Monday, April 7, 2008

Ageisim Will Get You In The End

Throughout my life I’ve never had a problem with my age; it has neither bothered me nor been an issue for me. When I was young, I knew that I should work hard to enjoy this time of my life. As I hit my 20’s it was obvious that these should be my party years, and yes ladies and gentlemen, I had a great time. In my 30’s I settled down a bit and began to realize that soon people would expect me to act more grown up even if I didn’t really want to.

Now I’ve hit my 40’s and I’m not really sure how to take it. I certainly don’t feel old, and I don’t believe that I THINK old…

I guess that is the funny thing about age, it just creeps up on you when you least expect it, you know? Take last Friday night. I was on my way home after a lovely dinner with Adam, at the rather late (for me at least) hour of 10:30. Subway trains get more infrequent as the night progresses, so when I heard one entering the station as I was headed down the stairs I had the feeling that I was a lucky one and picked up the pace hoping that: a, this is my train and b, I would be able to catch it. As it worked out the “last call” alarms were sounding as I came up to the very first door on the very first compartment and I slipped right in as the door closed. YEA!

A quick look around and I could see there weren’t many seats. No matter, I am going to pull out my book anyway, and I’ve just spent the last three hours on my ever-widening ass… a little standing will do me no harm.

As I’d picked out my leaning wall the train pulled away from the station. Making my way to the wall against the g-force I met the eye of a young man in his mid-twenties. He was sitting on one of the fold-down corner seats and looked a bit uncomfortable. As I was registering this, he smiled and asked me if I wanted his seat. WHAT? This is what respectful young men do for little old ladies… do I REALLY look like a little old lady? Ahem, insert instant concerns about being old here.

Sometimes things just MAKE me feel old. The mornings are a particularly bad time for age thoughts. Joints and muscles that never made a noise over my 40 years have started to noisily complain first thing in the mornings.

Its weird the things that make you feel old. Poodles make me have old age thoughts. I’m sure there are tons of hip, cool poodle owners but for me seeing a well-coiffed white poodle only brings up images of an elderly hunch-backed woman on the other end of the leash. Beagles make me feel young.

Chicken and dumplings make me feel old, perhaps because it was my Grandmother’s favorite meal. Eating Mexican food makes me feel young, especially burritos. I may feel old after a night of eating tacos, but not while eating them.

Women wearing fur coats appears old to me. Girls sporting jackets that barely dip to the tops of too-tight jeans feels young to me… maybe a bit too young.

I don’t really care for the full-body tattoos and multiple piercings which are so fashionable today. Even while being the bearer of two inconspicuous tattoos I often find myself slightly taken aback when I see someone with a full back tattoo or a two inch hole in an ear lobe.

At the same time, denouncing the youth of today for these fashion choices just feels old to me.

A string of large pearls on a woman reminds me that only in the later years can most women afford such opulence.

Video games make me feel old. When I was a kid and into my 20’s I was on top of the latest video games, and could often have bragging rights to the highest scores. But three short minutes in a game store now has me feeling overwhelmed with the variety of games available today. The Wii is exactly what my buddies and I dreamed of in the 80’s, but now that it is here, I feel too old to use it.

So what makes you feel old?
To me it’s not about age, it is about perception… clothing, music, entertainment…

Oh by the way, I told the respectful young man he could keep his seat. What would you have done?


G in Berlin said...

When I was pregnant, in the stifling NYC subway, no one ever offered me a seat. When I had spinal surgery, I demanded a seat. Now I am happy to lean- not quite old enough, or broken enough, tommake someone else give up a seat. Whatmakes me feel old? The exhaustion of being an older mom with two small kids.

tqe / Adam said...

Wow... I'm not at the age where anybody offers me anything yet.

I would have turned it down though... I still feel incredibly young; even if I went to bed before midnight--incredibly early for me in Berlin. Getting up early combined with lots of wine put me out in no time.

The blog entry about dinner is coming tomorrow... i have a few more details to clean up.

Snooker said...

@ g: You can believe that if I were in pain or had a problem standing up I would be the first one demanding a seat.

@ Adam: You know I wondered if you pretty much went to bed after dinner that night. We were both rather tipsy I think.