Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Age/Old Questions

I realize I'm getting older. I realize my hair is falling out faster than I'm comfortable with. And I'm starting to think I've passed the age where I could conceivably dunk a basketball. And I'm okay with all of that for the most part. I think I'll be able to avoid a midlife crisis when the time comes. But every once in a while I'll get a stinging reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be. And let me preface this with a little disclaimer: I do not think I'm old, and I'm not lamenting anything about my age. I'm just sharing a few recent reminders that things are changing.

One thing that hit me recently was the fact that in a decade, people will look at pictures of me now and say, "Wow, look at all the hair you had!" or "Hey, here's one from when you still had hair!" I felt physical pain when that notion entered my consciousness. And the kicker is that I have a giant (probably lumpy) head. So I can't even jump the gun and shave it off. I'd look like a total weirdo.

The other thing that happened recently was worse (maybe). The job I have now is at the same company as my oldest brother. And while we don't share a resemblance (luckily), we share a last name. So people I haven't met will often come to me and say, "Are you, by chance, related to Mike?" And when I say yes, they inevitably over-share about their work experiences with him. But last week, a guy I'd never met threw in one little accidental jab while over-sharing. He said, "Yeah, Mike and I go way back. I knew he had a brother in his thirties, but I didn't realize you worked here." And I didn't correct him, because I was shell-shocked. But I'll be honest. That stung. I'm not thirty yet. And while I'm fairly close, it's important to note that I'm not thirty yet!

What really hurt is that he didn't say "around thirty." He said "in his thirties." And the age range where I am willing to tell someone I think they're "in their thirties" is between 34 and 43 (you know, to be nice). They have to be old enough so you know you're not overshooting, but young enough that you're not obviously trying to compliment them.

So my conclusion is that he thinks I'm at least 34 years old. That's older than I was prepared to hear from a stranger. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't tan, and I've never done meth or tried boxing. So there's nothing I've done to my face over the years that would age me enough to warrant that.

And I bet now, people will look back at this blog post in a decade and say, "Hey, here's one where you were upset about getting older! And now you're bald and in your fifties!"

1 comment:

JESKA said...

Close-cut hair looks a lot more flattering on a balding guy than self-denial does. Just cut it off.