With about a year and a half until I turn 60, I have been ever-so-slowly giving up trying to hold on to the youthful side of my life, even though in my mind I’m still 25, full of energy, and with an unlimited future. But every time I look in a mirror, there’s this grumpy-looking old man staring back at me…plus, my knees hurt, my beard would be snowy white if I didn’t color it (Thanks, Just For Men!), I’ve had my prostate removed, my nose hair is thicker than my azalea bushes, and I’m clinging to a career in a music business where everyone else seems to be in their mid-twenties.
I guess one way to tell that you are no longer one of the “cool” people is that you no longer care whether you are or not. You may not even know that the term “cool” has long been replaced by some other way to designate a person as a trend-setting, cutting edge member of a favored clique. But no matter. These days, I dress in a way that is comfortable, with little thought to fashion. In fact, I’d probably never buy any new clothes if my wife didn’t refuse to go anywhere with me until I threw out those pants with the hole in them.
And I don’t spend my evenings in trendy nightclubs listening to the latest hot new bands anymore. Actually, I’d like to, but I usually go to bed around 9:30, and the music doesn’t get started until about 10, so there’s that. I just like getting up real early in the morning. It’s an old man thing.
And I’m a late adopter. I see no need to rush out and buy the latest gizmo when I already have something that works perfectly fine. When I was out on a music tour recently, everyone else had iPads and iPhones, which they were constantly studying as if they contained the secrets of the universe. I, however, have a phone that is just a phone, and when I pulled out my 6-year old PC laptop, they looked at me like I might have to hand-crank it to boot it up. It made me feel like Andy Rooney, who was the ultimate crotchety old man, and who went to his grave refusing to use a computer when he had a perfectly good typewriter.
Also, lately I find myself having less tolerance for stupid things people do. Like yesterday, I saw a young black man at Walmart with his pants down around his knees, and the old man in me really wanted to say to him, “You look really stupid. Pull up your pants!” I suppose when I was younger, I may have thought, “That trendy guy is really living on the edge!”
Yeah, I’ve been acting old lately. But my dad, who is 93, has a slightly different perspective. “58?” he says, “You’re still a young guy. What I wouldn’t give to be 58 again!”
So maybe I’ll give feeling young another try. Who knows, if I keep hanging around with these 20 and 30-something kids, maybe some of what they’ve got will rub off on me.
Just as long as they stay off of my lawn.