I made some informal resolutions to keep when I am old. Now that I will be 60 (that seemed old when I made these) I look back and think I have kept (more or less) them. Here they are, with some illuminative stories
1: I will not regard everybody younger than me as put on this planet to be my servant. This annoyed me when I was younger, and I resolved not to do it. I haven't and don't.
2: I will not say 'When I was your age' and follow it with how much better I was than the person I'm talking to. In those days we answered 'When I was your age' with 'When you were my age people walked on four legs.'
3: I will speak respectfully to younger people so long as they speak respectfully to me. I remember once going into a restaurant when I was 19 to get a coffee and a bowl of soup. I had filed my copy and was taking time before a city council meeting. An elderly woman fixed me with a glare and said "Young man!" in a stern voice. I ignored her, I didn't know her and had no idea why she would be addressing me. She snapped "Young Man!" again. I looked up from my soup and she snapped "I have a dirty fork!"
I shrugged. I didn't work there, It wasn't my problem. I said, "It's not my concern." Before I finish what she was saying, she snapped "You're very rude, boy. I'm going to call the manager." She did, the manager explained I did not work there. She should stop bothering the other customers. She snorted at me and stalked out.
Since then when I approach somebody younger it's 'Mister, Sir, Ma'am, Mizz' never "young man, young lady, boy, girl, kid, sonny boy' or something disrespectful like that.
4: I will not blather on about how music, people, movies, theater, food, and so on were better when I was younger. These are matters of taste. And It was not easier to get a job. I had the oil shock, stagflation and the Reagan Depression to deal with. I had a job during the first two, but constantly worried about losing it. And beer is much better now.
5: I will not say stupid things like 'I'm older and wiser.' Robert Heinlein was right when he had Lazarus Long say, "Age does not bring wisdom. Often it merely changes simple stupidity into arrogant conceit. "
6: I will not make stupid threats. Especially I will not threaten to whip, spank, tan the hide, warm the bottom or other battery of someone younger. I remember hearing a friend's aunt say, 'You're not too big to spank, boy.' to him. He responded, 'And neither are you, and you'll find that out if you try it." You do not threaten to spank a paratrooper in the US Army.
7: I will not whine about my ailments. Actually I'm very healthy for my age. Active physical jobs, not smoking, and fighting with the rapier and tweehander have kept me so.
8: I will not fool myself into thinking very young women especially desire me.
He had suffered a series of strokes, caused by his high blood pressure. This morning he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He is survived by his sister, Wicca, and his best buddy Bowtie, and his two twolegs. He will be much missed.