First, stop compulsively dropping into every conversation that you have just turned 60, and then waiting for the other person to exclaim, “No way! That’s impossible! You don’t even look close to 50.” Just shut up about it.
Quit pointing out, when driving behind a slow or erratic driver, that it has to be an old person, and that that person should have their license taken away. Then pretend to be amazed that you have gotten lost, something that “never happens.”
When someone mentions where they were on 9/11, don’t immediately share your memory of where you were when you heard that President Kennedy was shot (right after lunch in Mr. Weber’s 6th grade class).
Sell your leather pants to the vintage clothing store. While there, do not buy anything else, even if that gauzy top reminds you of the one you wore to an Iron Butterfly concert before anyone knew who Iron Butterfly was.
Realize that hardly anyone today knows who or what Iron Butterfly is.
Whenever one of your children “discovers” a song or band from the ’60s, resist the temptation to say, “Oh, I used to listen to that in my dorm room all day and night, when I was trying to get over my first love.” Similarly, resist any temptation to discuss your life at college, or first loves, at all.
In fact, avoid all references to the ’60s, especially ones in which you allude to how that was the “coolest time ever to be young.”
Discard all pictures of yourself wearing: “hot pants” with white patent leather boots, mini-skirts with midriff tops, and bikinis on the beach in Mazatlan where you appear to be drinking from one of 10 straws in a giant snifter of a blue slushy cocktail with a bunch of scruffy long-haired ne’er-do-wells.
Never use the term “ne’er-do-well.”
Stop watching the network news at 6:30 every night while you are eating dinner.
If you simply must watch the 6:30 news every night while eating dinner, then stop complaining about all the old people and their many hideous ailments in the commercials that are featured during this half hour. Stop saying, “They must think the only people watching the news must be old people!”
No matter how tempting it is to complain about one of your many hideous ailments, NEVER, EVER do so, except to your spouse — if you still have one. This is the most important dictum to follow. There is not one single person in the world who cares about your bunions, your insomnia, or your lifelong battle against ear or facial hair.
Remember those death camp commercials in the last election? Never show weakness.
Never ask for directions, even if you are lost. (See above.) If you are lost, and someone offers to help you with the GPS on their phone, never dismiss them, saying, “No thanks, I do just fine with a regular old map.” No one has to know about your tangled mass of free faded Auto Club maps that are shoved in the glove box.
If you must go to Starbucks, do not hold up the line by asking why “small is tall, medium is grande, and large is venti.” Do not chuckle about how “a cup of coffee used to just be a cup of coffee,” or grumble about the price. I really mean it; there is nothing that gives old people a bad name worse than this Starbucks behavior.
For God’s sake, learn how to use your remote control.
Switch from AOL to Gmail. Hire someone to teach you everything you need to know about the Internet, social media, and photo sharing, rather than asking your children or grandchildren to perform this pitiless task. Never say to your son, “Could you just show me one little thing on my computer before you go?”
Do not claim you were at Woodstock. If everyone my age who claimed they had been at Woodstock had been at Woodstock, well… you get the idea.
Do claim your “senior discount” whenever possible, but do not, at the time you are doing so, jokingly remind the ticket seller or cashier to ask you for your ID proving that you are, indeed, a senior citizen (see first paragraph).
Never wear stilettos or shorts, but avoid holiday sweaters and t-shirts with photos of grandchildren.
Do whatever it is that you have been putting off for the past 40 years, thinking, “I can always do that someday soon when I have time.”
You don’t have that much time. Get cracking.