Becoming Really Old

Mariner’s household watched HBO’s clip ‘If you’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast’ produced by Carl Reiner. It’s a fluff piece about the secret to living happily into one’s nineties. The sociological statistics one gleans from the show produce the following priorities for longevity:

Be a friend of Carl Reiner.

Be Jewish.

Be wealthy.

Have no life ending health issues.

Have no psychological entrapments – let go and enjoy success.

Be an artist.

Be in a profession that allows one to keep working into one’s nineties.


Amos thinks it was a way to get Carl’s friends together on a project that would be fun and also make money. Actually, it is a thought provoking film once one discounts the upbeat atmosphere of highly successful comedians and obviously better than average income. Mariner as well would have enjoyed seeing Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca and Howard Morris – fellow comedians from that magical era.

Generally, the underlying message was to cast off the mental issues and daily hardships that plague all of us through life: feelings of inadequacy, emotional pains, persistent failure, meager circumstances, even physical disabilities. Instead, have full confidence that nothing is wrong about us. We are not focused on burdens; we are focused on lighthearted participation in whatever is going on – something that is entertaining or challenging or charitable. Pay no attention to internal thoughts that may constrain or restrict us; pay no attention to social judgment of our lifestyle. It’s not about us. It’s about everyone else.

Mariner has been blessed to know many nonagenarians. Many were suffering the ravages of age. Nevertheless, it was clear they were self-confident and focused on participating in life as best they could. Very few, if any of us, live a stress-free life; still, becoming a nonagenarian seems to require focus on the world beyond our nose.

Ancient Mariner

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