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|No matter how philosophically you take the passing of time, it's surprisingly easy to become the paradigmatic grumpy old guy. And it happens seemingly overnight.|
|Like most things in life, it is gradual and seemingly prospective until it's suddenly and very tangibly present.|
You wake up one day, and while you're brushing your teeth and wondering for the umpteenth time when that bald dude moved into your mirror, you suddenly realize that basic math says half your life is over. It's been over for quite some time, in fact.
The creeping realization that invariably reaches you too late is that while you've been busy aging, everybody younger than you has been busy growing into a privileged class - and an undeserving one at that. It's like this fancy club you never really gave much of a shit about until you misplaced your membership card.
The world seems to turn around those younger than you. And don't be mistaken, everybody is younger than you. The people you used to call "older people" are just "people" now. You refer to men of a certain age as "guys", not "men". You're known to a sizeable part of your local society as So-and-So's dad now. You're not you anymore, you're someone else's something. That's your new identity. And, truth be told, you feel rather comfortable in this second tier role. No more keeping up with peers' expectations - that's your kids' ball game now. Bliss, thy name is Aging.
But still - young people won't let you enjoy your well-deserved rest because they can't seem to get out of your face. It's like they're just, I don't know, being born every day, for fuck's sake.
And the world is theirs. Advertising panders to young people. So does fashion. And music. And cinema, and civilized life in general.
The young fit into this world. The young get away with wearing ridiculous clothes that look good on them. They get to go to loud places at ungodly hours and meet people and do things that you don't really want to do anymore, but still would want to at least be able to if you were interested, which you're not, but that's beside the point.
Young people are loud and boisterous. They visit each other's desks and counters and cubicles, and flirt and giggle and discuss their activities from the night before, casually documenting their intake of substances the type and quantity whereof would fell you like a bullet to the head if you were to indulge - and they look fucking fantastic while complaining of their alleged hangovers.
Young people don't need to look up what their interests are up to. Their preposterous new pop stars and actors and movies and TV shows keep popping out from seemingly everywhere, while your favorite acts seem to languish in a growing mist of irrelevance, slowly "tottering into antiquity" like Peter O'Toole. What's more, young people display an appalling ignorance of your own icons, and when they do muster the minimum quota of respect and actually know who you're talking about, they go and refer to your idols as "old" or, even worse: "classic". The snotty little motherfuckers. Classic, my ass. Supergrass is a young band, and they're new and they're alternative, you hear me? Don't you Super Who me and ooooh, you see how you do know who they are? Relevance, bitch! And yes I know they broke up years ago - that's not the point; shut your fucking hole.
And the worst part is that these people -these kids, because let's face it, that's what they are, not actual people, not really, not if they're twenty years your junior or worse-, they strut their stuff all over the place like they own it. Like they've earned all of their privileges. They've not. You have.
Where were these kids when you were toiling away at building their world?
Where were they when your generation was actually, physically, geographically commuting? Where were they when you were carrying a fucking cinder block on your belt and calling it a cell phone because "cell" was still a required distinguishing feature, not to mention a status symbol? Where were they when you spent hours fishing for your favorite reruns on TV because maybe they were being broadcast and maybe not, and that's how it was? Where were these kids when you were fixing audio tapes with pliers and a ball pen, and tuning your guitar with an actual physical tuner that occasionally needed new batteries? (And where the fuck is your guitar, since we're at it?)
What have these kids done to deserve their touch screens and their GPS, and their human-shaped body parts and non-receding gums? You should have those things, you've worked for them.
Fucking youth, man.
They don't make it as they used to.