You're Only as Old as Your Shoes

Thanks to medical miracles, we might well live to be 100. But do we want to?

Patricia Volk

Sure, I’d love to live to be 100. But only if I get some perks. For instance, I’ll want to date younger men. Nobody a day older than 85. And nobody who gets little white blobs at the corners of their mouth when they 
talk. (What is that stuff anyway? Gelusil? Lomotil? Viagra?) Find me a man who still has bounce in his Wallabys and I promise not to show him pictures of my great-great-great-grandchildren.
   
Naturally, I’ll be needing a car. You’d be amazed who doesn’t give 100-year-old people a seat on the bus. I’d like a Mini Cooper, which gets 34 miles per gallon on the open road. When you’re 100, like it or not, you have an enormous carbon footprint just from having been around so long. 
   
Speaking of footprints, I’ll need a house charge at Jimmy Choo. No ortho pedic shoes for me, thanks. Jimmy Choo’s Jade has the perfect last and it’s the sexiest shoe I own. Toe cleavage is the last cleavage to age. 
   
I’m going to want a good contractor too. It’s my bathtub. Even now, still in my prime, I have trouble getting into it. I call it Moby Dick, the Great White Tub. It’s Waterworks’s Cambridge tub, an English soaking model. I paid thousands for it, imagining lavender-scented bains à deux. But this tub is a living hell. The sides narrow precip itously, making the bottom too small to stand in. It’s mor dantly slippery. You’ve seen the statistics. I don’t want to be one, a 100-year-old lady who falls in the bathroom and breaks her hip. But please, none of those bathing stalls you see in the back of mag azines either, the ones with suction-sealed doors for people who have to walk directly into a tub be cause they can’t raise a leg. 
   
My kids don’t have to call every day. But I will need to see those adorable codgers every week for dinner. Of course I’ll be treating them and their offspring and their offspring’s offspring. So think in terms of a hefty perk in the finance department too. Nothing extra vagant. Just enough to take four gen erations out to a three-course dinner.
   
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: We’ve grown used to terrific family vacations. I’ve heard the trip 
of choice for centenarians is a cruise: There’s always a doctor on board, and you can’t get lost. 
   
On a personal level, by 100 I’ll be col oring my hair, and I’d like a standing ap pointment with Kathy Galotti 
at Louis Licari. Massages are essential. Bob Hope lived to be 100, and he had a massage every day. I might need
three. What about a massage every time I’m hungry? I’ll not only be limber, I’ll be thin.
   
Poor Aunt Ruthie. She outlived her friends. She had to put together a whole new canasta game from scratch. On the upside, Aunt Ruthie had 20 years of playing on her new pals, so she won every hand. But I would be miserable without Frannie, Molly, Lily, Marjie, Stevie, Lisa, Marian, Joel, Ben, Jan, Amy and Patti. I can’t imagine life without my friends. I love my friends. They have to live to be 100 too. 
   
It’s a given that I’ll want to see, hear and not limp. I’m willing to eat as much dark chocolate and drink as much red wine as it takes. And when it’s time to bite the dust, I want everyone I love around me. I want all my ex-boyfriends there too. I want them to say how happy I made them. After I’m carted off, they should head for Chanterelle. Everyone will toast me, and as people leave the restaurant, someone will murmur: “Patty still throws the best par ties!” Then my ashes will be divided among everybody I care about to scatter in a place where we had a good time to gether. A lot of me will wind up in Cen tral Park, Schroon Lake and on Broadway. Makes me happy just to think about it. 
   

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