Is it really true that the young are embarr-assed by oldies who are physically affectionate to each other? Do they really think we're "too old" for that sort of thing and should be chastely conversing, keeping our hands and mouths to ourselves?
I find it hard to believe that young people, with their generally open-minded and hedonistic approach to life, are truly that intolerant of oldies who still enjoy a bit of cuddling and canoodling as much as anyone else.
I think it's more likely that oldies have fallen for this daft idea of a "dignified" old age, and decided that certain behaviour is now embarrassing and inappropriate. So they restrain their natural impulses and stick to what they think is "proper". All that's going to do is stop them having any fun.
After all, the young don't see any virtue in a "dignified" youth. They couldn't care less if what they're doing is seen as embarrassing or inappropriate. They dress in crazy clothes, get paralytically drunk, crash cars, eat unhealthy food. They kiss and fondle each other passionately in public, oblivious to other people's reactions.
So why shouldn't oldies be equally uninhibited? Why not grow old disgracefully? Or at least naturally and not trailing a long list of artificial taboos.
Canoodling isn't the only thing oldies are supposed to abandon. There's also dancing, singing, shrieking at the top of roller coasters, laughing hysterically, eating too messily, and bellowing across crowded rooms. Anything in fact that smacks of wanton enjoyment rather than the sedate and decorous self-control that's mysteriously connected with advancing years. Bollocks to that.
The popular stereotype is something like Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous*, staring aghast at the outrageous clothes her mother is about to go out in, and commenting incredulously "You're not going out like that?" Which prompts a slurred and irreverent reply from Eddie, wondering if she has anything even more outrageous to put on instead.
But I can't believe many of the young are that censorious. And even if they are, they're only jealous. We sexagenarians may be crumbling a bit but we can still rock 'n' roll with the best of them.
* TV series featuring a stern, moralistic teenager and her wild, uncontrollable mother.