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Apodaca: Boomers won't go gracefully

March 16, 2013|By Patrice Apodaca

This week I'm feeling the need to address a topic that weighs on me more with each passing day: I'm getting old.

I've realized this because I no longer spend my weekends traipsing my kids to birthday parties with bounce houses and reptile shows. Instead, I celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions with the 50-plus crowd at more elegant affairs, where we drink fine wine and wonder how the heck our kids grew up so fast.

A movie called "This is 40" came out not long ago, and I refused to see it.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow is a funny guy, but I am not interested in seeing a couple of beautiful Hollywood actors whine about being 40 because a) 40 looks pretty good from where I'm sitting; b) if 40 is the age to have a mid-life crisis, I have no idea what to call what's happening to me now, and c) I can't remember because the memory's a bit jiggly these days, but I know it really bothers me.

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Getting old is especially rough in Newport Beach, where I live. It's not a crime to be old here, but it's considered offensive to be unattractive. So we sculpt, augment, spray tan, yoga and Pilates our bodies into, well, not youth but a youth-like condition. This pursuit of youthfulness is so exhausting that I suspect it might actually induce premature aging.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that Botox-maker Allergan is headquartered in Irvine. The company must save millions in shipping costs by being so close to one of its biggest markets. Perhaps it should consider slipping the wrinkle-reducing serum directly into our water supply, like fluoride.

Despite all this angst over my advancing years, I can take some solace in the fact that I have plenty of company. Indeed, if forecasts prove correct, Orange County will continue to skew older in the years to come.

The California Department of Finance, which keeps track of such things, projects that the county's overall population will remain essentially flat in the half-century from 2010 to 2060, with a little more than 300,000, or 0.1%, more residents. But that's only because every age group younger than 65, from preschool to practically ready to retire, will shrink slightly.

The over-65 crowd, meanwhile, is expected to surge by 142% in the same time frame. The older the age group, the bigger the increase.

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