“You’re only as old as you feel.” So, what is your real age?
Lately, I’ve been accused by a few friends of becoming vitriolic, hateful and prone to ranting on topics better served up by an old man with shorts cinched up high above his waist while wearing dark socks and screaming at kids to “get off my lawn.”
(Just for the record, I DO own dark socks but wear them with PANTS, and I don’t own a lawn. However, if I DID own a lawn and kids were on it, I’d pull an Eastwood on them to “learn ’em some respect.” Damn kids these days…”)
I’ve also been accused of having something against those over the age of 50. Nothing could be further from the truth. I treasure my friends over 50 (truthfully, I didn’t know anyone of my friends WAS 50. I am under the impression that we are ALL swimming around in the “late 30’s/early 40’s fishbowl). I’m in a sweet spot in life where age has no concern for me personally, nor for those around me. I live in an area where a lot of the people who look like they are in their 20’s are actually in their teens, and those in their late 40’s and 50’s who look to be in their 30’s and 40’s. It’s all very confusing sometimes. And don’t even get me started on how some of those people act…
To be fair, if society had subscribed to the idea of Logan’s Run, I wouldn’t even be writing this blog right now, and those over the age of 21 who were still alive would be called “runners.” But, we don’t live in the future where people over the age of 21 are forced to go to “Sleepshop.” (Which would be kind of a huge bummer actually. You get your first chance to use your real ID, and you’re forced to commit suicide! That’s a reality where you DON’T want a fake ID!!!)
Real age, up until “adulthood”
When you’re born, until the time that you can start articulating how you old you are yourself, your parents usually refer to you in months. “Oh, he/she is 17 months; 22 months, etc.” Sometime around 24 months, your life is then measured in years. You’ve become marginalized.
If humans lived to be 200 years old, we’d probably switch to decades, as in “I’m dating a seven decade old!!!”
Those teen years, boy do they suck. There is no doubt about that. But, at 16, you can drive! Someone, somewhere has subjectively decided that this is an appropriate age to let less than fully-formed, easily distracted humans take control of a 2,500 lb metal missile of death! And when you are 18, you are somehow considered “more responsible” to do even more things like vote, buy cigarettes and sign up to be shipped off and kill other human beings you don’t even know. But, you can’t drink. Apparently, you need three more years of experience “living” to understand the concept of drinking and making decisions regarding alcohol.
Look, there are people who could be more responsible imbibers of alcohol at age 19 or 20 than MANY people I know twice that age.
So, REAL AGE apparently is a poor indicator of one’s ability to make decisions.
Why should you act your “real age” as an adult?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely act my age. I’ve been called juvenile, immature and a victim of arrested development. Check, check and check. Look, I could ACT my age, but why should I? When I was growing up, 42 seemed old. 42 was how old I thought my teachers were in Junior High or High School (actually they were fresh out of college…) 42 was like some far off age where I was going to be telling MY kids to act their age and to get their homework done and do their chores. Someday, I may have to yell those things at my kids, but UNTIL then I am going to act less than 42. As I get more and more SPAM correspondence from the AARP and OurTime dating, it reminds me that the clock doesn’t go backward, and that recapturing missed opportunities isn’t going to happen. Sure, my hair is greying and the salt-and-pepper look is taking on a more “salt” look, but I still have a full head of hair! And I plan to keep it as long as possible.
I know some people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who are way more mature than I am and act like they are in their 40’s. You know how I know this? They’re uptight, have wrinkles, are losing their hair and have ulcers. They’ve been told to “act their age” over and over by friends and family. Even here in the beautiful climate of Los Angeles, they are starting to look older and act older than I do.
Remember: it’s just a number
Your real age IS just a number, people. Remember that. If I acted my age, I’d be looking to work on “honey do” lists and go to Bed, Bath and Beyond on Saturdays (“I don’t know. There may not be enough time…”). Instead, I play beach volleyball on Saturday mornings with a group of guys who are in their 50’s, 60’s and one who is 83. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s old.” But, let me tell you, that 83 year-old blocked me a few weekends ago. Nothing can make you feel like a child than being blocked by an 83 year-old man…
My ex-fiancee was 6 years older than I was; most immature woman I’ve ever dated… I acted way older than my 29 years of age at that time and let me tell you that I don’t want to do that again.
My buddy’s wife’s father is a speed skater, biker and seems to be a man who is certainly not “acting his real age…”
Please understand that although I act like a man younger than 42, I am pragmatic enough to know 1. what that word means and, 2. that I HAVE to act responsible and mature enough when it comes to work, relationships and the generalities of life. Outside that, however, I’ll always be that guy in his late 30’s until the day I die.
So, while the government and some friends may look at you and say you are “X years old,” I say you’re REAL age is actually how old you act and believe yourself to be.