It can be tough to age gracefully in a nation that is obsessed with youth. You want respect when you grow old? Retire to a remote mountaintop in China where old people are still treated with reverence.
Of course, you won’t have wireless reception or indoor plumbing, but the views will be spectacular and people will address you as “venerable elder.” That’s more respect than you’ll get back home in the U.S. – even with your AARP membership card on Senior Wednesdays. That is, unless you are lucky enough to have the one thing that trumps youth. And that’s money.
With enough money you can make yourself appear thirty years younger. With a face-lift, a tummy tuck, lip enhancements, breast implants, padding for your derriere and any other physical improvements your little heart desires, you might even fool yourself into believing that “eighty is the new fifty.” And with the plethora of pharmaceuticals available you can also regulate your heartbeat, control cholesterol levels, alleviate arthritis pain, improve your memory and enhance sexual performance.
Without money you’re doomed to wrinkle and sag like the rest of us. Your arthritic joints will creak and crack every time it rains. One night you’ll squeeze Preparation H on your toothbrush because you can’t remember where you left your eyeglasses. Forget about enhanced sexual performance. If you’re lucky enough to stay awake past the 6:00 PM news, the only thing you’ll be taking to bed is a good book.
The super rich don’t even have to be bothered with facelifts and tummy tucks to keep their youthful appearance as they age. They can skip all that surgical nonsense. They know that just having all that money makes them look sexy.
Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy magazine, and a playboy himself, has a net worth of $43 million. He married for the third time in 2012 when he was 86. Either his 26-year-old bunny-bride thought his wrinkles were sexy, or she’s found some other asset in the old man that’s even more attractive than youth and good looks. She will probably confirm that size has nothing to do with virility, unless you’re talking about the size of a man’s wallet. Then, I think we can all agree that bigger is always better.
Yes, money trumps youth in the game of life. When you’re young, you’re too stupid to know how good you have it. All you do is complain about all the things you don’t have and the one thing you want the most: money. When you’re old, you complain about the one thing you want the most and can never get back: your youth. But if you are old and rich, good for you! You are the privileged few who can buy back the years and say: “eighty is the new fifty.”
The rest of us will go on renewing our library cards.