10.04.2011

I've reached An Age...

So… I’m gonna be twenty-seven in two months. This leads me to two points: I’m going to a Gwar concert the day after my birthday and I’m incredibly excited, and I’ve reached An Age. Let me explain An Age. One of my favorite lines I ever wrote was in a blog entry about how my mother is gloomy, and I “quoted” her as saying of the aging process, “you’re lucky to have a week between acne and gout.” I was absurdly pleased with myself for this phrase, so it sucks to be An Age now and realize it’s not true. I’m clearly Getting Older, but my acne is still hanging around, like the last party guest who’s still on the couch at three AM, opening the last bottle of wine and telling you about how the price of gold “is only going to up from here.” I actually bought a blackhead extractor today, you know, so I can dig oxidized oil out of my face. 

Aside from my face, which still has the fresh inflamed bloom of a sixteen-year-old’s, I’m getting older. I’ve been logging these “I Feel Old Moments” and putting them in a Word document titled “Blog About This if the New Goddamn Book Ever Gets Done,” so – now that the new Goddamn book is done – here’s a chronicle of my increasingly headlong dash to the grave. I can only hope that there’s some kind of obscure relationship between my career getting better and my turning into a decrepit old man: I’m perfectly content to be a head in a jar with Danielle Steel-level sales figures. 

- I wrenched my shoulder the other week while scratching my back. The implication is that there are parts of my body that I simply can’t pay attention to anymore because they’re now “too distant,” despite being part of my body. The historian in me thinks about how this is like the Roman Empire abandoning Britain in 410 because it was too expensive to defend. The paranoid in me imagines being attacked at ankle level by a Yorkshire terrier and being unable to do anything about it because it’s too short to reach. 

- I was walking to work the other day and passed a sex store. I thought, “Oh, wouldn’t it be funny to skip work and go in there and poke around?” Then I thought, “That sounds infinitely, infinitely more stressful than just going and teaching kids about the SAT. I don’t want to pretend not to be shocked so the cashier won’t come over and try to guide me gently through the process of selecting a toy that really works the clitoris.” Three years ago I would have gone in and giggled at all the things people put in their butts. (Butts! Tee hee!) Now even thinking about other people’s sex lives makes me very, very tired. 

- A corollary to this: some people are apparently trying to force watersports into the porn mainstream. Not only does this annoy me because “back in my day” that was a fringe behavior, it annoys me that I’ve told at least three people, at length, about how annoyed I am about this. I’m turning into one of those people who rants about declining standards. 

- I’m paying attention to the presidential primaries, which arguably many of the candidates aren’t doing. 

- I can clearly remember staying up late to watch “Aeon Flux” the cartoon on MTV because I was about to be a teenager, and teenagers did cool things like watch weird cartoons with titties on MTV. Now people outgrow MTV by about eight years old and try to lose their virginities by twelve because teenagers aren’t virgins, how lame. 

- I look at the teenagers I teach SAT to and think about how they have their whole lives in front of them. I look at teenagers on the street and wonder why they have to be so fucking loud and weird. 

- Did I buy women’s laxative because it was half the price of gender-neutral laxative, and because I didn’t have anything to prove to the check-out guy at K-Mart? Did I take them one day when I was in a bad mood because I thought maybe “a good clean-out” would cheer me up? Did it work? Yes, yes, YES. 

- When Meg and I were getting cabin fever and frustrated with the new book, I didn’t fantasize about going out and getting wasted and making out with a dumb guy in a bar bathroom.* I fantasized about getting wasted and watching a BBC Mystery! special. 

- I can’t spell a fucking thing anymore, which I’m going to go ahead and chalk up to senility. I used to be a champion speller in elementary school; yesterday I wrote “bicycle” as “bicicycle” because I couldn’t remember if it was an I or a Y and then I just got carried away in the moment… 

*Are you with me on this? If you’re going to make out with a stranger it’s somehow more fun if they’re dumb as a post. I guess it’s because you know you have their full attention. 

The best part about all this Feeling Old business is that it’s freeing. I don’t care about being cool anymore, and increasingly I don’t even care if I look presentable when I leave the house. I used to wonder how 60-year-old men could walk around in jean shorts, black socks, and psedo-Birkenstocks. Now I realize it’s because it’s hot, they don’t want to get little chafe injuries on their feet from the straps, and because they’re sixty, dammit. Anyone who cares how you look while getting a half-price senior breakfast at Denny’s is not your friend.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

dude, for realz. i feel this. i can no longer care about being cool, nor do i care at all what i wear.

Anonymous said...

dittttto!

Chrissie said...

YES. I reached An Age a couple of years ago, and I'm still reeling from the effects. I have acne AND gray hairs, and worry about my skin elasticity and the furrow between my eyebrows. How to deal with the extra weight around my belly? Exercise? No. Spandex shorts. Fuck that, Spandex BODY SUIT. I shake my head in judgment of others younger than I am, at once pitying them for the things they waste their time on, while envying them for their youth.

I'm 31.

I think people who claim that 40 is the new 30 and all that shit are wrong.

30 is the new 60.

allison said...

I'm with you! Nice post, Chris, very LOL-tastic!!!!!!!1

Margo said...

+1 Chrissie for acne and gray hair. WTF?

Shana said...

I have reached and passed THE AGE. I officially no longer care. How refreshing.

Kate said...

My 'give a shit' ability has been severely hampered by getting older. I don't care about doing my makeup and rarely dress in anything other than yoga pants (side note: yoga pants are magical in their ability to make my comfy and fit my improbable white-girl booty). Straightening my hair and doing an above-the-knee shave just sounds exhausting.
I'll be on the couch, playing mah-jongg on my phone and watching a documentary if you need me.

a said...

I'm 23. I've been finding white hairs. Isn't that supposed to be AFTER the acne defines your face? Nope. No, it doesn't work that way.

Paula said...

Getting old sucks...I just hope my kids pick a nice nursing home for me when the time comes!

Lex said...

I feel like you're only alotted so many fucks to give in your lifetime, and I used up almost all of them. Do I wander around naked in the gym locker room? Yes. Do I blow dry my unmentionables in front of everybody? Not yet.

Emily said...

Ugh, TC, I am literally ten days younger than you and I am so there. Since when can I not sit cross-legged anymore? At what point did my knees decide that that's not okay? This is why adults bring lawn chairs with them wherever they go--it all makes sense now!

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