Last week I was in Paris with a very close family friend celebrating her 75th birthday.  I’d joked before leaving that I was going on a senior citizen’s cruise.  It wasn’t technically, but it was a Viking River Cruise.  I’d been on one a few years ago and was the youngest by about 40 years.  Plus, they advertise on PBS.  I watch PBS, but prior to Downton Abbey, who predominately watched PBS?  They are seeking seniors.

When I arrived I realized I was in the same boat, literally.  I don’t mind that age group.  People kept telling me I must be bored.  First of all, I’m rarely bored.  And second, just because you’re older than me doesn’t mean you bore me.  Every year we should all be filled with more fascinating stories and life experiences.  Seniors should be more interesting.  I like people.  The people on that ship did not bore me.

Ann hikes to Rich the Lion Hearted's castle

Ann hikes to Rich the Lion Hearted’s castle

My friend Ann is 75, and she pushed herself to climb a steep hill to get up to Richard the Lion Hearted’s castle.  She wanted to fill her trip with experiences, and she just kept moving, even though at times it was a struggle.  One day, we went to Versailles and Paris for an 12-hour day on our feet,  walking most of the time.  There was an opportunity to go back to the boat to relax for the afternoon, but she wouldn’t hear of it.  “If you’re going, I’m going,” she said to us.  “I’m sticking with you.”  And she did.  It was obvious at times it took some effort, but she put in the effort and got to see beautiful landscapes, Rodin’s The Thinker, the bedroom Van Gogh died in, and Omaha Beach.  She saw so much because she just kept moving.  I’ve seen people younger than her stop.  She inspires me. She doesn’t bore me.

One night on the ship they were playing music.  It started with Opera, not really my style, but then they switched to YMCA, Celebration and the Twist.  I didn’t hop up immediately, but the seniors did.  And then Ann asked me if I wanted to dance, so we got up.  I said to myself if this group (which included 75 to 90-year old seniors) was dancing, I had damn well better be dancing too.

90-Year-Old, Richard Davala--an Omaha Beach Veteran

90-Year-Old, Richard Davala–an Omaha Beach Veteran

To top it all off there was a 90-year old D-Day Veteran.  I didn’t believe he was a D-Day Veteran at first because I seriously thought the man was in his early 70’s.  He danced; he played the harmonica; he was vibrant and always smiling; he was mentally astute.  He was the life of the party.

No, the seniors didn’t bore me.  I wasn’t bored.  I was inspired.