I picked up a free magazine from the local supermarket called “Especially for Over Fifties” thinking it might be interesting to know what is offered in this fair city for us who are over the age of 50 (obviously).

My expectations for innovative ideas that celebrate the expertise and knowledge we have accumulated so far in life was totally slammed against the wall.

On the front page, emblazoned in bright reds and blues is a HUGE ad for….Dentures! With a Mayors Message that supports us to “lead active lives and participate in community events” whatever that means.

Apparently he also promotes active and healthy living, library programs, advice to keeping your home and property safe, and the ….wait for it….annual Seniors Week Celebration!!

OMG I can’t wait – it’s so worth it. Being a ‘senior’ where we are rewarded by being totally patronised and belittled it’s beyond belief. Immediately I’m concerned over what it really means to be over 50 and since I’m almost 60 – what the heck does it mean for me??

I’m 58 not 200!!

I flicked through this magazine hoping to find something – anything , that would bring a sliver of joy to my heart, hope to my soul or would at least make me laugh. But no.

Here’s a rundown of the contents:

  • There’s a new app available where we are asked to take a photo and send it to council if there’s any problem we think needs to be fixed – Like graffiti and a wobbly footpath.
  • Then we go to a HUGE ad for hearing aids,
  • Another ad for dry eyes (a place to go to to be diagnosed with this problem – just incase you didn’t know),
  • A bus tour for gardens,
  • More denture clinics,
  • A horoscope so I know I will attract a man this month who will be lively and adventurous and then advises me to get outdoors so I can find him…..walking boots on, khaki pants on and bifocal binoculars around my neck at the ready.
  • Then there’s the physio to attend all my aches and pains that’ll happen because I am so old and it’s inevitable,
  • Breast screening for older women – maybe they are gentler when we are older,
  • An ad for a dash camera incase of road rage which can then be put up on youtube and make a million views,
  • Options for a sea change,
  • Tips for playing bridge,
  • A very ugly joke, a crossword puzzle and sudoku (to keep my mind active and financial planning.
  • There are some terrible recipes which only have the ingredients of meat, spaghetti, butter, flour, potatoes, frozen fish, cheese and some tinned and frozen vegetables….mmm yum. That’s bound to make me have a healthy life.
  • Then we get to the garden section,
  • A free massage if you buy some dentures,
  • Tips on how to play with your cat
  • and another gross sexual joke……Does our true wit disappear as we get older and just turn to smut? I mean there’s funny humour and there’s just juvenile smut that I would have thought us older people would have grown out of…who sends these jokes in?!
  • We end up with  2 huge ads. One is for a mobility scooter of your choice and the other is Call Alert button incase I have a heart attack and want to live longer with my dentures, mobility scooter, painful, blocked up body from the crappy food I’ve been eating all my life, can’t miss out on the garden bus tour now can I and I’m so looking forward to being told I have breast cancer.

Life is just so worth living with all this positive input.

Come one Gold Coast – get your act together and have some respect for the older people of our community.

The ones who have intelligence and wit, the ones who live outside of your limitations of putting us on scooters and providing us with food from the dark ages, us who don’t have or need dentures, library cards. Us who do know how to raise a cat for gods sake and know enough about horoscopes in the local to know they are waste of space and time and show a complete lack of respect and intelligence.

For all of us who never want to be invited to be a member of Probus or Rotary, but are innovative and creative, expansive and know that graffiti isn’t a blight on our land, but an expression of the youthful exuberance we all had when younger.

It’s time to embrace our youth, accept that people over 50 aren’t useless and don’t need to be supported in homes away from society and in libraries.
We are vibrant, challenging, intelligent (for the most), fun loving, community minded people who would enjoy the support of an intelligent, healthy (I mean real health – not just your health-care rap), accepting and non-judgemental space-share where we could ban all talk of politics, the weather, the neighbours or any media driven topics.

A place that supports and even celebrates our senior qualities as they should be.

So…that’s my rant for the week….actually the month!

Reading this magazine really stoked my fire of outrage and I resent the off-handedness and generalities that depict people who are over the age of 50 are all in the same decrepit state. I object and I rail against this stereotype.

Even if some of us do need hearing aids, dentures and the like that’s fine – but the way the ads are presented in such an overbearing way and with no room for anything else that brings joy to the world means to me that this paper is merely a way for the council to make some advertising dollars at our expense.

This is not a time to feel old, this IS a time to feel free, to find the things that make our soul sing, not go to the Dr, become obsessed with our ailments or find a new thing to complain about.

It’s a time to shine.

Come on you seniors…. LET’S SHINE ON TOGETHER!