How old is old?

My 78-year-old mother once asked me, in full earnestness, “How old is old?”

A few days ago, I was sitting in the balcony and enjoying the winter sun with 77 year-old Sheila. I had recently met a friend of hers, and was curious to know how old the friend was, so I asked her. She responded saying, “She must be in her 70’s.” I pointed out to her that she herself was in her late 70’s and I knew her friend was older. She looked me directly in the eye and said – “Really, I feel like I am 35,” and she laughed.

Yesterday, I met Ashok. He is 85 and on dialysis. We had organized a cards game for Ashok with a few other seniors (all octogenarians). At the end of the evening, I asked him if he had enjoyed himself, and if he would like to play with the group again. He said that it had been a pleasant afternoon but this group was too old for him. I told him that everyone at the table had been his age. He turned to me and said– “You see, I am 85 but I feel 75, so there is a 10-year gap between them and me. I would really prefer to play with younger people.”

This morning, while scrolling online, I found an answer to my mother’s question in a quote attributed to Joan Collins, “Age is a just a number. It’s totally irrelevant, unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”