February 08, 2006

Cringing at Senescence

BACK IN THE DAY, Matt Groening drew a clever cartoon in which a young boy grew older and older with each panel. The young boy kept waiting for something to happen, only to suddenly reach adulthood with the thought, ďWhat happened?Ē

Well, now that Iíve turned 30 years old Ė God help me Ė Iím thinking along much the same lines. What the hell happened?

Iím not just saying that because I had a fun time at the surprise gathering my friends arranged at the Strange Brew Tavern, either. I mean, here it is Iím 30, and for the first time in my life I feel as if the open door which existed for certain things might be starting to inch shut.

For instance: at the Strange Brew earlier this week, my friends, being clever and knowledgeable about matters of love, advised me that telling women it was my birthday would be an amazingly successful pick up line. I demurred at this suggestion. Why, you ask? Well, whatís the attribute associated with oneís birthday? Oneís age.

I donít know about you, but having to mention the big three-oh seemed about as sexy as giving oneís beloved an electric mixer for Valentineís Day. I mean, really. It seems to me that change on the odometer has suddenly deducted key viability points from my profile. Prospective fathers-in-law will prove even more skeptical; prospective girlfriends will face more questions from their friends about that old guy they met.

But then again, maybe not.

After all, now that Iím 30, Iím older but also wiser, giving my traditional outlook on life a memorable and refined touch. This should work wonders for me on the dating scene, especially when my competitors in the market keep mentioning their new pickup trucks. Plus, I have all sorts of great paper attributes (good job! good degree! saving for retirement!) that will now mean even more to offset the slight negatives (unhealthy interest in economic history, occasional instances of maddening doltishness, love handles) that I admittedly possess. Also, Iím smart and funny, and like traveling and long walks.

Did I mention Iím 6í4Ē? No, really!

But anyhoo. Any lingering doubts Iíve had about turning 30 are tempered with the knowledge that at the age of 30, I have it materially better than any of my ancestors did. For instance, when my father was my age, he had to deal with recession and stagflation and wondering whether he could buy gasoline. When my fatherís father was my age, America was still dealing with the Great Depression, and the Nazis had invaded western Europe. And when my fatherís grandfather was my age Ö well, it was 1913, which meant all sorts of future bad things were about ready to happen: income taxes and World War I and Spanish flu and Prohibition. Thatís a truly grim turn of events, if one thinks about it. Not only would my great-grandfather have had all that weighing on his mind while working for the coal company, his only legal remedy at hand for dealing with it was a strawberry milkshake.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 8, 2006 09:53 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Ben, welcome to the club! Nothing changes, trust me.

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