By Alex Berger
The second half of one's life is meant to be better than the first. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it. Ð Frances Lear A woman who reached the age of two score and ten (she stopped counting years ago), took pen in hand, and listed, in alphabetical order, the misgivings of advancing age:A Ð Absentia dementia; B Ð Bags under the eyes and elsewhere: C Ð Cellulite buildup; D Ð Doctors (gynecologists, chiropractors, etc.); E Ð Eyeglasses, F Ð Facial lines; G Ð Gastric disorders; H Ð Hormone deficiencies: I Ð Indolence; J Ð Jaded-ness; K Ð Kidneys (no longer user-friendly); L Ð Lackluster; M Ð Money (lots of it needed because of frequent trips to Florida); N Ð Non-descriptedness; O Ð Overage, overweight, overbearing, overburdened, overwrought); P Ð Periodontal work; Q Ð Quixotic-ness; R Ð Reminiscent; S Ð Sexual (add your own description); T Ð Therapy; U Ð Unbending (unconditioned, undaunted, underrated, unappreciated); V Ð Vapidness; W Ð Water retention; X Ð Xeroderma (dryness of the skin); Y Ð Yen (that unhappily vanished); and Z Ð Zest (that feeling long forgotten).Scrutinizing her list, I came to the conclusion that this lady is not looking at the brighter side of senior life Ð such as getting even with all your enemies by outliving them. She should stop beefing and simply be glad she made it through life so far. Ms. Complainer also grumbled that men do not exchange pleasantries with women past the six-plus decade of life. Sez who, dearest? Have you seen Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren lately? I suggest that you immediately recite, and believe, the adage that old age does not officially begin until 15 years after all your future birthdays. Forget about the three persistent signs that indicate a person is getting old. The first, of course, is memory loss. The other two I forgot. But, my prescription for staying young forever is to live modestly, get lots of sleep, work hard, pray daily, and, lie about your age. Don't be resigned to this lady's alphabetical prophecy. Smile broadly whenever anyone tells you, “You're not getting older, you're just getting better.” Just say “The only thing I seem to be getting better at is growing old like you.” I need to tell you the story of the 90-year-old woman who recently married a 30-year-old man. She spent the first three days of her honeymoon trying to get out of the car. Yet, she never gave up and neither should you.In reverse, there is the male side of aging. An 89-year-old man announced to his doctor that he wanted to marry a 19-year-old girl. “Will I be able to sire an heir?” he inquired. After the examination, the doctor shook his head and explained, “You may be heir-minded, but you are not heir-conditioned.” But the man was persistent, and married the teenager anyway. He wisely decided 'tis far better indeed to smell perfume for the remainder of his life than to smell liniment. Still, his friends were aghast. They warned him that sex with a girl that young could prove fatal. “Well,” he replied, “If she dies, she dies.” An octogenarian was indeed happily married for three months and then he passed on. It took three days just to wipe the smile off his face. The bride was disconsolate despite the fact that he left her $50 million. Her friends tried to console her by saying, “You are young and you have a great life ahead of you.” “You don't understand,” she sobbed. “He was a great lover. We lived next door to a church, and he used to make love to me by the sound of the church bells Ð DingÉDongÉDing ÉDong. If it wasn't for that damn fire truck,” she moaned, “he would be alive today.” That story teaches a great lesson – What is good for that gander, is certainly good for a goose like you. A personable, confident, well groomed, woman of your age can always attract men, especially if she has $50 million stashed away in Google stock. My very venerable neighbor, Leonardo, knows he is getting older when his wife keeps reminding him to pull in his stomach and he already has, his daily weightlifting regimen consists of just standing up, and he is 17 around the neck, 44 around the waist and 128 around the golf course. He says, at his age, his vital juices are prunes and his address book doesn't have a name that doesn't end in M.D. When he bends down to tie his shoes, he tries to think of other things to do while he is down there. My antiquated and very tarnished friend, Casanova, confides that he feels terrible growing old alone. “But you have a wife,” I told him. “You don't understand,” he answered. “My wife hasn't celebrated a birthday in 20 years.” He also complains that she complains a lot about aches and pains. “You can cure her complaining,” I said, “merely by telling her that the pains are caused by old age.” Romeo, a seriously seasoned citizen, gets no respect. He visited a doctor and whispered he couldn't pee. “How old are you?” asked the doctor. “I'm 80.” “You've peed enough!” said the doctor. Old-timer Valentino laid down the law to his wife. He said he doesn't care where she goes just as long as he doesn't have to go with her. When she is choosing between two trips, she must pick the one that gets him home the earliest, and when he is resting comfortably at home and the phone rings, she must tell the caller that he will call them back some day. Val, old buddy, don't you know when you rest Ð you rust?Aging ain't so bad, geezers and madam. Think of the trouble you would be in if wrinkles hurt. As for me, after 42 years, I still am happily married to glorious, and still glamorous, Gloria, whom I wouldn't trade for a newer model. The grand dame of silent pictures, Marie Dressler, once said, “It is not how old you are, but how you are old.” Reach columnist Alex Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.