Life & Culture

Open Thread Update: I Said “God, I’m Old!” When….

Last time, I shared some of my “God, I”m old!’ moments – times when I really realized that time was passing and taking me along with it.

Plenty of readers (more than 50!) had plenty to share about their own “God, I’m Old” moments.

Reader Michael set the tone:

“I began to feel old when I started receiving junk mail from funeral directors” 

You want a What??

Some noted the blank stares they get when they reference technologies or products that we remember as popular (and easy to use!)

Amira got a ‘huh??” in a major chain store when she asked for “Rit Dye.” The clerk was stumped. She finally found it.  Maybe the store clerk (at the nation’s largest retail chain) will remember it if he wants to make his faded jeans dark again.

Reader Diane S. had a similar response when shopping for a…wait for it…transistor radio.

“The salesperson looked at me as if I was from another planet and I had to describe what a transistor radio is. While each person sort of laughed, I told them both that when the next blackout hits, I’ll be the only one to know what’s going on!”

Ann had a similar experience with CD players. Just wait till you try to find a cassette recorder, Diane.

Pop Culture

We’re in a different world culturally, too.

Mike B. describes an etiquette stand-off in an elevator in his comment.  The comments about music were, well,….off the charts.

“I saw the albums I had as a teenager in a museum display about the 60’s”

-Linda H. 

I was at the museum exhibit, too, Linda! Here is my review if you’re interested. Imagine seeing Lou Reed perform for seven bucks.

Kate W. had to explain who Janis Joplin was, and reader Alison couldn’t identify most of the musicians when she checked Ticketmaster for concerts. And nobody recognizes who’s guest hosting SNL anymore!

Physical Changes

There were quite a few comments about physical changes and several about being called “the old lady”  and thus becoming ‘invisible.” Reader Ernie had a particularly compelling ‘God I’m Old” moment:

“When Ol’ Charlie down there doesn’t want to wake up and say hello! anymore.”

Social Insecurity

Quite a few readers mentioned that they felt old due to the changes in social life as spouses pass away and people move.  Sure, it’s different, but several readers offered practical tips and rays of hope.

“Start looking forward, not backward”


There’s much more wit and wisdom, some poignant and some funny (check out reader Bella’s list!)

It was interesting to note that so far, no one has commented about money or the cost of living, and only a few mentioned social media (and not as fans).

We’ll keep the comments open for a while so you can  add, comment, respond and share the event that made you realize “God, I’m old!”

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at




66 responses to “Open Thread Update: I Said “God, I’m Old!” When….

  1. I’m wondering if folks Up There are wondering if I didn’t make it because I’ve been down here so long… My grandkids wonder at the fact that I was born before the TV was even invented, let alone color TV, computers, cell phones, etc. Some of them drive cars to high school versus even owning a car (with a cruising speed of 35 mph) was a rarity. Life still brings daily miracles to us all, at any age, when we can open our eyes and rise up out of bed!!!

  2. I beg to differ guys i am 73 yrs young, I am not getting OLD, I’m aging. I found this book at a thrift store some years ago by Shad Helmstetter, titled, Finding The FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH INSIDE YOURSELF. It, has been a Godsend.
    Age begins in the mind, yes our bodies will go through changes.
    I still ride a bike, play tennis, use a trampoline, walk etc. Most important is my mind, keeping it free of hate, jealousy, old the negative energies that ages us first
    Look at the Sunrise. All nature. Its how we look at things, the world is beautiful. We just have to deal with people who have no clue.

    1. Hi Geraldine. I loved your comments. I turned 70 last April, and was saddened to think that I’m no longer in my 60s. But then I realized that age is definitely only a number. I live in a retirement community, where there are a lot of activities to keep me busy and active. I walk every day, and enjoy riding my bike up to the pickleball court to play and enjoy the company of my fellow players. I feel like I have more physical endurance now than I did when I was in my 50s. Probably because I can focus on my needs and enjoyment more than when I was working and taking care of the needs of my family. Stay young at heart — and keep moving every day.

  3. My paternal grandfather used to say “the only way to keep from getting old is to die young!” when my siblings & I would comment on his graying hair. My last conversation with him, when he was dying with congestive heart failure just prior to his 84th birthday, he joked “I guess I don’t have to worry about dying young, huh?” My reply was “yeah, Pops, I guess you don’t…” Makes me grateful for being over 65, and my narrative is “Thank God, I’m old!”
    Gray hair is a plus; enjoying the “Yes ma’am’s,” people helping me with luggage when traveling, offering their seats, etc.

  4. I wish people talked slooow and loooud to me as I am hard of hearing and most young people slur their words rapidly and sometimes almost like a whisper with their mouths barely open, which aggravates me as I know people get annoyed when I ask repeatedly “what?”. Occasionally I’m lucky to have some people speak normally and articulately so I can hear and understand properly. Yes….another sign old age! :(

  5. I feel good when I pick up groceries at WalMart curbside, and one of the carry-out people ask for my date of birth for liquor purchase. I tell them 1937 and their suprise shows as they say, ‘Man, I never would have believed it”
    that has to make you feel good!

  6. Let me add this: Real men, cultured, educated, feminist, centered, love the opposite sex. Dare I get philosophical–men and women are separated at conception. It is our purpose in life to conjoin with our opposite in order to become spiritually whole. We do this through the act sexual conjointment–that is sexual fulfillment. I believe that few women have fully experienced what I have subscribed here–but is available with the right man.

  7. As I rode my bike up the street, feeling fit and jazzy with my blue hair flying in the breeze, I overheard a man talking on his cell phone say “There’s an old lady riding by on a bike.”
    Then on our recent trip to Budapest, where pensioners ride public transport free, the monitors always smiled and waved my 72-year-old fiancé and me through before I could reach for my pass. Friends say I appear ten years younger than my chronological age of 66, but transport staff don’t need to flatter.
    There are new reminders daily. Riding home next to a couple with an eleven-month-old on mom’s lap, I was happy to have those years be a distant memory.
    I know I am lucky to have a wonderful playful partner, enough money to get by without having to work, and good health; for however long these blessing last. Nothing lasts forever.

  8. When were were kids and then well into our 30s, my grandmother used to warn us in her thick German accent: “Folllllllks,” she said, pronouncing the no longer silent letter “L”, “Don’t get OLD.” Oh how we laughed whenever she said that. We are not laughing now.

  9. Watching television seeing celebrities and thinking wow they are old. And then realizing I’m the same age or older.
    At work they referred someone to me. You will like her, she’s like a mom or grandma. I’m the oldest person where I work even people who look older are younger.
    Guess how old Grammy is? 124 years old.

  10. I realized I must be getting old when the musical guests on Saturday Night Live were mostly unknown to me. But I knew I had crossed the line from old to elderly when I didn’t know who most of the hosts were! Not only that, somewhere along the line, SNL stopped being funny.

  11. * When I realized my nephew qualifies for AARP next year.
    * We found the perfect CD player online after ours broke. The comments are all about what a great retro machine it is for the old folks.
    * What do you mean the 90s songs are old? My husband has just barely starting accepting 80s music.

  12. A neighbor sells fresh eggs. On the way to the front door, I saw several bikes that looked like they would belong to a middle-schooler. I knocked on the front door. I heard some rumbling from inside and a young voice ask to someone else in the home “…who is it?” I heard them say “An old lady.”
    I teased them a bit when they opened the door.

  13. I knew I was old when “I asked for rite dye” at Walmart. The clerk said “we don’t sell that, what is it abyway”. It was one isle over. The older clerk pointed me to it. I started to make it a reaching moment but decided against it.

  14. I say, “God I’m Old ” …

    … when I look in the mirror expecting to see a nineteen year old and an old lady is looking back at me.
    … when I’m lonely because most of my loved ones are gone.
    … when I see a cute guy and think, “If I was only forty years younger, lol!
    … when I’d like to make new friends but meeting people is so hard.
    … when I wish I had someone to love who’d love me back and realize no one will ever kiss me or look at me romantically again.
    … when I go to bed at the same time I used to go out.
    … when I spend more time looking back instead of forward and wish my life was full of love, laughter, and fun the way it used to be before it went to hell.
    … when I hear the clock ticking. It sounds like Big Ben!
    … when I remember where my a$$ used to be.
    … when I remember this is the short list.


    1. Hi Bella, I’m 72 and a rather newly wed. I got married two years ago. I thought no one would love or kiss me romantically again then Prince Charming dropped right out of the sky and adores this old lady. Beauty, love fun and laughter are still possible regardless of one’s age. I was single 33 years. What a surprise at 70!

      1. Kathy,

        I’m so happy for you! It’s lovely and heartwarming to know that you found another “Prince Charming”after so many single years. If I should ever have that good fortune I’d be more than surprised, I’d probably keel over and crap out from the sheer shock of it, lol! I’ll be keeping an eye out for any incoming parachutes, lol! Enjoy your new found happiness. I wish you many more years of beauty, fun, and laughter!


      2. I’m recently widowed and you give me hope- not that I’ll get married again because I don’t want or need that, but that there can be companionship and romance in my life.

      1. Maxane,
        You get it!  I’ve been rubbing away and have gone through tons of polish. When I look on the “bright side” all I see is a very dim and ever diminishing light. I’m so sorry it’s happened to you too. Please accept a {{{{{BIG HUG}}}}} from me.

    2. Bella, start looking forward not backward; forward thinking can be uplifting. If you are physically able get out, walking, going places, become active in your church or other social group; you have wisdom to impart; see the humor in life in the big things and small things, make new friends; it is up to you to seek out love, laughter and fun. Even when you are young it doesn’t just drop at your doorstep. Be proactive, take charge of your life and be determined that while you may be old in age, you are young in mind learning new things, doing new things, meeting new people. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope you see possibilities of what it means to be young in spirit.

      1. Brenda,

        Thanks for replying to me and for the encouragement. I appreciate it. Looking forward, there’s nothing to see. I’m no shrinking violet. I’m as proactive as I can be. I’m physically able and get out as much as I can.I invite the few people I know who are left to do things. Sadly, they simply aren’t interested in the activities I’m interested in. After trying, repeatedly, I finally gave up but that doesn’t stop me! I go alone because there’s no one else to go with. It does get tiresome.
        I’m approachable, friendly, and inclusive but that doesn’t make meeting people to do things with any easier. Making friends takes time and it’s a two way street. I’m willing to invest but both parties have to be interested in establishing a friendship. The group thing is fine but the people I’ve met confine their “friendship” to the group meetings and it doesn’t extend to any outside activities. I certainly don’t expect anything or anyone to “drop on my doorstep”, unless somebody falls over from a heart attack!  I never have. That would be foolish.
        Sure, I’ve got wisdom but, don’tcha know, most people already know everything, lol!  I’ve always been in charge of my life and will be until I’m on life support and even then I’ve made provisions to be in control as much as possible.  Determination is great and so is eventual acceptance of the way things are not the way you wish they were. I’ve always had plenty of spirit young or old and that will never change. Thank God I still have a sense of humor otherwise I couldn’t get through the endless lonely days. Once again, thanks for your thoughts!

    3. I’m with you Bella. So much of what you said is me exactly!
      I never really felt old until I lost my husband. And now it seems life is only filled with little old ladies around me. And lovely as they are it’s just not the same!

  15. A car almost hit me as I walked in a parking lot, as I quickly moved I heard the wife yelling “oh my God slow down , you almost hit that Old Lady”. I was devastated although I know I’m old and have been for years.

  16. When I checked Ticketmaster for upcoming concerts and didn’t recognize many names. Also it was a wake up call when I went to a Chicago concert and no one in the audience was standing and most couldn’t carry a tune or clap in time to the music. So sad.

    1. That is actually a tribute to the longevity and the legacy of Boomer-era music. We’re still hearing the sounds of our youth, in elevators and on the radio, fifty years out. In 1971, nobody was playing the Charleston on the radio! Our songs have become CLASSICS!

  17. I knew I was old when I went into two different stores selling electronics and asked if they had any transistor radios. The salesperson looked at me as if I was from another planet and had to describe what a transistor radio is. While each person sort of laughed, I told them both that when the next blackout hits, I’ll be the only one to know what’s going on!

  18. I don’t know …, maybe it was once the following started happening that I knew I was OLD! The gale force wind out of nowhere? The category 5 sneezes which cause my glasses to fly off my face? The sudden stiffness and joint pain where I never realized before that there were joints? The lank, dull wisps of hair where once were lustrous, glossy tresses? The rank, stinky body odour which had never, ever been an issue before? The number of times a day I now say “Huh?” whenever someone asks me anything? Or perhaps its the 200 times a night I now wake up to go to the bathroom? And that is before I leave the house. The fact that there are actual people walking around old enough to vote who have never heard of Elvis Presley or the Beatles ….. pick any of the above. Everything reminds me that I am OLD.

    1. I was having body odor problems. I tried Japanese persimmon soap. Mirai clinical body wash was the one I tried. It cuts back on the odor. It isn’t a deodorant, and doesn’t have much of a scent. But after you use it, your sweat starts smelling more normal.

      1. Thank you Alison! This was one of the grossest indecencies of the aging process, IMO. I try to always buy cruelty-free but their antiperspirants selection is very limited (lots of deodorant, not so much re the antiperspirants!) so I have had to buy the clinical strength stuff that burns my skin and apply it before bed so I an still apply the regular extra maximum odour control ones in the mornings before I go to work. Absolutely appalling! I will try your suggestions, thank you!!!!

        Now, what can do about jowls?! That is another shocker in the bathroom mirror, my jowls!!!! Help!

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