Senioritis – Super Senior

By Dr. Rosa Kincaid, MD

I am a “senior citizen”. People my age tell me that they are having “senior moments” and feel like they are breaking down. They have whole lists of things they don’t do because they are “seniors,” like: thinking about sex, checking out the latest fashions, riding in bicycle marathons, etc. As I returned from my recent audition for a dance company, I was wondering if I wanted to call myself a “senior.”

I can recall my high school days in New York City where all I ever wanted to be was a senior. They got respect. No matter what, they were cool. And what about college and medical school? What an accomplishment to be the first in my family. It meant the start of a new life, unknown to any in my clan, from moving from tenement basements to condos. I don’t have senioritis now. Today for me, it just means I’m old. I have no problem with being old, but what does “senior citizen” imply?” What do old folks have to look forward to after “graduating” with a CC degree?

Today’s senior citizens are not revered for making it to “seniordom.” Instead their beauty and wisdom is overlooked by youth-crazed media voyeurs bent on cashing in on adolescent drama. The media is not having the “Golden Girls” any more. We want to see what “Cookie” is up to. Seniors are typified as trying to keep up with doctor appointments, complaining about their arthritis, and criticizing young people, especially gays.

The media shows people my age in ads where they are always having some form of dysfunction like keeping false teeth from falling out, urinary incontinence and getting ripped off by young people. And getting these problems fixed is supposed to make you the happiest person in the world for the rest of your life.

When fashion magazines have articles about how to make yourself beautiful at any age, the cut-off seems to be around 55 or so, as if after that age you might as well stop trying. The models are never going to be anyone you can relate to. It is as though you can’t have model good looks after the age of 35. Forget about 65! However, I have seen some very handsome senior male models in clothing ads and they looked great.

Some other things that don’t thrill me about the “senior” label is that when you ask for a senior ticket at the movie theatre, most people don’t even look at you to see if you are a senior. It’s like they’re saying, “Seniors-I don’t see you. Here take the ticket and get outta here!” Will they do the same thing if I ask for a student ticket?

A “senior moment” is not a moment when you have imparted your great wisdom, derived from so many years of living. It is a brief interlude when you can’t remember a name, detail, or maybe even your own telephone number. Not because you may be tired, overworked, hypoglycemic, etc., but because when you are a “senior,” it is expected that you are undergoing some form of dementia or brain rot. If there is a senior section at an event, it’s not going to be located where the revered and respected are located, but it will be not far from the “disabled” area, near a bathroom and a wheelchair ramp.

At 60 + years old, I am “not feeling,” the need to be placed in this stereotypical mold. I am therefore renaming my situation in life as being that of a “Super-Senior.” In my high school, it meant someone embarking on his or her second year as a “senior.” However, I am redefining it for myself and others like me.

As a “Super-Senior,” I have: 1. Never stopped working out- I feel great and have an awesome energy level. 2. Lived as a raw foodist and therefore my cells have regenerated not degenerated. Nothing is “breaking down.” 3. Lived each day, loving each day, learning each day.

What can I say? I’m hot (and I don’t mean hot flashes). Wouldn’t you like to be called a “Super Senior” too?

Rosa Kincaid, M.D., Kincaid Medical Services, 877-635-4192, www.drrosakincaidMD.com.