7 Signs That I’m Getting Old
I’m turning twenty-four next month. This situation has me slightly freaked out. When did I become a grown up? Adulthood is kind of like when you’re running and you see some giant building way off in the distance. You run and run, and every time glance at it that building is way off in the distance, to the point where you just put your head down and forget about it. Eventually, you look up and you’re right next to the thing, thinking “Christ, man, how’d I get all the way over here?” Anyway, here’s seven reminders that I’m getting older.
7) I Have No Clue How Old Anyone Else Is
I don’t know if this is a product of my getting older, or just a result of my own incompetence, but I have no idea how old anyone else is. If I see a group of girls, unless they’re wearing some kind of indicator of their high school or college, they could be anywhere from 15 to 40. When I was a kid, I had this innate ability to find people my own age. As a twelve-year old at the beach, for instance, if I needed to find another person to join a volleyball game, I could scan the beach and immediately identify everyone in the vicinity of my age, kind of like The Terminator surveying the carnage he’s caused from the roof of the SkyNet building. Evidently that ability gets worse with each year.
6) Dakota Fanning
In my mind, Dakota Fanning is a little kid actor. Shes in movies like Man On Fire and War of the Worlds, where she spends most of her time shrieking hysterically, being kidnapped, or shrieking hysterically while being kidnapped. Now she’s apparently doing lesbian scenes and is trying to be “edgy.” Yikes.
5) It’s Probably Time To Stop Going To A Pediatrician
Well this is embarrassing. It’s tough to be a 23 year old going to a pediatrician. I sit in a waiting room with crying infants and acne-ridden 12 year olds. I’m forced to read either Highlights or Good Parenting in the waiting room. I’m pretty sure there are people my age who are bringing their kids to my doctor’s office. What can I say? I don’t like change, for one thing. I’ve had the same doctor for years; he knows me, he knows my pain threshold, he’s got a good sense of humor. We get along famously (wherever the hell that saying comes from), to the point where going to see this guy is like stopping by a friend’s house and asking him to check something out while you’re there. I go to the doctor’s so rarely that I’ve been forgetting for the last six years that I need to switch to a real doctor. I’m gonna use 25 as a cut-off age. Once I turn 25, I’m severing all ties with my pediatrician.
4) I Have To Stretch Before And After Physical Exercise
The first year I ever ran cross-country in high school, I hardly stretched at all. I was one of those annoying kids who thought they were too cool to stretch, so I’d spend the time we were alloted before practice to physically prepare our bodies for running engaging my stretching-conscious teammates in inane conversation. My coach would always yell at me about this. He’d give me articles about the importance of stretching and lecture me about how I was injuring my body with my idiotic stance. Well, I now see the error of my ways. If I don’t get in a solid fifteen to twenty minute dynamic stretch before running or playing basketball, I end up feeling like an old man by the end of the game. Afterwards, I need to force myself to do a few basic stretches so my legs don’t cramp up on the car ride home. Hell, I even need to stretch out after wiffleball games. It doesn’t help that I’m about as flexible as a potato chip, probably as a result of refusing to do it as a fifteen-year old.
3) I Keep Talking About How Things Were “Back In My Day”
I remember the days when my grandpa would sit me down on his knee and tell me about how he had to walk forty-five miles to school, uphill both ways. Then he’d head to work at the factory till midnight, wake up at the crack of dawn, and do it again. When I got a little older, my dad told me stories of his time in Catholic school, like when a nun made him spend the entire day standing in a waste barrel for talking, as evidence of how my teachers were too soft on me. Now, I find myself doing the same thing to younger kids I interact with. I’ll see some seventh grader crying about how his folks won’t let him get a Black Berry, and I’ll regale him with stories of the pre-cell phone days. Or I’ll see some snot-nosed kid freaking out because his mom cancelled his World of Warcraft subscription, so I’ll sit him down and tell him some tales of the original Warcraft, when there were two races that were the exact same and the only way to play online was through a freaking dial-up connection with your buddy that always seemed to disconnect minutes before you were about to attack.
2) References to Nickelodeon Shows Are Becoming Increasingly Obscure
You don’t get this, do you?
There was a time when you could reference a number of early to mid 1990’s Nickelodeon TV shows, and 90% of the people would know exactly what you were talking about. Kids my age watched shows like Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, Salute Your Shorts, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, All That, Hey Arnold, and Are You Afraid of the Dark religiously. Our siblings, whether they were older or younger, watched right along with us. Parents too, got caught up the charm of Nickelodeon. Maybe eight years ago, you could have an in-depth discussion of Doug Funnie’s psychological issues stemming from his love for Pattie Mayonnaise, and 90% of the people in the room would know exactly what you were talking about. These days, every Nickelodeon show needs a qualifier. Like I’ll have to say “Pete and Pete, it was this show on Nickelodeon in the early 90’s with these two redheaded goofballs who were both named Pete. Also, there was a guy who lived in an outhouse and thought he was a superhero. You’ve never heard of it?” and so on. Tragic.
1) Time Is Speeding Up
For little kids, time moves like a lazy river. Remember when you were a little kid and every school day felt like agony? Emerging from the double doors of my elementary school felt like crossing the finish line of a thirty mile race: a combination of exhaustion and elation. That’s why little kids get so excited about summer vacation: to them it feels like an endless hours where they can just do whatever they want. Of course, time doesn’t actually speed up as we get older, rather it’s the way we perceive it that changes. This is particularly annoying when I’m waiting around to go to work. I’ll look at the clock, see I have an hour until I have to leave, and then set about doing some activity (most likely dicking around on the internet). In what seems like the blink of an eye, 45 minutes has gone by and I have to leave.