In many retirement communities such as Fairfield Bay, there exists a subset of residents who are known as “Geezers”. Various definitions for “geezer’ include the idea of an old(er) man, somewhat odd or eccentric, who is also a proud, confident extroverted character who prides himself on knowing what the real score is. This does sound a little like me, doesn’t it.
How does one reach this exalted state, you ask. Well, first of all it takes a heap of living, a minimum of 80 years. But tho time is a key component, it does not gain by itself the essence of Geezerhood.. Geezerhood is the accumulation of untold number of life’s experiences which are then processed thru a filter that is best described as , “The End is Near”. It is this filter – or perspective – that is the essential element of being a true Geezer. Using this filter, the Geezer has liberated his mind, body, and soul so that he can understand and interpret his surrounding reality – past, present, and future – in its fullness.
A good way to understand what Geezerhood is all about is in the changes in his attitudes about the things that were seemingly very important in his younger days, but now are seen in a much different light. For instance, in the days of his youth the Geezer deeply cared about his appearance. As a younger man, he wanted to look good in every aspect of his life – good complexion, no pimples, wavy hair, straight teeth, no beer belly, sharp clothes, ad nauseam ad infinitum. The Geezer now looks back and is chagrined about all the preoccupation and the inordinate amount of time and money he poured into his vanity. All the wasted effort to look good – and worst of all – comparing himself with others – and all this to gain their fleeting and fickle admiration.
The Geezer looks back now and he sees nothing but meaningless striving. Adhering to this regimen gained him nothing. The hair left, the teeth soon followed. The wrinkles, bags, and waddle came and stayed with a vengeance. The belly swelled, and the clothes didn’t fit anymore. But it is actually right here where the Geezer experiences the true joy of Geezerhood. He now knows that all the striving of his younger days didn’t really mean anything then and now he knows that it doesn’t mean a toot today. The Geezer, you see, is content with the idea that he is what you see and if that doesn’t work for you, too bad! If his belly hangs over his belt he is not bothered about it then why should you. If he looks like an old man, guess what, he is one and so what!
Not only is the Geezer liberated from the vanity that attaches to his physical properties, he is even more freed up on his intellectual and social life. Think of all the B.S. that the Geezer has been fed over his 80 plus years, being told that such and such is nothing but “the truth”, only to find later that this brand of “truth” was totally bogus. For example, the great “truth” of Evolution that was drummed into us in school, turns out to being the next thing to a fairy tale, as far from the truth as something can get.
(Caveat here. I know that some of you readers think that I am a lunatic on this subject. I don’t expect everyone or even anyone to agree with me on this and frankly I don’t care. As a practicing Geezer, I know what I know and that is good enough for me.)
Another example of shifting truth once tightly held by the Geezer was that Republican Party practiced fiscal conservation and as such could keep our nation from fiscal ruin. But then the Republicans under Bush pushed thru another costly unfunded social benefit program known as the Prescription Drug Plan and all this at the same time the nation was ( and still is ) waging costly and similarly UNFUNDED WARS! Was this an example of conservative leadership? The Geezer was suspicious then, but he now is persuaded that “It ain’t necessarily so”. Next Week: Part II: More Joy of Geezerhood