Better With Age?

Daily writing prompt
What do you think gets better with age?

You have to pick your battles. Carefully watch your karma, and be sincere. Your parents tell you this, your older friends tell you this, and concerned teachers tell you. But by and large, you ignore this wisdom until the lumps and bruises pile up, and you find yourself approaching middle age. You’ll wince the first time you pass these chestnuts of wisdom on to some hotshot intern. It’s on par with looking in the mirror and seeing your father glaring back at you. You know he’s saying I told you so.

Filmmaker Luis Bunuel suggested, “Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese.” In part, I agree, but my shoulders don’t on a snowy day when the sidewalk needs shoveling. Karma, good and bad, nibbles at the back of my mind, and sincerity? Well, at my age, I’ve either got it or I don’t. So it leaves the question of what I think improves with age. And I’d have to say it is in picking the battles I want to fight. 
There was a time when I’d rush in; now, I cogitate, plan tactics and strategy, and only launch an attack when I am ready. More often than not, I laugh and walk away. Most conflicts are just not worth it. 
Occasionally, I feel like counting coup, taking a head, or just being a piss ant. That’d be when I get the fifth call on my cell from some idiot real-estate flack who wants to know if I’m interested in selling to their private investment group sight unseen. I’ll hem and haw, finally admit to the termite problem, the artesian spring in the basement, the giant tree that just fell on the bathroom, the collapsing porch, how the noise from the nearby train station keeps you up at night, and of course, the bats in the attic…then I wander on about my personal problems and the itch in my crotch. But I say, if you are still interested? About this time, he’s regretting calling because, of course, I am hysterical, screaming, crying, and pleading with him to please help me. About this time, he is reading me the number for the suicide prevention hotline and rapidly hangs up. He never calls back.

OK. One thing is better with age; my ability to wind people up without hardly trying. Learn to pick your battles.

4 Replies to “Better With Age?”

  1. Our brains get better with age. Our intellect. Did you ever try to have a conversation with a 20yo? Older people are far more interesting.

  2. I never thought of my destroyed knees in terms of karma but I guess that might be the ticket, but then they might have been toast anyway. Maybe it’s ancestral Karma “You marry that woman, Hans Kasper, and all your descendants will have arthritis!” “Bitte! Switzer Deutsch!” “You’re gonna’ need English, HK. You’ll pay for that, too.” You know, the whole “sins of the fathers…”

  3. I did not believe in the sins of the father stuff, until a therapist told me about the intergenerational aspects of abuse. Since then I’ve done some deeper thinking. Sometimes it does work out that way. Makes it even more horrible doesn’t it?

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