Some people preposterously talk about what they call “the gay agenda,” in which “the gay” tries to make more things and people “the gay” — I think that’s the technical definition. But something no one is talking about, which is more likely to succeed because it has nature on its side, is the elderly agenda. They’re trying to turn us old and convert us to their way of life and you know what? The best case scenario is that it happens.
As friends and I started the new year watching my husband’s guitar teacher’s band, The Funky White Honkies, at the soon-to-close institution Johnny D’s in Somerville, Massachusetts — lured by Talking Heads covers, original songs about the magical journey of a pint of beer, and crappy pinot grigio — we found ourselves agog. My friend Abby, who enjoyed them as much as I did, later remarked, on the subject of loving this band despite all evidence pointing to the contrary: “They wore patchwork jackets and bunny hats. Who are we? Who have we become!!??”
Everyone in the band was decades older than us. This is the elderly agenda at work, people! Next thing you know we’ll be loving soup and long walks if our hips feel up to it. Oh no! That’s already what I’m doing! Run for the hills! Or, um, walk mindfully if your body allows and pick up a great big stick to use to help you along. But scowl while you do it! Ugh! I’m just dragging myself further into the elderly agenda!
Cozy blankets, wood burning stoves and stews — winter is a really good time for the elderly agenda to dig its bony fingers into your goose-pimpled flesh. I want to wrap my hands around a hot cuppa and close my eyes, with my face turned gratefully upward. I don’t want my eyeglass prescription to change so I make sure I’m in good light as I pick up my book to read by the fire. And I’m not actually old (or that old) yet, so I don’t have to worry too much about Medicare or serious health stuff (for the most part).
Being young while reaping all the benefits of elderly life is the best! You’ll see — and you’ll have no escape from the elderly agenda either. Comfortable underpants, pillows that actually support your head, reruns of “Fantasy Island,” chiropractic care — all the benefits now but with bladder control.
Camaraderie through strife, tropical climates in winter, silky bathrobes, wisdom, cheesecake, not taking any shit and not giving a shit — “The Golden Girls” alone is a perfect guidebook for the elderly agenda. I dare you to resist it.
The elderly agenda doesn’t have to draw attention to itself at all because it has nature on its side. We’re all getting older with or without it.
I didn’t wake up after the Funky White Honkies show with dentures next to the bed but not for lack of trying. Some of those musicians were sexy! Hey — you look good if you’re doing what you love. And we’re all going to die anyway, so have at it, whippersnapper!
Jenn Sutkowski might tell you about her favorite sensible shoes, soups, and underpants at jennsutkowski.com. [Oh, hey, we're here. Ok, then. My favorite sensible shoes are Dansko sandals, my favorite soups are chicken and white bean, clam chowder (it counts, I decided, I don't give a shit, this my house), my favorite underpants are Natori. Betcha can't choose just one for your buns, hon!]
This Full Frontal column appeared originally in the Newport Mercury.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.