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Philosophy of Aging

205. Philosophy of Aging

It’s here in a rap—written when I was 62—and still true today. So tap your toe, get a beat going, and read it out loud.

Aging Rap

Well, we’re gonna do a little bit of aging rap

That talks about birthdays and such,

And all the different ways that society says

You gotta stay out of touch

With just how old you really are,

Oh please don’t say it out loud,

‘Cause the game says “Keep it a secret”

“Change the subject.” “No, don’t tell me you’re proud”

I’m getting older—every day older

I don’t need to pretend

‘Cause it’s really o.k. every day

So get out the flowers and send

Them to me—’cause I’m 62.

Now part of the game is that someone says,

“How old did you say you were?”

And I’m supposed to hem and haw

Or lie—”late 50’s sir.”

But never in a minute did he expect

That I would say “62.”

What a shock. He turns around

And then comes game number two.

‘Cause then he says with a gentle smile

“I never would have guessed!

Why you look about forty-seven,

Look at you—so spiffily dressed.

And I smile with a little more of a raucous smile

And say “Well I want you to know

That this is what sixty-two looks like

And it really is a go!”

My grandson Zachariah said one day

As we waited on line at the A&P,

“Now you’re sixty-two, isn’t that right?”

I said, “Right.” People turned around to see.

He said, “But grandma I’m six right now

But when I’m 37, what will you be?”

I said, “Let me figure—I’ll tell you sure.

Zack, I’ll be a hundred and three.”

I have three daughters and that’s been great,

But another of the games we know,

Is that when people look at us and say,

“I don’t believe it. Can’t be so.

You look like sisters.” Give me a break.

I laugh and say, “You should check your eyes.

They’re in their 30’s. I’m 62.

And you don’t win a prize for perception.

You just don’t win a prize.”

You add it all up and sideways too

Society is trying to say

That getting old just can’t be good

You have to hide it some way.

You have to pretend or use special goo

But don’t let anyone know

Exactly what your age is

Well, I don’t buy it—SO

I interrupt whenever I can

Just like I do all the jokes

That are racist, or sexist, homophobic or bad,

I interrupt the hoax

That age is something you have to hide.

It really isn’t you know

Let’s all jump on the bandwagon

And interrupt in order to show—

We’re getting older—every day older,

We don’t need to pretend.

‘Cause it’s really o.k. every day

So get out the flowers

And send them to us

‘Cause we’re 62 and 74 and 85

And it’s really all O.K.

© Copyright 1995 by Ann Freeman Price

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