Irrefutable signs I’m getting old(er)

Ah youth, I’m glad it’s gone and yet I miss it so. My age has started to creep towards me in very much the same way that my windscreen creeps towards insects as I’m speeding down the motorway. In the not too distant future I will have a four at the start of my age and, or so the legend goes, my life will start. It appears that until then it’s on some kind of yachting holiday.

We all go through it, the seven ages of man but personally I think Shakespeare got it wrong. There’s only two stages to life, being young and thinking you’re hip and being old and knowing you’re not. I’m currently experiencing part B and there are a multitude of signs that remind me of that fact daily.

Here’s some that I’d like to share.

Hang on, no wait, what was that again?

Ok, so I’m sure that everyone has this to a certain extent. The trouble is as you get older you are constantly remembering that your memory is deteriorating. This is an irritating irony. The issue manifests itself in many ways, most notably with my short term memory. I’ll ask Rebecca what is for tea and then can’t remember what she said ten minutes later. I also have terrible problems remembering people’s names. I can recognise faces, I can remember the face of people I have not seen in years but try as I might I cannot recall their name. What’s worse is that often I will think of a different name for the person and it will stick in my brain like a toffee to a mercury filling.

Y’all look the same to me

Does this happen to you? Kids all look the bloody same to me! Maybe it’s the sexualisation of young girls nowadays but I can’t tell the difference between a girl who is 13 and one who is 18. Of course it’s not uncommon for girls to look older than they actually are, especially with a liberal application of make-up, however to me they all just look “young”. And I think that’s the point, at some point you start to feel that there is a them and us, they are young and you are not.

Spring chicken no more

At the checkout of my local beer supermarket they have a sign that says: “if you look under 25 then we’ll ask you for ID”. Guess what, they never ask me…. ever. Do you know how frustrating that is? It means that I absolutely, with no possible doubt look like I’m well over a quarter century old. Depressing.

It’s nippy out

Young people seem to wear little to no clothes, especially when it’s cold outside. I can only assume that their blood is warmer or perhaps my blood has grown colder as I’ve aged. But in true “old person” style I can’t ever seem to remember wearing so few clothes when I was that age.

I’m pretty sure I never wore anything like that when I was young

Speaking of clothes, I find that current fashion trends leave me baffled, and I grew up in the 80’s. Of course I was also baffled in the 80’s but what seems to be fashionable today just looks stupid to me.

I can’t fit in the changing rooms

And a final point about clothes. I’m just too big nowadays to fit into the tiny shoe boxes they provide in the kid’s shops, I’m worried that my excessive girth will cause me to stick in those annoying narrow saloon style doors, you know, the ones that show off your shoulders and lower legs. I shop at Myers nowadays, they have large rooms for the more portly gentleman to try out his new attire. I’m trying to grow old with a modicum of grace, but there again I don’t often look in the mirror so who knows?

You can’t make me go

I used to enjoy nightclubs but just the thought of them worries me now. The noise, fighting to get a drink at the bar, embarrassing myself on a dance floor whilst doing a bad impression of a stick insect with a limp, being considered a pervert for being a 40-ish guy in a room full of bright young things. No thanks. I’m relieved that I can go to the beer supermarket, buy myself some beer and whatever else takes my fancy, go home and drink myself stupid in the comfort of my own home. I even remember to drink a litre of water before I go to bed. Don’t want a hangover! The joys of being a grown-up.

I have friends… online!

Sorry but I don’t “get” Facebook or Twitter or Myspace (RIP) or LinkedIn. I know what they do and I know their purpose but I don’t see the point of them. (This will come back to haunt me at my next job interview I’m sure.) I’m registered on Facebook and it’s useful to keep my overseas family in touch with what we’re up to. But from what I can see most of the people on Facebook are bored and spend a good fraction of their time telling each other they are bored. Or they spend their time playing vacuous games that treat them like rats in a maze rewarding them now and then with pointless virtual trinkets. And don’t get me started on Twitter, what is the point of that site? Has human communication been reduced to such a base level that we can only communicate in abrupt poorly written sentences? Nowadays of course we have virtual friends but everyone has so many of them, people you’ve never met and don’t actually care about but we still call them friends. I used to meet my friends at the pub and we’d talk, drink and make merry. Nowadays we use these “social” sites to keep our social lives at arms length.

Mr. Benn wasn’t weird

Another thing I don’t get is children’s TV programs. “Back in my day”® the creators of TV programs seemed to all be on drugs and this was a good thing. Children’s TV programmes were interesting and fun. I grew up on the likes of Danger Mouse, Mr Benn Jamie and the Magic Torch and Rentaghost to name but a few. Nowadays kids seem to be spoon fed strange (and poorly animated) Japanese shows about spiky haired youngsters that are always fighting off some horrible demon of who wants to get intimately acquainted with their intestines. Where’s the imagination? Where’s the fun? The shows my four year old watches on ABC2 are ok but even they seem to be lacking the wackiness of the programs from my youth. Change? Bah humbug!

It’s my garden and I’ll cry if I want to

“Get off my lawn” is now something that I would probably shout at random strangers and to me it is the clearest indication that my age has jumped the shark into “old man” territory. I’m old(er) now, I have a ride on mower and I’m concerned about the length and health of the grass in my back yard. In some ways that saddens me, it means I’m no longer young and care free and it means that I’m fast approaching the point where I will have less years ahead of me than I’ve already experienced, I may have already passed that daunting milestone. But in other ways I’m pleased, I have (more) freedom now, I have money, a nice place to live, a loving partner and two great kids, there were many aspects of being young that I disliked and I can’t say that I’m sorry to leave them behind.

Authors note

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