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Judi's avatar

Have you given any thought to what kind of an old person you want to be?

Asked by Judi (39784points) January 5th, 2009

I was following another question about age and wisdom and realized that I spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of old person I want to be, especially now that I’m a grandma. Have you started planning for the type of old person you will be? If so, how do you envision yourself, and what would you consider old?

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54 Answers

GAMBIT's avatar

I want to be a good husband, father and grandfather (if my children have kids). That is all I want in life.

blondie411's avatar

Get off my lawn!!!

No really, I want to be a friendly old person, one that not just my grandkids come to for advice but other friends do as well because they think because of all the years I have put in is good for something. I was to be the kind of grandparent that mine are to me now. I can ask them anything and they will give me an honest, straightforward, but loving answer.

simone54's avatar

I can’t wait till I“m old. I’m gonna what ever I want and get away with because I’m an old man.

dynamicduo's avatar

I’ve thought about it, yes. But I figure there’s no real point in really seriously thinking about it, cause we’re gonna see some really interesting technology in our lifetimes which could very well change the definitions of many things. I’m not saying that my core principles of who I am would change, cause those won’t be changing no matter what happens, and I will continue to be a kind, helpful person no matter what age I am. But my vision of “old” may very well change if we gain the ability to grow replacement organs, etc.

scamp's avatar

I have loved this poem since the first time I read it

When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobrietry of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickles for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~Jenny Jacobs ~

KatawaGrey's avatar

I want to be that crazy old lady with all sorts of funky stuff in the yard who walks everywhere and wears those funky clothes you find in art stores. My grandkids are going to bring their friends over cuz my house will be full of all sorts of old funky stuff. I’ll have lots of pets from cats and dogs to birds and lizards and all sorts of little neighborhood creatures I put food out for. I’ll be driving my husband or wife crazy because of all the crazy stuff I’ll do.

shadling21's avatar

No, I’ve never really thought about it.

I hope to be wise(r than I am today).
I hope to have strong relationships with family and friends.
I hope to use technology to its maximum potential.
I hope to express myself creatively.
I hope to be humble and honest and good.

Aethelwine's avatar

Happy, fulfilled and full of energy at the age of 85.

jrpowell's avatar

Senile ass-grabber.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I want to be the same kind of old person that I am now. Fun to be with, no grandma clothes, drive a cool car, love music, to sing & dance, ready to do things on the spur of the moment, have the money to do what I want to, have good health, my two daughters & 3 grandkids wanting to spend time with me, my husband & I loving each other like we do now. I guess just having what I do now, only in future years, too. That’s the good life.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I dunno about you but I don’t ever plan on being old, atleast not the way I act. Sure I might not have the same pisazz as I did when I was 21 or the swagger I do now, But I’m still gonna be walkin around calling people noobs and dancing to 80s music at clubs.

Judi's avatar

this question may have also been inspired because I just saw “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” last night too.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@judi: Wasn’t it awesome? I was very impressed with that movie.

Judi's avatar

yep! Best movie i’ve seen in a long long time.

galileogirl's avatar

I think the older we get the more US we become. There seems less incentive to hide behind a mask. As the time gets shorter it is less important to worry about other people’s perceptions. That sweet old grandma whose family loves to be with was always a loving nurturing person. If johnpowell turns out to be a senile grabasser, he probably isn’t one yet because he’s afraid of going to jail.

akmcg's avatar

I refuse to get “old”.
I intend to get healthier and more comfortable in the own skin as I age. I plan on letting things roll of my back like a duck more easily than I do now. I hope to be the kind of lady that has all kinds of crazy fun stories to share with others too.

galileogirl's avatar

Old should not be thought of as better or worse but different. Like it or not things change. I don’t have my 20 yo physicality but I am more confident and happier with my body. I may not have my 30 yo stamina but I have learned to say no so I still have enough strength to do as I wish. I don’t have the 40 yo perfectionism but Ive learned to not sweat the small stuff.

mea05key's avatar

oh galileo well said….“different” is the key word.

hammer43's avatar

I would like to be pretty much the same type of person…one that keeps to himself willing to help anyone out if needed still able to be a hard worker and if I’m married (single now) a very caring and loving husband. And be able to say I lived a good life.

elijah's avatar

I hope to be as active as my grandfather is now. He is busy every single day, either playing tennis or golf, going to a play or a dinner dance, traveling, volenteering to drive other seniors to doctor appointments, helping deliver meals to others, etc. I am
actually jealous of his social life.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@hammer….I know you well. I know you’ll be as sweet an old man as you are now. No worries, my friend. :-)

hammer43's avatar

@jbfletcherfan…I feel the same about you my dear…:-)

Jack79's avatar

I once saw this old bluesman in a bar in Dresden. It was the same bar I used to sing in. He had long white hair and a thick white beard (ok maybe he looked a bit like your image of Santa Claus) and wore glasses, like me. And he was sitting down because he was too old to stand (and I’ve always had problems with my legs). And his fingernails and lips were all yellow from smoking tobacco, which is what I also did at the time. I was pretty sure I was looking at myself in 40 years’ time. Which was not so bad because he played the guitar better than I ever could, even in 40 years.

cdwccrn's avatar

I don’t expect to grow old.

wundayatta's avatar

I like to come off as considering myself old. And my body certainly is creaking a lot more. But I don’t really consider myself old. I may have lost a bit of conditioning, but I bet I’ll be back doing the salkows and waltz jumps and maybe even the toe flip before the winter is over. And next summer? I need to add a new dive to my repertoire. Or maybe learn how to tuck when I flip.

cherryberry's avatar

I will be happy if I am able to grow old with my mind intact. No dementia = happy me. Aside from that, I’d like to be a little like Mona on the Golden Girls and a little like Paula Dean.

augustlan's avatar

Me, only older. :)
With better medicine and technology, I hope to actually feel better than I do now.

*Edited to add: I have known several bitter, cynical old folks. My husband and I have a ‘deal’...if we ever get like that, it’s ‘pillow on the face’ time.

asmonet's avatar

One that uses ‘whippersnapper’ regularly.

Darwin's avatar

Active is good. Dementia free is also good. Able to see, hear, taste, talk, and not drool excessively is also good.

Looking forward to each day is the best. When you don’t look forward to anything any longer then it’s time to go.

Megan64's avatar

I just want to be healthy, appreciative, and loved.

susanc's avatar

My grandmother was good so I will be too. Oh wait, I am a grandmother. Oops. Well, I’m good. What’s the question again?

jholler's avatar

Dirty and without accountability.

tabbycat's avatar

The older I get, the more I want to give back. I spent most of my time developing a career and never had any children, so, as the years go by, I appreciate more and more being able to interact with young people and mentor them when I can. It is also very exciting to see their perspectives on things, and I always learn so much from them.

I really believe that the different generations need each other. I feel privileged to have known members of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation and lament their passing. But I am equally excited to get to interact with young people. Each generation brings a different perspective, and we can all learn from each other.

I come from the generation that said, “Don’t trust anybody over 30.” We were wrong—and I knew at the time we were wrong. We all need to learn from whomever we can, and we always need to be open to learning something new. I definitely don’t want to be an old person who feels there is nothing left to learn!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

oh i definitely have. i think i’m living in reverse in a way, because i wear like, ‘grandma sweaters’ and whatnot now, and i sit at home and crochet and wear curlers. when i get old i think i’m gonna be one of those outrageous grammas you see at punk shows. and i’ll say vulgar things to embarrass my grandkids.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@tiffy: That’s awesome. Honestly, I’m more embarrassed by the non-vulgar things my grandmother says. Though, come to think of it, she does say some pretty vulgar stuff, but it’s mostly cuz she’s old-fashioned (and still thinks it’s polite to refer to black people as “colored” and Asians as “oriental” shiver).

tiffyandthewall's avatar

haha! my mom’s friend is ‘old’ and she says the most obscene things, and it usually happens when my friends are in the car, and their faces are just priceless. they’re like “is that lady your grandma? she’s so awesome!”

KatawaGrey's avatar

I love it when older people do that. When I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and his family, his stepdad was eating a bowl of muscles and, out of the blue, he looked up and said, “Did you know that muscles are an aphrodisiac?” and then went back to eating. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I just hope I stay active. I see elderly people in my town out walking with their old friends, and puttering around their gardens. My parents are old and do absolutely nothing. My Dad does crossword puzzles and my mom knits. They both read and watch TV. They might as well be living in a hospital.

galileogirl's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt With so many young people (under 25) on this site it’s hard to understand what you mean by ‘My parents are old’.

If they are in their 50’s, after a day of working, commuting, shopping, cooking, cleaning and dealing with kids, a crossword puzzle or an hour of knitting is just a way to unwind and gather one’s thoughts.

If you are older and they’re in their 70’s well most of us in our 7th and 8th decades enjoy simple pleasures. And like it or not we may not have the physicality to climb mountains (although some do) or the desire to keep up with the latest cultural trends. But you’ll see…

BTW some might say that young people who spend all their time on a computer or some other electronic wearing ‘buds’ might as well be living in cave. lol

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I mean my parents are really old! Late 70’s, pushing 80. When I am that old, I know I won’t be running any marathons, but would like to be like the 80-year-olds that still like to garden and walk a bit. In other words, I hope I will stay somewhat active and not let myself vegitate.

galileogirl's avatar

Were they avid gardeners at 40. As long as one can think(crosswords and working patterns) one is not vegetating. Maybe their roots are a little potbound-are you still as active as you ewre at 20?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

No, and I wouldn’t expect them to be as active as they were 20 years ago. Just worry about their lack of exercise, as it is causing them some health issues.

Aethelwine's avatar

Jack LaLanne is my inspiration for the golden years

galileogirl's avatar

My granmother WATCHED him every day, never moved a muscle and lived to 90.

It’s hard to believe that was more than 50 years ago.

Aethelwine's avatar

@galileogirl- my grandmother was the same. I guess it doesn’t matter what you do. Some smoke and drink for 90 years, others eat healthy and exercise for those 90. Heredity? Is that the answer?

galileogirl's avatar

My grandmother was built like Margaret Dumont from the time she was 40, loved cooking, got her exercise by playing bridge 3 X wk. She regularly drove between SF and LA until she was 89 )although she was seeing accidents and near misses happening around her in the later years). She was healthier at 88 than I am 25 yrs younger. I guess my genes come from the other side. sigh

CMaz's avatar

As long as I have a cane in my crusty paw I will be good to go.

JLeslie's avatar

I lived in SE Florida for most of my 20’s and part of my 30’s and I was around a lot of “old” people. Most of my staff when I was a fragrance manager in a departement store were in their 60’s and they went to launch parties at clubs in South Beach, and had incredible work ethics, and got great joy from their families. My concept of old changed a lot spending time with those wonderful people who I miss. Not that I think 60 is old, it really isn’t.

When I am older I want to be back in FL living in a condo with all of my closest friends living in the same building like a college dorm, but better. I want to travel, be healthier than I am now (I am hopeful), and dance (I miss dancing). I want to continue to learn, I find that subjects I had no interest in during my youth are now interesting to me. I hope younger people and peers respect my opinions. I hope that there will be less emphasis on looking young so we can age gracefully, although I will probably color my hair. I think I am perceived as having a classic look when it comes to clothing, and it will probably stay that way…generally solid colors and nothing too daring. I look forward to continuing to experience life with my husband, he gives me great joy.

maryleedy's avatar

I don’t plan on thinking about getting old until I start looking old. LOL I’m 40 and no crows feet yet so I’m still young, lol. As long as I still laugh when I’m 80, then life is good.

snowberry's avatar

We had a young man living with us for a few months. My husband was upstairs and I wanted to talk to him…

Then I got this reel good idear.

I said, “Now where did thet man go? He’s allus disappearin’ when I want ta talk to he-um!” Our roommate cracked up. So I told my hubby, and he thought it was a reel good idear too.

He told him that I had thrown his walker down the stairs. And I said I had to keep a reel sharp eye on my man, or he’d wear his pajammers outside.

“Our boy” has moved out now, but every time we see him, he gets an update on how we’re doing.

To the original poster: The translation is: We’re just getting started.

kaciepaxton's avatar

I still want to have the same intensity with which i love my wife, children, moma & Pops…everyone. I want to retire the day i die.

Brian1946's avatar

Sometime in the far, far future I’d like to be a healthy, billion-years old person. ;-)

Aster's avatar

I’m pretty old and dissatisfied with my lifestyle and surroundings. I hope I get a second chance to do life the way I want to.
I’d like to be like “Raj” the 96 year old man on my favorite show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli.” He lived all over the world and landed in Sarasota, Florida with his female companion. When the host asked him to what he attributes his age and cheerful attitude he answered, “I have never known stress and I eat yogurt daily.” Then Raj put on shorts showing his suntanned legs, got in a golf cart and they played golf. When they returned Raj made dinner, they had very strong cocktails (120 proof ) then Raj’s family came over for the dinner they had made together. Oh, I think his name was Raj. Maybe not. Gorgeous accent. A Buddhist I believe. It may be on . If you simply must know his name I would be happy to find it on my DVR. lol

snowberry's avatar

I’m exactly the kind of person I want to be, and by most folks’ reckoning I’m “old”. I pray my relationship with God gets better and better.

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