I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second are a succession of birthday parties.

Once you reach 80 everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your name or anybody else's, or an appointment, or your telephone number, or promise to be three places at the same time, or can't remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.

Being 80 is a lot better than being 70. At 70 people are mad at you for everything. At 80 you have a perfect excuse no matter what you do. If you act foolishly, it's your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms of softening of the brain.

Being 70 is no fun at all. At that age they expect you to retire to a house in Florida and complain about your arthritis (they used to call it lumbago), and you ask everybody to stop mumbling because you can't understand them. (Actually, your hearing is about 50% gone.)

If you survive until you're 80, everybody is surprised that you are still alive. They treat you with respect just for having lived so long. Actually they seem surprised that you can walk and talk sensibly.

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