When it comes to growing old, Americans seem to be of two minds. Some simply refuse to admit that they are growing old, or ever will grow old. Others freely admit that they are aging, and insist on telling us how horrible it is to grow old.

Dr. Boli, however, thinks aging is a fine thing, and earnestly recommends it to all his friends. As an expert on growing old, he has compiled a little list of the advantages of advanced age, in the hope that others may be inspired not only to continue the aging process, but to celebrate it as one of life’s pleasures:

You hear the young people say “This country is entering the worst crisis in its history,” and you remember the Saturday Night Massacre, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Pearl Harbor, the Great Depression, the Spanish Flu, the Hayes-Tilden election, the Panic of 1873, the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis, and the Whiskey Rebellion.

Your antiperspirant bill is considerably reduced.

You are not automatically suspected of being a shoplifter if you walk out of a store without buying anything.

You can consider with equanimity the possibility that you might have been wrong about something.

You spend much less of your life thinking about pimples.

You may discover that you actually like broccoli; but if you do not, no one forces you to eat it.

When middle-aged cranks complain about the ridiculous fashions young people are wearing these days, you remember zoot suits, lavender smoking jackets, bustles, and crinolines.

You can force a young person out of a seat on the streetcar with only a withering stare, which is the next best thing to having a death ray.

Your diseases tend to have much more impressive names.

Your opinions are accorded a certain amount of respect, even if you are a demonstrable fool.


  1. Captain DaFt says:

    Although I am many years shy of the good Doctor, I too, have found benefits to aging:

    Your quirks are called “eccentricities” rather than “social aberrations”.

    Nobody lectures you on needing to grow up, being to young, acting your age, or my least favorite from my youth; “You’ll understand when you’re older”.
    (I’m old enough to know that people who used that last line were the least likely to understand anything, and it was the dodge they used to avoid admitting it.)

    And the best part of aging: It’s a sure sign you haven’t died yet.

  2. RepubAnon says:

    To quote Richard Pryor (bowdlified): “You don’t get to be old, being a fool. There’s lots of wise young men – they’re all dead…”

  3. Ben Ieghn says:

    “When you stop growing old, you start growing cold”, I always say…

  4. Greybeard says:

    The people who used to say you were good looking now say you’re looking good.

  5. markm says:

    Growing old is terrible, but the alternative is worse.

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