Friday, April 13, 2012

11 Warning Signs That I Might Be on the Verge of Becoming a Grumpy Old Man

Just in case yesterday's Facebook status update -- "Maybe I'm really getting old and hopelessly cranky, but why does 'party' (the noun AND the verb) always have to involve such loud music? Can't people have a good time without damaging their ear drums, keeping me awake and prohibiting meaningful conversation without shouting?" -- didn't give it away.

1. I went to bed before midnight on New Year's Eve (Songkran Eve?) -- 11.23pm, to be exact -- last night, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything.

2. 11.23?! That's so late. On nights when I'm not yawning by the bar at DJ Station, I'm usually in bed at least a half hour earlier!

3. I've become the guy who actually complains to neighbors about their music being too loud. My last year in Buenos Aires, I did it about once a month, always declining their invitations to join them, which was even more unlike me than the part where I took the elevator two floors down just to glare at them from the other side of the threshold.

4. I wrote the status update above after trying -- and failing -- to take an afternoon nap. The combination of loud music coming from an undisclosed location and yelling and screaming at the pool nine floors below left me tossing and turning for a half hour before I gave up completely.

5. The idea of going to one of those outdoor music festivals that my friends in Australia talk about all the time sounds like pure torture. Covering Woodstock '94 for People magazine ruined me for every other one!

6. Speaking of outdoor concerts, I'm still not sure how I made it through the Soundgarden show in Melbourne in February, or how I managed to love it, too, despite spending several hours on my feet with a below-average view of Chris Cornell. Of course, most of the crowd was around my age, so maybe we were all struggling in the same boat. These days, my idea of a perfect show is one that involves perfect seating, not because I want to see better but because I want to actually use it.

7. Last night while I was watching Ringer on TV (in bed, of course), Sarah Michelle Gellar, who I used to think of as being "just a kid," was playing the stepmom of a pot-smoking high-school girl. Yikes! On the plus side, I can still watch high-school mean-girl antics all day long -- though from the relative emotional safety of two and a half decades later.

8. Phrases like "back when I was your age," "you wouldn't remember this," and "I was doing [insert action with which I have decades of experience here] since before you were born" are creeping into my conversations -- sometimes with people in their 30s! -- with alarming frequency. For a moment, I even considered calling my life story Confessions of a Coot, or The Codger Chronicles!

9. I can't remember the last time I gave up my seat on public transportation because, well, I'm old and tired, too!

10. I look for the philosophical side to everything, or appreciate it when other people do, which might be why my Facebook and high-school friend Lisa's response to the status update above -- "Some people never evolve from HAVING a party (experience through the senses externally) to BEING a party (experience that flows from within)" -- made so much sense. Honorable mention: "Party is not a quiet word," courtesy of my friend and former People colleague Heidi.

11. I just spent 15 minutes before 7am (the best and most quiet time of day because nobody else is up yet) coming up with all of these reasons why I'm an old cranky pants. (When did I start using phrases like "cranky pants"?) If that doesn't make me one, I don't know what does.

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