Old, older, oldest

Despite the actual numbers, I’ve never felt old. I always think I’m just a few years past being a teenager. My parents? Old. Their whole generation? Ancient.

But that’s been my thinking since I was ten. At that point, thirty seemed near the end of life. Now I don’t consider someone much older until they hit seventy. And even then, most don’t seem old until eighty or so.

When did I become the person who thinks seventy is only “kind of” old?

Yesterday, in the dentist’s office, I laughed to hear a vaguely familiar song playing. It took a minute to locate the memory way, way, way back in the early ’70s.

I started thinking: wait a minute. There’s a chance this was playing the day of my first dental appointment. When I was four. This is just weird.

The next song was Sonny and Cher. The one after that was Earth, Wind, and Fire.

And I knew both without asking. That made me laugh. The hygienist looked puzzled and I said, “I think these songs were playing when I had my kindergarten dental cleaning.”

She considered that and said, “This? It’s the oldies station. They’ve stopped playing stuff from the ’50s and ’60s and moved to the ’70s and ’80s.”

They what, now? They’ve identified the people in midlife, labeled our childhood OLD and made money from that asshattery?

Then it dawned on me. The hygienist was younger than me. By about ten years. So, come to think of it, are most of the professionals I know. Heck, OutlawMama can’t get anyone to corroborate that Flo was not being criminally insubordinate when she told Mel to kiss her grits.

What good are you if you don’t remember Alice?

Regardless of the number, I’m beginning to feel old. Or at least grownup. My peers do not work at grocery stores or bars or in postdoc positions. My peers are managers and COOs and first authors.

When the hell did that happen?

17 thoughts on “Old, older, oldest

  1. Oh talk to me. 40 looms and mostly I don’t care unless I convince myself I am dying so I gotta both figure out and complete my life’s work. But our music on the oldies station? Now that’s criminal.

    • I am even willing to say that music from the 70s should be on the oldies station because it was my parents’ music. I wasn’t choosing the music in 1974. but then the math of “old” catches up to me.

    • Is like to think that, but linguistics conspires against me. Songs from the 70s are old, etsy says jackets from the 70s are old. People from the 70s are not old? Hard to argue.

  2. Oh, lordy, I hear ya. At 46, I don’t think of myself as old, but then I hear things like “Omigod, I never even heard of Abba until I saw ‘Mamma Mia'” and I just cringe. I walk through the UC campus and everybody seems so damn young. Facebook keeps reminding me that people I went to high school with are now grandparents. I wake up, creak out of bed, and look at the haggard wreck in the mirror and think, “What the hell happened?” “The Blues Brothers” is 32 years old. I am older than Justin Bieber’s parents. Oh, jeez, the list just goes on and on. Try watching clips from the first few seasons of “Saturday Night Live”, and you won’t believe how young they were. Oh well, as my mother always says, it beats the alternative. :-)

  3. It happens without warning. I am concocting my own “old-age” post at the moment, but trying to give it a positive spin. I figure if I write it, I may believe it! The strange thing is, when I am in places like a dentist’s office, I still see those people as my elders. It takes me a minute to realize they are younger. And, my Mother is 73 and has more youth and vitality than her daughter number four. Hope it’s in the genes and that I somehow get a second wind when these kids start sleeping and dressing themselves.

  4. Here via Absence of Alternatives.

    I just hit 50. 50! Honest to God, I was just in college. Thankfully, my OB-GYN is ten years older than me and an amazing athlete and all-around talented person, so that gives me hope.

    • Absence of Alternatives is a dear dear, whip-smart darling. What good company you keep!

      50, I have to say is a sexy damn age. 50 seems so powerful. Maybe that’s the glow of 50-year-old celebrities talking but I think 50 is awesome.

      Bet your songs aren’t on the oldies station. Because 50 isn’t old.

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