Everybody wants to be young forever. Of course, nobody is going to be succeed in that quest. You will get old. The next best thing you can hope for is to look young. If you have enough money, tricks like facelifts, BOTOX, tummy tucks, hair implants etc may help. Those on a budget will have to content themselves with delaying tactics like hair dyes and gym memberships in their battle against the ravages of time. This is not too bad; I’m in this category and I think I have managed to stave off about five years.
What do you do when all your efforts fail? Well, then you have to cheat, of course. Here is how. You have to act young. The devil is in the details, you see. Well, may be you don’t see too well, which is one of the problems of old age. In order to get the aging muscles in your corneas to squeeze down on your hardening lenses, you squint, and then you hold the piece of paper you are trying to read farther and farther away. And finally, the day comes when your hand is just not long enough, and you go and get your reading glasses. Now, when you see a youngish-looking fellow holding his smart phone at arm’s length, you know that appearances can be deceptive.
Here is my advice — when that young friend of yours hands over his or her hand phone with their vacation photos, hold the phone at the normal, optimal distance of about a foot from your eyes and make appropriate noises like “Wow!” “That’s amazing!” etc. Just remember to keep your comments non-committal — “Wow!” almost always works. Of course, you won’t be able to see anything, but what are you missing, really? If you do want to see the pictures of people jumping off cliffs and stuff, ask them to email them to you. In the privacy of your home, you can don your microscopes (reading glasses, I mean to say) and take a good look.
This trick may not always work, when they show you a text message, for instance, for you to read and enjoy. (I actually wanted to write “peruse and be enthralled” for comic effect, but then I remembered that people have accused me being pretentious.) The trick in such a situation is to do a double-bluff — say something like, “Could you read it for me? These old eyes are not what they used to be.” And then give a wink or a sly smile to indicate that you are only kidding. By the way, this trick also works in a corporate setting when your job involves, well, nothing. I had a colleague at the bank. At director-level on the more lucrative side of banking, I knew that he commanded a handsome compensation package. So I asked him over lunch one day what exactly he did. He said, “Nothing, absolutely nothing!” I said, “No, seriously.” He insisted, “Seriously, nothing!” You know what? I actually believe him. But then, he was recently promoted to be the managing director of nothingness with a generous hike, I heard. Another buddy of mine, CEO of a start-up, when asked the same question about his daily activities at work, replied, “You know, sweeping, cleaning..!” I don’t know what to believe. But I do believe this — one of the most effective ways of lying is to stick to the outrageous truth with a twist.
Back to our theme, blurry vision is only one of the nasty features of us attaining wisdom. Another one is joint aches and a general lack of springiness in our movements, especially after a hard session of tennis or badminton. Well, my advice is to either learn to smile through the pain and simulate springiness. Or, exaggerate and simulate a sprain or something, which is usually a young affliction. (Broken hips and knee problems are old afflictions though.)
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this obsession with aging and how to fight it is a sure sign of aging. So this blog post is probably not helping my quest for eternal youth. With that, I shall forever hold my peace on this subject.