Autumn Bonding: Lifestyle tips for older agents
As of this writing, Roger Moore is over 80, and Sean Connery is 78. Unlike the cinema Bond, whose look forever hovers somewhere in the late 30s, real agents get older.
photo © 2008 Bond Lifestyle
But even though there may be snow on the roof at Piz Gloria, you can still enjoy a great downhill ride. You can still be a Senior Service Bond, and enjoy an "oh oh" lifestyle, without having too often to say "ow ow."
So how does one stay licensed to thrill, when your on everybody's direct mailing list for denture adhesive and miracle fiber diets?
You improvise, adapt, and overcome.
Let's get to specifics.
Bond, (especially with Craig in the Aston Martin's driver's seat) is one tough spy. He knows how to kill. Older Bonds? Well, we might consider some of the milder martial arts, like Tai Chi, or western fencing. These are combat related activities that one can practice for a lifetime. You can also meet more interesting people.
Your author when in his early 40's, used to regularly saber fence with some gentlemen in their late 70's, and there was no slowing down of their parries and ripostes. It's great for cardio, coordination, and it has the mental thrill of chess, but the physical involvement of mock combat. Plus, you've seen it in a Brosnan Bond movie.
Tai Chi, which is a martial art performed in slow motion, (to keep things simple), has tremendous health benefits for its practitioners, both mental and physical. Speed the moves up, and you have some self defense techniques.
Enough of violence. What about autos?
The man should match the car, and it doesn't look good to exit your Mustang Mach 1 with a cane in your hand. Older Bonds, need to drive the classics. BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Saab, Bentley or whatever European/Scandinavian car that's overpriced but one can afford. Colors? Black, gray, silver. (Matches the evolution of your hair).
Clothes make the man, young or old, and here's where being an older Bond, has some real benefits.
Take hats, for instance. A twenty something in a Homburg or Borsalino, at best looks pretentious. But for those of us in the "autumn of our years" those toppers are tops. Classic suits for us. Three piece, double breasted. Pin Stripes, Navy blue, Gray. You can't lose with those. Accessories? Well, a cane can look rather sophisticated on us, even if it's just for keeping us upright. (Plenty of places on the internet to find cool canes and walking sticks).
For paperwork? Try one of the old satchel style flap over cases that make you look like you just left 10 Downing Street on a secret mission for Queen and country.
Personal appearance? Look at the older Bond actors today, and emulate their looks within reason based upon your personal style, features, and physique. Your author, with full beard and close cropped hair, leans more towards Connery, than Moore. I've occasionally had some nice compliments on that, even from people not lugging guide dogs and trying to sell me pencils.
In vino veritas, and even us older agents can stay true to our favorite "bottle of plonk" (as Henderson would say in You Only Live Twice). But there's something right-o about a silver haired gent with cognac, or port, or a single malt in his hand. Besides soothing the soul, it adds a touch of sophistication. (Any older oh ohs even contemplating drinking Budweiser shall be immediately drummed out of the service).
For those of us who smoke, a pipe (like M smoked) fits fine with an older face. Cigars? Of course, traditional symbols of power. (The psychological reasons for this I will leave to the three remaining Freudians in the world). Cigarettes? European or Middle Eastern please-there are appearances to keep up.
Bond is a world class traveler, but us older gents can often get "senior" discounts on trains, planes and hotels, that Bond couldn't.
So, subject to the requirements of budget and restrictions of bladder, we actually get over better because of all those candles on the last cake when it comes to the journey of a thousand miles, or wherever we're headed.
What about gadgets? Whenever possible, keep your cell phone, your PDA, and your laptop either black or silver. Goes well with what remains of our hair.
Guns? Go to any range and you'll see shooters of all ages, so we can keep up our trigger fingers even when they may be a little shaky now and then.
Have I forgotten anything? Ah yes. Women.
Bond had plenty of exotic foreign women. But he did best when he didn't love them. Vesper overdosed/drowned and Tracy was made into a Swiss Cheese courtesy of a machine pistol. No Bond did better when it was a short stay relationship, and so will the older agent.
Remember, exotic cars can be rented, and quite frankly, so can exotic women. Older gents may not have the illusions of romance anymore, but many of them have had the "privilege" of paying alimony, and may not be feeling so romantic.
But we can still enjoy Bond girls, although the pay for play transaction might be a tad more transparent, than wine and dine.
Thus, though getting older, and perhaps fading in looks, we can make up for it in experience and sophistication, and if that doesn't work-cash.
The older agent can still be stirring up excitement, even if he's shakin' a little more than when in his youth, and when asked how many decades he's lived has to say "oh, oh, seven."
© 2008 W. Adam Mandelbaum Esq. - justiceneversleeps.net
Author of The Born Again Bachelor's Bible - Great tips for divorced or divorcing men
Member Association For Intelligence Officers
Former operative at NSA
Present New York Attorney
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