Tuesday, 21 April 2009

I'm getting old - but not there yet.

I’ve realised I’m getting old – I’ll come to the symptoms later, but I’m not young any more. Ask me how old I am and I’ll actually do a mental calculation based on my date of birth. I don’t include the quarters or halves any more (although I did relatively recently – I think turning 30 killed that one off).

Yes – here I am – a guy in his early thirties, married and settled and not really wondering what to do next. Kids aren’t really on the horizon (although many of my friends are now totally in the family way, (one of my best mates just popped number 2 and 3 – twins – a boy and a girl – I can’t imagine what they are going through!) and of the 5 of us who were in our student house, we have 6 kids between us, ranging from fresh to primary school (and one Artemis Fowl book away from being a full on evil genius – she’s got the genius aspect down pat)) which is fine by me. I have far more interesting things to do at the moment (which doesn’t mean that what my friends are doing isn’t interesting – I have to be careful with such statements – like when I suggest that my life is more than just running marathons – am I implying that other’s lives aren’t?) oh my goodness – I’ve just had to count up all the brackets so I know how many I need to close now... I don’t need to close any – just a full stop will do.

I have more than my fair share of grey hairs, but I have done since I was about 22, so that doesn’t make me any older (or feel any older or look any older really), but still less than my mum had at this point.

Our age is defined by our peers. (it isn’t, but that is the stance I’m taking to make this mean anything.

Of the 5 of us in our student flat, I am the second youngest, both in years, and in peer years.

The youngest (age) is the oldest compared to us, as he has the oldest and most established kids, is onto his third house, and has started and sold a business.
The second oldest, matches his actual age, with the twins, and the other one. Third matches third again, with a single kidlet, and has been married for ever (pretty much since the first week of university they behaved like they’d been married for many years.
The second youngest (peer) is also the second youngest (age) – me.

The oldest – (age) is the youngest (peer) as he is single, childless, living in a rented flat, free to jetset round the world doing what he loves, and I envy him daily. Although he did go bald at about 21. Not fair.

I have the Lady GaGa album. Not only do I have it – but I think it is rather good. I called it rather good, and not – well dub – so I am a bit old, but not as old as some. I pay attention to the charts, but only because it is news these days, and the BBC tells me I should pay attention. I certainly wouldn’t buy something as it is popular, but I am pleased when something I like becomes popular. I’d only heard of Lady GaGa because she was popular, but I like her because I like her. I liked the Noisettes before they were popular (some might say before they sold out to the man and mazda) so I am still pretty cool (re – young) there too.

I also – ahem – listen to radio 4. The radio station – not the dubious 90s indie band. I know they are dubious as we have at least one of their CDs upstairs, and the wife has never suggested we listen to it – so they may well be a guilty pleasure of hers. This is a tangent.

If it is 6.30 pm, and I’m in the kitchen, I’ll switch on the digital radio (young) and listen to radio 4 (old) but only for the comedies. I’ll pay attention to the news at 7, but as I am not by brother, and mid 30s going on retired and sitting in a rocking chair with my pipe and slippers, I will TURN IT OFF BEFORE THE ARCHERS STARTS. This is something I associate with age. My grandparents listened to the archers. I understand my brother also listens to farming today, but I also understand he needs to get a life.

Therefore I am still young – in the grand scheme of things. I am closer to birth than to death (I hope) and I’m certainly closer to the start of my career than to the end (I hope too!)
Next time we’ll move on to my parents, and I’ll look like I’m still in nappies compared to them.

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