This is not about the song by David Bowie. Nor is it about Stephen King’s story. It comes from earlier today while I was speaking to my mom. Winds up we are both feeling better this day. So she said, “These are the ‘Golden Years’”. Which I think everyone will agree is associated with old age. But mom was actually referring to the ache’s and pains that suddenly appear, but take time to go away or at least replaced by some other more annoying ache and or pain. Perhaps her and my question is “What makes them Golden?”.
I spent some time searching the internet for an answer, but apparently we use the term without thinking about it much. We all think of gold as precious. As far as anniversaries go only we get silver at our 25th but gold only at our 50th. One interesting answer is leaves get golden as they grow older as does our sun when approaching sunset.
Asians seem to still treasure their old. Here in the west they are cast aside and placed in care facilities that treat them no better than the handlers of cattle heading towards the slaughter. We avoid the word senior as well. This reminded me of George Carlin and his many skits on euphemisms. As he says, “We have No More Old People in this country, we shipped them all away! And we brought in these ‘Senior Citizens’!” Let’s make whoopee for the Golden Years!