It’s a well-established fact that having healthy friendships is closely linked to better mental health. While there’s loads of published research on the benefits of valuable bonds in old age, I think more attention needs to be paid to the lesser known truth: Millennials who have significantly older friends are much happier and grateful in general.
I’m not talking about ‘visiting the elderly’ as a token act of charity. I’m talking about making solid social choices to improve our quality of life. After all, Super Seniors (80 years +) make for top notch best mate material. Here are 8 reasons why:
- Super Seniors have great chat.
Because they’ve actually LIVED. They’ve experienced stuff in real life, in real time! Need relationship advice? You got it. Esther’s had three husbands (not at the same time) and she knows a thing or two about #selflove. Beauty tips? Rose has it down pat: “Don’t lather yourself in vegetable oil and lie on Bondi beach for 12 hours straight like I used to.”
- They’re good listeners.
You know a Super Senior’s phone will never buzz in the middle of a heart-to-heart. If their landline does happen to ring, they’ll likely ignore it and play back the message on their retro answering machine after you leave. Being present in a conversation is the Number 1 Super Senior love language.
*Note: Remind Herschel to put his hearing aids in.
- They’re not flaky.
Once upon a time, humans made plans to meet MONTHS in advance and actually showed up fifteen minutes prior to the mutually-organised time. That’s right, there was no, “Hey we still on for today?” confirmation text. A Super Senior will never deceive you with the, “There was soooo much traffic” BS (which actually means, “Lost track of time binge-watching Squid Game before I dragged my lazy ass out of bed). It’s genuinely hard to sit upright and swing your legs off the mattress when you have osteoarthritis. Alarms are set at the crack of dawn and hitting snooze is not an option. (Literally not an option – Chaim bought the clock in 1951.)
- They’ll never bore you with annoying diets or fitness programs.
Super Seniors have seen all the new ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ segments on Morning TV and they’re not about it. After all, life is short. Why sweat it out at the gym when you can bust out some moves at Aqua Aerobics? Your Super Senior BFF will never guilt you into ordering the salad when everyone knows you want to wash down that cheese toastie with a thickshake. (The only context #gohardorgohome should be used in.)
- No treading on eggshells.
Just like the cigarettes they used to smoke in their youth, Super Seniors tend to lack filters. Not only is this extremely entertaining, it also means you can say just about anything without fear of judgement or feelings getting hurt. And if you do happen to accidentally cross the line, there’s a good chance Luba won’t remember what you said tomorrow.
- They make great road trip companions.
What I’m about to tell you will blow your mind: Super Seniors know how to get places … from memory. When Super Seniors started driving, they had to memorise directions IN.THEIR.BRAINS. So, if you’re en route to a music festival and Google Maps malfunctions, Norma will think back to the day she once drove to Byron Bay in 1976 and get you there quick smart. Failing that, you can all rely on the trusty (and dusty) street directory in Norma’s glove box. That’s correct – Super Seniors know how to read actual pirate maps.
- The bee’s knees of fashion inspo.
Who started the high waisted trouser trend? Comfy moccasins? Matchy matchy tracksuit pant-sweater combos? Super Seniors, that’s who. “Friends don’t let friends wear bad outfits,” said a meme on the internet. Go and raid Abe’s wardrobe. If you’re lucky, you might get a vintage leather bomber jacket in exchange for the smart watch he’s been eyeing on your wrist for the past year.
- Super Seniors genuinely appreciate your time and company.
Sure, Perl loves it when you pop in for a 30-minute socially distanced visit. But a simple wave from the car, or chat from the other side of the fence is enough to release the same amount of dopamine as her pre-pandemic nights out. That’s right, Perl invented the walk of shame.
If you already have a Super Senior BFF, stop reading this immediately and gift-wrap that ‘BEST FRIENDS’ necklace charm you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Every day with a Super Senior is a special occasion.
If you don’t … can you hear the kettle boiling from across the hall? 88-year-old Yaakov is setting the table for tea. He’s ready for you to come knocking and pop the question everyone’s been waiting for since you moved into the building three years ago: “… Will you be my BFF?”
You won’t regret a thing.