Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting Old

An aging meme, courtesy of Siobhan. This took much longer to do than I thought it would!

At a certain age women should know who their real friends are, and make a commitment to only wear shoes that fit nicely.

At a certain age men should change their underpants regularly without being reminded, make themselves useful without being told, and stop considering video games a "hobby."

When I was a kid I thought I would join the Marines, or be really famous, or figure out time travel, or run away to live with Peter Pan.

Now that I am older I wish that whole Peter Pan thing had worked out, though I guess in a way, it did.

You know you are too old to be cool when some freaking teenager calls you "Ma'am," or when your brother-in-law's university friends all sit up and try to pretend they aren't stoned when you walk into the room.

You know you are too young to be old when you realize you have no retirement whatsoever, no plans or means of acquiring one, and you just go "Oh, well. It'll sort itself out."

When I was in high school I listened to the music of ... Hmmm. A long answer, but I'll try to keep it short. In my early high school years, it was mostly along the lines of punk, both good and bad, like Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits, Social Distortion, Fishbone, old pre-trendy Red Hot Chili Peppers, stuff like that. The middle high school years were all about being maudlin with the likes of Depeche Mode, New Order, Erasure, Love and Rockets, Sisters Of Mercy, and that was also when I got into late 60s-early 70s music: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, some Beatles and Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, the Doors, the Velvet Underground, and I even thought Simon and Garfunkel were great... This continued into the end of high school years, when I also got into Jane's Addiction, Primus, Pixies-- all that alternative music back when alternative was really alternative. I've also always listened to classical starting from when I was about ten, especially, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Schubert, and Beethoven.

Nowadays I find I like the music of, oddly enough, the high school years. Except for Simon and Garfunkel and the Rolling Stones, I still love the late 60s and the 70s. Then I started really liking the 80s again. I've re-bought some of that stuff on CD and found I like it way better this time around, especially Social Distortion, Misfits, Duran Duran, OMD, Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, Abba... In recent years I've gotten into Johnny Cash, the White Stripes, Scissor Sisters, the Killers, Muse, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method, and pretty much anything funk. The list doesn't end, actually, and there's probably a whole bunch of stuff I haven't thought of. I suddenly got into girl-punk while pregnant, which was an interesting twist in my life. For some reason I started to feel for Courtney Love. Vivaldi suddenly became less appealing in those months but I couldn't get enough of "Death and the Maiden" and the Trout Quintets by Schubert. Because I'm now too old to be cool, I'm enjoying being released from the responsibility of pretended coolness and I like not feeling the need to worry about my music tastes reflecting on me somehow. I no longer have to feel ashamed to admit, for example, my love of Barry White and Aerosmith and the creeping feeling that I may really like Bon Jovi again.

On my last birthday I almost forgot it was my birthday, but went out for dinner with BE, another couple, and our close-in-age babies. The year before that, I actually completely forgot it was my birthday due to LE's birth. Even my PARENTS forgot it was my birthday.

On my next birthday I want... out to dinner again would be nice, perhaps (gasp!) baby-less this time, though I do think it's fun having them along. It just means less drinking and grown-up talk.

The best birthday present I ever got was my son, born two days before my birthday, and who probably would have been born ON my birthday if I hadn't allowed myself to be bullied into that stupid induction. My second best birthday present was a trip to Europe.

The first time I felt grown up was when I announced to (rather than asked) my parents that I was moving to Turkey, and they seemed to think was how it should be.

The last time I felt like a kid was... I was going to describe a specific situation, but actually, most interactions with my parents-in-law leave me feeling like they think I'm a slightly feeble-minded ten-year-old.

When I read (I can't remember the title!) it changed my life. When I was about 4, I had this reader for children. The first story in there was the riveting "I see a bee, the bee sees me... (and so forth)." After years of being read to, and pretending to read books, then memorizing books and fooling people into thinking I could read them, after years of hearing words sounded out on Sesame Street and Electric Company, this was the book that made the reading penny drop for me. I think I asked my mom about the "ee" sound, then I read the story. For real. Then I read the one after it. Then I read the whole book. It didn't really stop after that, though the books got harder and often, more interesting.

Last year was hard, but the discovery process of life with LE has been almost astounding enough to make up for the other crap.

Next year I hope will not be so hard, and that I figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Enough about me, as if this blog has ever been about anything else. To continue the meme, I tag bri, Melissa, and Steph. Have fun, ladies!

1 comment:

Nomad said...

"You know you are too old to be cool when some freaking teenager calls you "Ma'am," or .."

I nearly freaked when some tired wrinkled guy at the market called me "Amca." I didn't handle it well. I was all in his face with, "And how old ARE you now?" When teenagers start giving me help to cross the road- but seriously don't those lights change too quickly?- I will know that people are being polite when they tell me I don't look my age. (102 in August)