Summer leaves and my birthdayâ€™s here
And all my friends stand up and cheer
And say man youâ€™re old
–Paul Simon (An old guy)
I was reading in Salon.com about Nora Ephron (picture left) and her new book that deals with aging and how she’s not really enjoying it. She’s about 60 now, and I’m 41, so I’m not dealing with the same kind of aging issues she is. Plus, I’m a man so no menopausal issues for me. But there’s always that damn prostate thing I hear older men complain about (insert “Debbie Downer Wah..wah here.”)
Personally, I didn’t like my “youth.” Moving around, having to make new friends, never feeling like I was rooted anywhere, made me feel, well, kind of insecure.
Parenthood, on the other hand, had a very mellowing affect on me. I was in the thick of grad school when Maya came along, and I admit I was pretty competitive in school. You know, I had to write killer research papers (which really weren’t “killer” at all), make insightful comments during seminars, and all that other blah, blah that goes with being in an intellectual hothouse environment. I learned a tremendous amount, but I think despite all that dedication to my studies, I was becoming a kind of hyper-geek who fretted over footnotes way-too-much. And from what I could surmise from my professors, success in academia had direct correlation impaired social graces. I didn’t want to become one of “those professors” who seemed to walk around in a fog, but also proud of the sophisticated insults they could make to their students and colleagues (once tenured, of course).
After Maya was born, all that academic stuff really didn’t matter as much. I liked being a father. I liked fretting over her more than my own work. I liked watching her discover the world. And I liked doing things like reading her the NY Times op-ed pages while she lay on her mat making “Mmmmm…Mmmmmm” sounds, kicking and and generally being a baby. All good memories, and memories Maya loves hearing about.
Click HERE for a slide show I put together for Maya’s 10th birthday!
So…back to this “getting old” thing. Sure, it’s not easy to see the unflattering changes in my face and body. But really, there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh of course there’s plastic surgery, hair transplants, and all that other stuff you can spend money on. But, that’s not really for me.
I guess my own attempt to “stay young” comes down to a few things:
1. Shopping at Hot Topic.
2. Listening to music that marketed to younger adults.
3. Playing drums (but way better than Bobby Brady did when Mike and Carol got him a kit ).
4. Genrerally being a goof at home (except when I’m in one of those “black hole” moody moods. And those aren’t fun).
Could it be a Baby Boomer thing? You know, the whole “Oh, I’m getting so old, and my world is ending” rant. Could be, but to me singing that song is just, well, old!