Hell’s Grandparents – Age With Attitude

Vauxhall VivaIn an effort to promote their new Viva, Vauxhall have revealed new research that show older British folk are experiencing a ‘second wind’ (not curry related) in their fifties, rediscovering the feeling they had from their early twenties. Wahey!! That Helen Mirren eh? What a doll etc.

The trouble is, they are preaching to the converted. Young people who might quite reasonably choose to buy the decent and well-priced Viva couldn’t give a rat’s er, bottom about the old codgers, whilst older buyers (and describing people over fifty as ‘old’ puts you instantly into dangerous territory) are already well aware of how they want their ‘lifestyle’ to evolve.

If these aged wrinklies have been lucky, they will have succeeded one way or another in their working lives; they will have spawned the ankle-biters, seen them grow and move away (this also involves luck and some shoving), have perhaps paid off the mortgage and thought to themselves, ‘now what?’. There’s also the mortality elephant in the room. Once you are past fifty there’s a lot to get done. For example, by now experienced sexually, your rogue grannies and granddads still need to get it on even if they’ve replaced speed with comfort and maybe the odd blue chemical inducement. They’ve realised they can still have a life.

We’re all aware of the so-called ‘mid-life’ crisis but the fact is there’s no such thing because there’s no chuffing crisis right? Old fellas want to buy fast cars because they can afford to and because they want to get the blood flowing and experience the adrenaline rush of olden times even to the point of getting some of that old-school back seat action. Why should the need for speed be the reserve of the young?

This generation is less cautious than their twenty-something counterparts, with almost a quarter apparently confessing to using their savings to experience new adventures rather than sensibly saving for future investments. They seek new diversions: Going to Glastonbury for the first time (only to be disappointed that David Essex isn’t on the bill). Rocking Magaluf in an inappropriate fashion. Buying some new wheels – why the hell not?

Why would you say that they had started acting out of character? As opposed to what? It’s society that makes people ‘old’. At what point does a bloke start considering the need for a beige three-season jacket with a useful, integral fold-away hood? When do women ponder the blue rinse on a cauliflower hair do? Old people are not just captive babysitters, they’ve been there and done that. They don’t want to go down the local hall and do old folks exercises to the refrain of WW2 melodies – they want to have fun. Fun isn’t governed by age.

Many said, accordingly to the research, that their new found confidence allowed them to feel comfortable to flirt with someone younger, whilst almost three in ten confessed they had started using their savings on extended travel, a new car or new technology since getting their renewed zest for life. You’re only past it when you’re dead.

Denis Chick, Communications Director at Vauxhall Motors has the last word: ”Times have changed since the days of hitting fifty and feeling past it. There is often a general belief that being impulsive is for the young – but our research shows a growing trend for those in their fifties, sixties and beyond becoming more adventurous than they were in their twenties.”
If the Viva’s rocking, don’t come knocking.
Geoff Maxted