Getting Old

Getting Old

Am I finally old enough to say that I'm getting old?

August 7, 2014

When I was growing up, my definition of an adult was someone over twenty. My twenties came and went, and I never felt like I reached adulthood. The people who I perceived as adults when I was growing up are now just older adults, and I’m left somewhere in-between. At what point will someone call me Mr. Bell?

I’m married, I have two kids, and I get winded walking up the steps to take a leak. I guess that makes me old. Just the idea that I’m responsible for the lives of my two kids should solidify my adulthood, but it doesn’t. I just feel like a young dad.

I like when people look old and everything that comes with it: wrinkles, white hair, and a fondness of Wheel of Fortune. A few years ago, when I would spot a white hair on my head, I would show it off to my friends as proof of my age. Now I’ve got enough peppered throughout my hair that it’s not quite as big of a deal.

Maybe I should start by behaving like an adult. Going weeks without a clean shave isn’t going to cut it. My default outfit of a t-shirt and jeans doesn’t quite feel like something I should wear to work. Should I get a leather briefcase with one of those combination locks? Or a watch? I could never wear watches. They always felt either too tight or too loose, and the metal ones would pull at the hair on my wrists.

My wedding band makes me feel old, but I feel like a kid when I get caught spinning it on a table, or worse, dropping it on the floor followed by an embarrassing hands-and-knees search. What else do old people do? I can remember hearing the loose change jingling in my Grandpop’s pockets when he walked around the house. That feels like something I could do. But I would need to carry cash to make change, and I never have cash on me.

Have you ever heard the thing about putting a frog into boiling water? Apparently, when you put a frog straight into boiling water, it jumps right out. Mind you I’ve never tried this and I’m not sure who accidentally discovered that this happens, but if you put a frog into water then slowly bring it to a boil, it just stays there… boiling. I guess since the temperature just slowly creeps up, the frog never notices the difference. I’m thinking that’s what its like getting old. If ten years ago I was suddenly ten years older, I would definitely feel 30. Instead, I got older one day at a time, and I don’t feel any different.

Written by John Bell