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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Being Old

Category: Issue 21
I turned 32 this week. I had a great day, an awesome birthday, and even though I kept insisting that it was a day like any other, everyone made sure I knew it wasn't. They showed me their love, catered to me all day and lovingly teased me about how old I was.

We do that. We tease. Don calls me his old lady. I call him decrepit. Ask the kids (who are 10 and 14), and they'll tell you they're amazed we don't yet require hoverounds to get around ('cauz you can go go go in your hoveround!) When you're 10, 30 is like, old, man.

Maybe that's why I cried when I turned 15. Figured I was already half way to being old. I don't know. What I do know is that being 32 doesn't feel any different than being 31, and turning 30 didn't leave me depressed like everyone said it would. Being 32 is just, well, another number.

Don and I know we're not old. There are days when I feel 70, but mostly, I feel young. I still love to play video games, and I pout and stomp my feet when I don't get what I want. Even the kids know that in my head, I can still be three (thleeeee!) when I want to.

Still, I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I'd like to go back to a time of innocence, when my main concern was whether or not my sister had eaten the last of the cookies, and the hardest decisions had to do with picking out a video game to rent or whether to watch the Looney Tunes or Mr. Magoo. I mean, those were the years, right?

Wrong.

Being a kid was great in that I was lucky enough not to have to be exposed to the harsh reality that life can sometimes bring. I think the worst that happened to me in my first ten years of life was the death of my grand-father and, while it was sad and traumatic to a point, I recovered fairly quickly and went back to my carefree, young life without much effort. But I also remember that being a kid wasn't always all that great.

I mean think about it: I had no real power of decision, I had to do what my parents told me to, I had a curfew, was made to do chores I didn't like, had no money other than what my parents or family gave me...being a kid is hard, man!

The great thing about being “old” is that I can stand up to bullies, I can hop in the car and drive to the store whenever I want, I can do all sorts of things that I couldn't do as a kid, and I can still have my kid time. I can play video games, watch cartoons and get into a pillow fight if I want to. The best part is, I can do all that with “actual” kids, and it makes me younger in their eyes, even if only for a moment.

I also have to do those things I didn't like to do as a kid, like doing the dishes and setting the table, but somehow, chores don't seem so unpleasant now that I'm older. They're just part of life, and it's oddly satisfying to look at a clean counter or a basket of neatly folded laundry.

I think being old is overrated anyway. If 30 is old when you're 10, what's old when you're 30? 70? 80? I dunno. I didn't cry when I turned 32. I guess I'm hoping I haven't quite reached half-way to old yet. And that's all right with me. Like one of the kids' friends told me, “I have a birthday every year!” So do I. Maybe next year I'll go from thlee to four. Or thlee and a half. That's thlee fingers and a thumb, man. I'm a big kid now.




Posted by StarLizard on 01/25 at 03:13 PM | Permalink
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