“Yesterday it was my birthday. I hung one more year on the line. My desk’s a mess, I should be depressed, but I’m havin’ a good time,” if I may paraphrase Paul Simon. Nonetheless, I admit to having mixed feelings about turning 50. At this point, there are only three circumstances under which I’d be described as young: (1) If I drop dead (oh, he died young); (2) if I’m appointed to the Supreme Court; or (3) if I’m named Pope. None of these appeal to me much, though I wouldn’t mind visiting Rome again. Or D.C. for that matter.
I remember the first time it hit me that I was no longer the young generation. It was about ten years ago. I was in the bedroom folding some laundry and there was some concert channel on TV. I don’t remember the name of the band (I suppose I could look it up because this is the Internet, but I’m not going to because shut up), but it was one that had its hits sometime after I graduated from college. Anyway, I’m folding laundry and enjoying the tunes when the lead singer comes up and announces they’re going to play an oldie.
It turned out to be “Give a Little Bit,” by Supertramp, circa 1977. Next thing I know, I’m standing on the bed shouting at the TV. “You snot-nosed little punk! I’ve got tee-shirts older than you!”
Of course, by this date, the band in question is probably only getting play on oldies stations itself, but I’m not sure if that counts as consolation.
Another time I realized I’m not as young as I used to be was only a few years ago. We were touring the Princeton campus on a beautiful warm September day and a lot of the students were taking advantage of the opportunity to catch some rays. I’m talking highly intelligent, hot-looking coeds in bikinis. The thought that came to my mind was startling and I remember it verbatim: “Good God, 1986 was a long time ago!”
But perhaps it’s time to look forward. You’re never too old to think about who you want to be when you grow up. I’ve decided that I want to be either Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Air Bender or giant Russian Santa Claus from Rise of the Guardians. Either way, I’m going t have to grow a really sweet beard.
(This could work. I already drink a lot of tea.)
(Giant Russian Santa is the Santa I believe in.)