesn’t matter, once you hit a certain age, you have no choice.

3. One word- Arthritis.

4. Here’s another “pen and pad” situation. Have you thought to yourself, “Gee I wonder what meds/vitamins Gram is on?” then it’s your lucky day!! Not only will you find out what meds/vitamins they are taking currently, but you will also find out what meds/vitamins they used to take. Just when you thought they have talked enough about medication, think again my friends. You will also learn about each side effect they got for certain meds and advice on what meds/vitamins you should be taking as well. Folic acid, good for nausea. TIP: Some of the side effects can get pretty descriptive; this would be an excellent time for happy place or iPod.

5. Awww the good old days!!!! You will most likely find out things you never knew or would expect to hear about your elders. Mine, happened to be quite the wild and crazy bunch. Please make note, you will hear these stories more then once!!!! TIP: To handle hearing stories multiple times and not hurting feelings just pretend you’ve never heard it before half zone out, paste on that fake smile, nod a few times, and says uh huh, really, huh.
6. Kids these days, is a huge discussion, so be prepared to answer questions and defend your generations wardrobe, music, hair styles, the phrases and words we use, etc…

7. TV today is crap! Or it is to them anyway. TIP: Don’t get sucked into defending your favorite mind polluting TV shows, they will never get it!!!

8. What the price of bread used to be. $0 .14 if you were curious.

9. People who died and when they died. Frankly I don’t want to here about death. Nor am I anywhere near ready to walk towards the light. I guess when everyone around you starts dying and you think you are close yourself,  you think about it a lot and feel comfortable talking about it just the same as what you ate for lunch, I don’t know. Personally, I hope to have many, many years ahead of me and would rather not think about dying.


1. Sleeping in means your ass is up between the hours of 7-8 am. NO LATER!!!!

2. They are all very good drivers, at least that’s what they tell each other. In all reality, most of them should PARK IT or are very close to PARKING IT. What’s that noise? IT”S THE RUMBLE STRIPS!!!!!!!!!! The worse thing you can do is get in a car with them while driving on the freeways and highways that have a lot of traffic. OMG! OMG! OMG!!, is what you will be screaming. If you ever want to know what a semi looks like up close while driving at high speeds, trust me you WILL find out. TIP: You have 3 options. 1) Don’t get a car with them ever. 2) You drive. Beg, Plead, or demand but do not let them drive. 3) Ride shot gun holding on for dear life! If you chose option 3 you have some more decisions to make. A) Close your eyes B) take a valium, maybe two. C) Smoke something medicinal D) maybe you like danger, living on the edge is your thing. In that case, enjoy the ride.

3. You will have to yell BLINKER a lot. They use it but they can’t hear it if it’s still going.

4. Old People smell. Why is it that every old person and their homes smell a variation of the same stinky smell? I don’t recall seeing a Glade air freshener scent of vitamins, medications, and ointment.

5. When conversing with your elders you are gonna have to do one or all of these three things. 1) Repeat, repeat, repeat. 2) Talk really loud. Use your outside voice. 3) Talk to them in their good ear.

6. During daylight hours the TV is only programmed to view channels with news, stocks, baseball, golf, and the occasional Golden Girls episode. (Those old broads are kinda funny though) In order to watch some of you favorite crap you will have to wait until they fall asleep. TIP: If you have a portable DVD player, bring it.

7. Your evening are gonna consist of A LOT of wild and crazy card games such as knock rummy or pinochle. TIP: Just roll with it. They go to bed before 10 anyway.

8. They like to go for really, really, really long drives with no music. TIP: iPod!!!!! If you get car sick like I do, lot’s of Dramamine.

9. The blow their noses a lot!!!. They have Kleenex everywhere!! They have box or single pieces strategically place all throughout them. Some times it seems like they pull it out of no where, like the magic trick your weird Uncle did to you with the quarter behind your ear.

So there you have, your mini survival guide on what to expect when spending long periods of time with people 65 and over. This will also be helpful for those about to be welcomed into this age group. You can take it, run with, and become one of them or you can be an innovator and change it!!!! Light nice smelly candles, broaden your T.V. watching horizons, take public transportation (good for the environment), ladies, you don’t have to cut all you hair off find a medium to long style that works for you.