The internationally famous Marist College Poll, now on blogs with NPR, reports a baleful statistic: The proportion of Americans who think 67 is old is inching up. The proportion of Americans who think 67 is middle aged is inching down. Only 6 percent of Americans polled by Marist think that 67 is young. No doubt ninety percent of them are 90 or over. How old do you have to be in order to think that 67 is young?
We know that age is relative up to a point. My grandmother lived to be 95 and when she was ninety, as 80-year-olds were dying around her, she said, “These old people are dropping like flies.” Like many of you, I used to think that 40 was old. When I turned 40 I became depressed, but soon felt better because I simply denied the silly idea that turning 40 meant that you were pushing 41.
Today there are more Millennials than there are Baby Boomers. It’s no wonder that, as Marist reports, more Americans than ever think 67 is old age. Millennials themselves have the prospect of living very long lives. Let’s see how they feel when they turn 67. Alas, I won’t be around to find out.
I myself am technically over 67. But I’m not really 73. I’m just a 33-year-old who gets up every morning feeling as though I’ve been in a fight with a 23-year-old.
This is Tom McBride, and that’s my youthful Perspective.