“Middle aged is when you’re faced with two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home by 9 o’clock.” – Ronald Regan
The gross realization that I am a man who has reached mid-life happened suddenly. I was taking my dog for a walk one evening last summer and as is the normal, I needed to use a doggie bag fairly quickly. There were no trash receptacles nearby so I had to carry the tied up bag in my left hand. 30 minutes later, as I got closer to home, I needed to use another bag.
My dog eats a lot.
With the leash and new bag in my right hand, and the tied bag in my left, I bent down to pick up the mess. At the same time, two attractive young ladies turned the corner and walked towards me. They were engaged in conversation but stopped chatting as they saw me. I tried to look cool. I jutted out my chest some and smiled.
But I was caught. Officially, I was the Old Man Holding Poop.
As I walked home, it got me thinking. Young people clean up after their dogs too. What made this standout as my first old person moment? I was worrying about impressing these girls that were young enough that I could have been their father. That realization hit me hard. Since then, I’ve realized other truths as well:
I’m heading home when most people are heading out.
Heading out on a Friday night is cool – as long as I can be home before 10. I hope they don’t play loud music in that bar, I want to be able to hear myself think. I’m not paying some cover charge and seriously her mother let her go out looking like that? My God, what’s wrong with people today?
I don’t get pop music these days.
“That isn’t music.”
Music is a generational thing with each generation making fun of the music that comes out later. Oldies to me were the Beatles not Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison and it never will be; no way.
80’s movies now play on Turner Classic Movies.
We have a young woman with our company who’s 21 and fresh out of college. One day we were just chit chatting and in my usual dorky way, I said:
“I need to make like a tree and get outta here.”
She looked at me funny.
“You know, that’s from Back to the Future. It’s one of my favorite movies”, I said.
Then she said something that shook me to the core.
“I’ve never heard of that movie – oh wait that’s an oldie right?”
This year’s graduating high school class wasn’t alive when we graduated.
They don’t know a thing about Bugle Boy pants or Champion sweatshirts or Hypercolor. They don’t use a beeper to contact anyone. They don’t use stupid phrases like Word Up, or That’s Dope.
They use new stupid phrases.
When using the library to reference things, we needed the card catalog.
Back when I was a kid, my parents used to say:
“We only had 1 TV when I was a kid and it wasn’t color.”
Think about the things the current generation has now that we didn’t. Digital card catalogs, Internet, smart phones, handheld wireless phones, a computer with more than 1MB of memory, digital music, HDTV, widescreen, DVR, mp3 players, DVD, and micro brewed beer. Even with all of this new crap, my kids still tell me they’re bored and have nothing to do.
Stuff stops working as well as it used to.
No, this isn’t a reference to Viagra. But come on, I have aches and pains where I never did before. My physical therapist told me that 30 years of sitting in front of a computer have caught up with me. You mean I’ve reached that time in my life where I have to reap what I sowed? Oh crap.
Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear about it…