Monday, February 17, 2014

12 Reasons Why I've Never Felt Older Than I Did Last Week

1. I finally had to break out the eye glasses yesterday in order to read the DStv channel guide on the TV screen. I hadn't used them in three months -- not since my arrival in Cape Town on November 16, 2013 -- and for four weeks, they'd been tucked away in a travel bag in the upstairs closet, from where I'd been too lazy to retrieve them. Then I got tired of squinting to barely read the fine print on the TV (and that leaves wrinkles that will only make me look more wizened than I already do), so I sucked it up, pulled out the specs and put them on. Wow. Clarity is a beautiful thing. And Cape Town is even more breathtaking when it's not being viewed through a slight blur.

2. My twentysomething friends all seem to be getting younger. My buddy Rob is visiting Cape Town from London, and when we were out on Saturday night, we met a girl who demanded to know how old we both are. I was expecting Rob to say that he'd finally turned 30 or that he was about to, but he's not even close! "Twenty-seven." Twenty-seven?! I asked what year he born in just to make sure, as if that might magically and miraculously make him a year or two older. "Nineteen eighty-six." How is that possible? Wasn't he 27 when we met forever ago? (He was 22.) Why does time seem to fly for me and my peers but crawl for everyone who's still under 30?

3. People who are complaining about how old they're getting were born in the decade when I graduated from high school. The girl who asked our age wouldn't tell us hers, but that flawless skin and Saturday night fever (you know, the contagious kind commonly found in rambunctious kids the first time they get to stay up past their bedtime) suggested that she couldn't have been a day over 30, even though she was putting a lot of her youthful energy into bemoaning her supposed vintageness. Ah, I got it! I understood exactly how people who are 10, 20 years older than me felt 15, 20 years ago when I used to do the same thing. Cher, my apologies.

4. Speaking of the decade when I graduated from high school, last night during one of my semi-regular Wikipedia sprees, I discovered that many of the musical icons whose cassettes and vinyl LPs provided the soundtrack of my teens are now pushing 60 hard. Dennis Quaid, who didn't appear on any of those records but represented my masculine ideal back then, will turn 60 on April 9, and in the next two years, Annie Lennox, Reba McEntire, Rosanne Cash and Paul Young are just a few of the singers that provided the soundtrack to my 1980s who will join the sexagenarian club. Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper were already inducted last year.

5. Now when I stay out until the morning after, as I did on Saturday night for the first since Tel Aviv last year, I do it not with a bunch of twentysomethings that I met on the dance floor. Instead, my after-party involved hanging out by the swimming pool of a real-estate agent (the one who rented me the apartment that will be home for the next year), who has a grown daughter (who wasn't there) and a best friend who is the editor of a South African magazine (who was there), and watching the sun rise over Cape Town. At least after having too much whiskey and tequila, I'm naturally gravitating toward a more sophisticated crowd.

6. I didn't get out of bed until the 2.30 the afternoon after. So much for that run along the pier, or pretty much anything that required more than a minimum of physical exertion.

7. For the second time in six months (again, since Tel Aviv), my lower back is killing me. In fact, extreme lower back and neck pain kept me out of the gym and off of my Cape Town running tracks for five consecutive days. I used to be able to work out normally with bruised ribs and a dislocated shoulder, now all those years of not stretching unless it was at the end of Pilates class seem to be catching up with my poor aching pack.

8. May-September/December romances are kind of appalling to me for the first time ever (though I wouldn't rule out having another one). I recently listened to a TV dad (Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital) complaining about his 19-year-old son (Morgan) dating a 40ish-year-old cougar (Ava, who also happens to be Morgan's former mother-in-law), and despite the fact that my ex-boyfriend was a mere 21 years old when we met three and a half years ago, and I consider the aphorism "Age is nothing but a number" to apply equally to the old and to the young, Sonny actually made a lot of sense.

9. I now realize that all of my life routines have an expiration date. Last week while I was trying to decide what to have for lunch, I panicked. If only there were a pill to keep us nourished, I thought. Might someone invent that in my lifetime? Otherwise, how many more meals do I have to plan before I die? As I did the math in my head, I realized that the good thing about possibly never living to see that magic food pill is that I'll probably only have to spend a few more decades having to struggle to include a little variety in my daily meals.

10. I read a story about a colonoscopy and thought, This is my near-immediate future. I also now regularly write about death for fun.

11. Now that I'm nearly half a decade removed from it, 40 really is the new 30. The other day I watched Nick Lachey talking about recently turning 40 on The Talk, and I found myself thinking, What a baby!

12. Friends and former colleagues who once seemed so young suddenly aren't. A longtime girlfriend turned 38 last week, and as we reminisced about celebrating her 24th together in New York City, it didn't feel anything like only yesterday.
Post a Comment