On growing older

There’s no denying it; I’m getting older.  By the year.  Dare I say, by the day even.  Now, as of late I’ve been much more pessimistic on the getting older shtick because, quite frankly, it’s unavoidable and that bothers me.  I’m living on borrowed time; just a miserable pawn in this sick game called life, awaiting my turn to meet my maker in the great unknown.

Clearly the getting old thing has been a weight on my shoulders for quite some time.

So I did what any logical person needing some perspective would do: I made a pros and cons list to help me see if getting older is really as bad as I make it out to be.

Pro – I have learned to appreciate some of the finer things in life.

Examples: A new memory foam mattress, a nice bottle of wine, Mad Men.  These are all things that you cannot appreciate as a youth.  There was a semester in college when I was doing my student teaching that I slept on my friend’s couch for half a semester.  Who does that?  Young people that don’t have money because they don’t have jobs and can’t afford nice things like a memory foam matress topper to help them feel like they’re sleeping on a cloud.

Memory foam handprint

A miracle of modern science. It's like sleeping on a cloud.

I can’t blame myself; I didn’t know any better.

Con – I am going bald.

There is nothing fun about losing your hair.  While I am better off than a lot of men in this area, there’s no denying my hair is getting thinner by the day.  It really bothers me because there’s nothing I can do about it.  I just have to sit around and wait for my hair to fall out.

If I were to get fat, I could control that.  I’d stop eating so much and go to the gym.  There’s nothing I can do to stop making my hair fall out.  That makes me angry.  Why does more hair grow on your back than your head as you age?

Another  thing that irritates me is how when you tell people how losing your hair bothers you, they tell you it’s okay and that you should accept it with grace.  That’s stupid.  I hope the next person that tells me that is wearing glasses so I can tell them the same thing.

Pro – I am wiser.

When you’re young, 99% of your life is guided by emotions.  This leads to terrible decision making.  I’m ashamed to even list some of the stupid things I have said and done ‘in the name of love’.  If I could go back in time and punch myself in the face and tell myself to quit acting like a pussy in a John Cusack movie, I would.

John Cusack Say Anything

I don't know how this guy manages to find work.

Unless you have a terminal disease or live in a third world, AIDS-ridden village, life is never really that bad.  Get over yourself.  Everyone has problems.  The biggest problem I had last week was I couldn’t find furniture that matched the lamps in my living room.  I doubt most of your problems are that much worse.

Con – I have digestive and other weird bodily problems.

If puberty for adults exists, my body is going through it.  As a teenager I had an iron-clad stomach.  I could eat chicken wings, pizza, down a two-liter and then polish off a bag of potato chips in the same night.  Now if I look at greasy food I get a stomach ache.  My stomach makes weird noises now, my knees ache, and there are times that I can’t move from the couch because breathing hurts.  The crazy thing is that this stuff is apparently normal.  Like when I tell my doctor about it, he takes my temperature and demonstrates absolutely no alarm whatsoever.

Well I have news for you, doc: my body has never felt like this before, so you’ll have to excuse my panic when I haven’t pooped in two days.

Pro – I wake up early.

Today, for example, I woke up at 8:00.  8:00!  On a day off!  I finished one of my grad papers and submitted it by 9:45!  When I wake up early, my productivity goes through the roof.  I’m going post a blog today, see the Muppet Movie, and still have time to finish my other grad assignment.

Con – I go to bed early.

Last night I was lying on the couch and fell asleep by 11:30.  My good friend is home visiting and was out with my brother and I was dreaming about tornadoes and comfortable t-shirts (I seriously love my dreams).

Pro – I have a real job.

As stated earlier, having a real job is great because you can afford to buy stuff that you can’t afford when you’re unemployed or making $6 an hour flipping burgers.  I have so much pointless shit that I’ve purchased off of amazon.com around my apartment, it’s ridiculous.  (Thank you One-Click!)  Jobs help to put things in perspective.  For example, if I could go back and visit my teenage years, I’d slap my own feet off of the couch and tell myself to get up off my ass and do something productive.  I do feel good knowing that I’m contributing to society, and it’s nice to continue to be able to frown upon poor people and get pissed when they use their Access cards to buy Ho-Hos and Cheetos in bulk.

Con – I have a real job.

Having a real job unites a lot of things I don’t like.  One thing I can’t stand is waking up early.  While I may be more productive, it also ruins my dreaming and makes me leave my awesome memory foam topper.  I now wake up five minutes before my alarm goes off, no matter what.  It’s like I suddenly have an old-man alarm clock in my head now that alerts me a few minutes before my alarm goes off just to get me all riled up.  This has also started to affect my days off, when I’m waking up early for no good reason.  I enjoy sleeping.  I have some 800 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets that are like heaven to wrap yourself up in.  I also have ‘real responsibility’ now.  I have to be somewhere five days a week and 20 little children I’m responsible for.

It’s quite burdensome.

Conclusion

While getting older definitely is not fun, I have to say that the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  While I enjoyed my carefree teenage years and the total void of responsibility, this next stage of my life is enjoyable in many new ways.  I’ve learned that I enjoy writing and  a good Riesling (when my body won’t give me terrible heartburn).  Those are things that you simply can’t appreciate when your knowledge of a ‘good drink’ includes quarter drafts from a moldy bar tap.

So old age, I will raise a glass of Pink Catawba and Pink Bismuth to you and say cheers!  Let’s take this journey together.

Pink Bismuth - Pink Catawba

Salut!

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2 Responses to On growing older

  1. gkinnard says:

    Andy: Take it from someone who is geting older–and balder–at warp speed, GREAT POST! I’m a new fan!

  2. Andy says:

    Thank you, kind sir. It’s always nice to know that your work is appreciated. Thanks for stopping by and checking out whatever pops into my head at that moment!

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