Ever have one of those moments were it feels like the entire universe has just slid four micrometers to the left with an near-audible “sssshhhhhhuuuukkkuunnnkkk” sound and suddenly brought everything into a greater focus? I’m not talking an epiphany where it feels like God or space aliens have personally beamed new information into your thick skull that you never would’ve been able to figure out yourself, but that feeling of suddenly recognizing a situation for what it really is that you were just too preoccupied with other stupid things to notice before.
I’ve been having those feelings a lot lately and they’ve all been about my age.
Currently I’m 36 years old which isn’t really all that old comparatively speaking. I’m just barely young enough to be considered a member of “Generation X,” not that I have any clue what that’s supposed to be, but I’m young enough that I’m definitely not a Baby Boomer or whatever the hell came between them and Generation X. At the age of 36, though, I’m pretty firmly established as an “adult” yet I have a problem feeling it. Deep down I recognize that I’m an adult, but there’s still plenty of times that I feel like I’m just some punk kid who’s pretending to be an adult and hoping no one notices.
Reading other people’s blogs, particularly some of you younger people out there, has been the catalyst for many of my feelings of suddenly recognizing that I’m getting old. Those universal shifts I mentioned earlier. Take Natalie of Pickle Juice infamy. She’s younger than I am (almost 27), but I keep forgetting this because she writes in a way that gives the impression she’s older than that. Until she writes something about how as she was growing up she wanted to be a rapper. I’ve never wanted to be a rapper. In fact, I’m old enough that most rap music sounds like crap to me (I’m pretty sure that’s an age issue). Half the reason I don’t listen to commercial radio anymore is because the majority of songs are either rap or hip-hop of which I have a very low tolerance. Now my daughter, and even my wife to a certain extent, both like most of the popular music out there right now and that’s why I’m sure it’s an age issue.
It’s made me realize I’m old enough that I’ve said “turn that crap down” to my kid and meant it…
And that makes me feel old. I was never cool or popular when I was growing up, but I used to like to believe that I was secretly uber-cool and that everyone else was just too dense to recognize how Earth shatteringly cool I really was. I’m getting to that point where I can’t even pretend to be secretly cool anymore. About the only person I could still feel that way around was my nephew and that’s because I’m the bastard who got him hooked on playing video games and probably one of the few people who could give him much of a challenge in them. These days, however, the kid owns more systems than I do and I’m pretty sure he realizes his Uncle is no-where near as uber-cool as he is. In fact, I’m probably just “odd” now.
But that’s OK. I can handle the idea that I’m getting older. I still have lots of other people older than me who will whine about how young I am, how I’m still just a baby, to help keep me feeling younger. And I’ve got plans for one day becoming the mean old bastard of the neighborhood whose always yelling at the kids to stay the hell off of his lawn.