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Time slowly marches on...and drags me with it

I'm getting old. Well, older, I guess. This year I turn 39. Which means that next year I will celebrate the first anniversary of my 39th birtday (that's 40 in layman's terms). I try not to mourn the passage of time and live in the moment. But I did recently overcome my grief of no longer being a part of the prime, 18-35 year-old television advertising demographic.

The first sign of getting older I noticed was that my wallet became significatly harder to pry money from. Many people call it "being frugal", but who are we kidding. I find it nearly unbearable to pay $20 for a pair of jeans. I mean why are jeans so much, I'm not trying to impress anyone (if I was my jeans size would not have exceeded 34). I tend to wear clothes until they resembe something closer to strips of cloth held together by will power. I have shirts that are older than the internet.

And don't get me started on the price of movies. I remember when an Abe Lincoln would get you in the door and maybe even a snack. Now, Andrew Jackson has to come along just to get a ticket. And there's no telling which dead president has to show his face for popcorn and a soda.

While we're complaining about things that cost more (because you do that when you get older), let's talk gasoline. While I write this, gas is close enough to $4/gallon that $3 would feel cheap. How did that happen so quickly? It was just ten years ago that gas prices touched the 90 cent range for the last time. You could put gas in your car for the change in your pocket. Now you have to scrounge in the couch and raid your kid's piggy bank for enough gas money just to get to the store and back.

Along with "being frugal", another tip off that I am becoming chronologically challenged is my part in conversations like this:
Person 1: (hearing an 80's song on the radio) Hall & Oates, awesome song!
Person 2: Hall & Oates, who's that?
Person 1: Who's that? Haven't you seen their videos on MTV?
Person 2: They play music on MTV?
I have become Person 1. All of us who have passed the prime TV demographic have had these chats. They are life's little reminders that we are no longer hip. Coolness has passed by like a car on the proverbial highway of time. We laugh and think to ourselves, "Ahh, when they're my age they will understand the folly of youth." We may even have a wise smirk on our face. But it's just an attempt to salvage our pride, because we have no idea when we slipped out of cool status. We can usually place it some time between when we changed our first diaper and when we bought a mini-van. You know the one I'm talking about. The one we were so excited about because it had fold-down, third row seating. And extra cup holders. Don't bother trying to get it back by buying a sports car or combing over newly colored hair, coolness is gone.

The last thing that indicates to me my older-ness is the disagreement my mind and body have over my physical capabilities. Mind, ever the optimist, remembers the things Body could do in my teens and 20s and believes that Body should be able to do them now. Things like athletics. Or lifting heavy objects. Or staying awake past 10:30. Body, on the other hand, is a realist and tries to remind Mind how old we actually are. I imagine conversations between the two often go like this:
Mind: OK, Body, let's go run a few miles to warm up.
Body: Um, Mind, you are aware of how long a mile is, right?
Mind: Of course, Body. It's just a few miles. How hard can it be?
Body: Can I use the car?
Mind is persuasive, though. It often talks Body, against Body's better judgement, into trying the activity. And, soon after starting, Body often believes that Mind was right and it can do what it did 15 to 20 years ago. Another realization follows quickly for Body, however, and that is Mind was smoking something. Body then tells Mind where it can stick its activity and politely and painfully reminds me who the realist in this relationship is.

So, in the end, I'm coming to terms with getting older. It's made easier by thinking about the folly of younger people and how I'm glad I shall no longer folly. And I'm sure getting older has its advantages. I'll let you know if I ever find any.

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