By Lisa Scottoline

Doogie Howser MD image

People say age is just a number.

But I’m bad at numbers.

And nowadays, there are so many articles about age and numbers that it’s impossible to make sense of them all.

But I’m trying.

Even though I have math anxiety.

The gist is that everybody is trying to tell everybody else whether they can and can’t do things, according to their age.

But I think you can do anything you want, no matter how old you are.

The question isn’t whether you’re too old.

The question is whether you’re too young.

Think about a cardiologist.

I don’t want a young cardiologist.

I want the oldest-ass cardiologist in the hospital.

Maybe in the tri-state area.

In fact, I’d be fine with a super-old brain in a jar.

I actually have an older cardiologist, whom I adore. He knows everything about hearts, and he answers all of my questions patiently. He knows from experience what to worry about and what not to. Last time I saw him, he looked great, but he told me that he’d recently had a heart attack.

My point exactly.

I want a cardiologist old enough to have a heart attack.

I’ll take an Old Head over Young Genius any day of the week.

If you hire Doogie Howser, don’t come crying to me.

I always ask my cardiologist if he’s going to retire, and he says no.


I’ll never let him anyway.

I’ll go to his house with a knife and a bottle of alcohol.

The knife is for him, the alcohol is for me.

Easy-peasy heart operation.

The same goes for any other doctor of mine. Veterinarians, too.

I don’t care if their hair is gray.

I don’t care if they walk a little slower.

I don’t care if they mess up on a word.

When it’s my time for my dog to go under the knife, I want my vet to have one thought: Been there, done this.

The other day, I came across an online chart that said the age at which you peak at everything, according to science.

For example, it said that the peak time to find your marital partner was age 26.

I beg to differ.

Because that actually happened to me.

The chart doesn’t say the peak time to get your first divorce.

Mine was about five years later.

I say anytime is the peak time for your first divorce.

Get busy.

Don’t delay.

It’s divorce o’clock somewhere.

You never know how long you’ll live, and you might have to squeeze in a few.

In fact, the same chart said that the peak age at which to understand people’s emotions is age 51.

Let’s pretend for a moment that’s true.

If you don’t understand people until you’re 51, you have no business getting married when you’re half that age.

About half that age.

(Look at me doing math, right off the top of my head.)

The chart also said that the peak time for your arithmetic skills is age 50.

Completely wrong.

My peak age for arithmetic skills was 6.

When I realized I could count my toes, too.

The chart also said that the peak time to learn a new language is age 7.

I mean, come on.

Most seven-year-olds don’t even know their mother tongue.

These preschoolers need to get over themselves.

Plus I know it’s not true because I just started watching English football and I’m learning words like gaffer, pitch, and kit.

It’s a new language, but it’s English.

The chart even says the peak age at which you discover life satisfaction, and it’s supposedly age 69.

Which is completely wrong.

You can be happy with your life at any age.

You should be.

I think it’s my job to make sure I’m happy with my life.

And I’m getting better at my job.

I just need more time.

And experience.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2023