"Sixty is the new 40."
It's a common aphorism we've heard for some time now, doubtless meant to calm us Baby Boomers who are growing so long in the tooth that we now need two hands to hold our toothbrushes. And reassuring it indeed is.
There's just one problem: it's a crock. Sixty is not the new 40. Here's 60 quick reasons why:
1. Somebody who is 60 remembers Betty White when she was middle-aged. To somebody who is 40, Betty White was always 90.
2. Somebody who is 40 does not remember Senor Wences.
3. Somebody who is 40 was born in 1972. You don't even remember 1972, not only because you were smoking dope most of the time but also because you don't remember 2013.
4. Somebody who is 40 did not grow up longing to be the fourth Cartwright brother on Bonanza.
5. Somebody who is 40 would never use the phrase "he looks like Walter Brennan" to describe someone perceived to be old-looking.
6. Somebody who is 60 thinks Coldplay refers to the last time he tried to put the moves on a woman.
7. Somebody who is 60 thinks of John F. Kennedy as part of "the modern era." To somebody who is 40, John F. Kennedy is as much a part of "the modern era" as somebody who is 60.
8. Somebody who is 40 does not long for Bonomo's Turkish Taffy.
9. Somebody who is 60 remembers the 1950s. To somebody who is 40, the ‘50s’ refers only to the next decade of their lives, which they are dreading.
10. Somebody who is 40 is not truly feeling the pain that Davy Jones is gone.
11. Somebody who is 40 has never sung along to the commercial “If you want shoes with lots of pep, get Keds Kids Keds!”
12. Do you really think somebody who is 40 would find the concept of identical cousins credible?
13. You take comfort in the fact that you are not old because you never liked Lawrence Welk. Somebody who is 40 thinks you are old because you liked Led Zeppelin.
14. Unlike somebody who is 40, somebody who is 60 does not think Winky Dink is just another cutesy name for you know what!
15. Somebody who is 60 has black and white memories.
16. Somebody who is 40 thinks of Peggy Lipton as an obscure old-time TV actress who is the mother of actress Rashida Jones, not as the hot unobtainable chick sandwiched in between the two no-talented lummoxes on The Mod Squad.
17. Somebody who is 40 may well think Buffalo Bob is a talking buffalo.
18. Somebody who is 40 does not think it is hilarious when you shout out "I want my Maypo!"
19. Somebody who is 40 does not wonder when Steely Dan will update the song Hey Nineteen to Hey Forty-Nine.
20. Somebody who is 40 does not remember Crazy Guggenheim.
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21. When somebody who is 40 runs into an old friend, he never hears the word "Grandkids?"
22. "Welcome to our Show for Hunt's Catsup!" Think somebody who is 40 has the slightest idea what that means, let alone that there ever was a word "catsup?"
23. Somebody who is 40 does not live in terror that one day he will turn on television and see Bob Dylan pop up in a commercial for reverse mortgages.
24. Somebody who is 60 remembers a time when Rob and Laura Petrie were not allowed to sleep in the same bed on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Somebody who is 40 does not bat an eyelash at a naked Steve Buscemi having sex on Boardwalk Empire.
25. Somebody who is 40 does not ever have to be embarrassed that they once bought a Grand Funk Railroad album.
26. You find yourself beginning to use the expression "a young fella." At least one of the times you have used the expression "a young fella," you were referring to somebody who is 40.
27. Somebody who is 40 does not remember your President Nixon. Whether or not they remember the bills you have to pay, or even yesterday, is irrelevant.
28. Somebody who is 40 thinks Cher has always been a solo act.
29. When somebody who is 40 says "let's go to dinner someplace where there's a young and lively crowd," they do not feel out-of-place and uncomfortable when they get there.
30. Somebody who is 40 does not wonder why Colgate no longer contains Gardol.
31. Somebody who is 60 remembers when Bob Hope was considered hip.
32. Somebody who is 40 is not even today always ready to start an argument over whether The Doors should have added horns on The Soft Parade.
33. Somebody who is 40 does not remember Topo Gigio.
34. If somebody who is 60 were to hear the words "remember how we used to get out the chains come winter time?" he or she would not think a tale of seasonal kinky sex was about to follow.
35. When somebody who is 40 says "let's go to dinner someplace where there's a young and lively crowd," they do not wind up going to the staid neighborhood restaurant they used to make fun of all the old people going to 15 years ago.
36. Somebody who is 40 is a lot less likely to be upset than somebody who is 60 that Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfus, and Henry Winkler are all playing Jewish grandfathers.
37. Somebody who is 40 does not know or care what Serutan spelled backwards is.
38. Somebody who is 40 does not spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about whether he is more like Beau Bridges than Jeff Bridges.
39. Would you like to trade places with somebody who is 40? Would somebody who is 40 like to trade places with you?
40. Someone who is 60 remembers when Jack Lemmon was young and bouncy.
41. Somebody who is 40 never worries about anybody ever referring to him as "40 years young."
42. Someone who is 40 has never heard the words, "That's two down, eight to go, Mr. Cerf."
43. Check out the response you get when you sing Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh by Allan Sherman to somebody who is 40.
44. Billy Crystal was somebody who is 40 when he made When Harry Met Sally. If Harry were to meet Sally today, the closest he'd get to an orgasm with her would be hearing her fake one in a deli.
45. Do you think somebody who is 40 would ever believe there was once a comedian whose entire act was pretending to be drunk?
46. "There's a hold-up in the Bronx, Brooklyn's broken out in fights, there's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights, there's a scout troop short a child, Khrushchev's due at Idlewild, Car 54, where are you?" I highly doubt somebody who is 40 could place that one for you.
47. Somebody who is 60 remembers when the expression "sucks" sounded downright dirty, and probably was.
48. Somebody who is 40 does not think Foster the People is a social program under the Obama administration.
49. Somebody who is 40 does not experience a warm twinge of recognition upon hearing the words:
50. Somebody who is 40 would have no way of knowing that Kukla, Fran, and Ollie is not a law firm.
51. Somebody who is 40 has no idea why anyone would ever send $5 to the Merkle Press.
52. Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 is not still trying to figure out how the lyric “you’ve got a friend in Jesus” ever popped up in a song by a guy named Norman Greenbaum.
53. Being that Carol Channing is a woman and Tatum O'Neal is a woman, somebody who is 60 in all likelihood thinks Channing Tatum is a woman.
54. Somebody who is 40 would have no way of knowing that if Kukla, Fran, and Ollie were a law firm, two of the partners would be puppets.
55. Somebody who is 40 does not think cloud computing has something to do with how many clouds overhead you can count that are shaped like pussycats.
56. Somebody who is 60 is old enough to be the boyhood idol of somebody who is 40, even though it goes without saying you are nobody's boyhood idol.
57. Somebody who is 60 remembers a time when Charlton Heston was considered a distinguished actor.
58. Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 does not feel vaguely hungry for fried eggs when he hears the words "this is your brain on drugs."
59. You've never taken a selfie, and you still don't know what twerking is.
60. Somebody who is 40 thinks 40 is really old, just as you did once. Now you realize how wrong you were and how wrong they are. They don't.
So, Boomers, I'm afraid it is undeniably true that 60 is not the new 40. But something else is also true: 60 may not be the new 40, but …
60 IS THE NEW 60!
And you know what?
Maybe that's even sweeter.
Perry Block is a writer, humorist, and human resources professional who lives in Havertown PA, just outside of Philadelphia.
In his humor blog , Perry Block: Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute (www.perryblock.com), Perry chronicles the world through the eyes of one Baby Boomer warily poised on the cusp of an age he thought was exclusively reserved for people's parents. It also features parody, satire, and anything else you want.
You can also find Perry on Twitter at @PerryBlock, Facebook, Google+, and whatever other internet sites he’s able to find an “Idiot’s Guide to.”