You Know You're Getting Old When

Written by Leo N.

A series of things happened recently that made me mildly aware that something called ageing has been happening.

To start off, my body doesn't seem to be as flexible as it used to be. I discovered this in karate class a few nights ago, when I managed to pop out my knee. After I, somehow, popped the knee back in--to the horror of all present--and contemplated how I felt no pain (that was scheduled for the day after, it seems), I began to think that this sort of stuff was probably not good.

Further evidence of this is when a particularly attractive girl called me 'sir.' I looked around before I realized she was talking to me. I must look ancient to her.

"I can still have you," I thought to myself in a paedophiliac fashion. Ah, Roman Catholic school kilts. God bless thee.

I find it enjoyable to flip through an Ikea catalogue and fantasize--FANTASIZE--on how I'd like to arrange my own place. I used to fantasize about the playmate of the month, not furniture, even if both involve wood.

I spotted a few gray hairs.

Then there are the thoughts of marriage, kids and settling down. Had you asked me a few years ago, I would've laughed, then run away. Now I'm actually looking forward to it, though my plans for marriage have been cut short rather brutally due to a series of unfortunate events beyond my control--but so plans usually go.

I have to shave every day.

I find myself dealing with things like car insurance, which was solely my father's department. I wonder if he, too, was just as lost as I am as to what any of it means.

The other night, a friend and I, while shooting pool and drinking hefty amounts of beer, were discussing the types of kitchens we would like to have in our eventual homes. Kitchens. Hello?

I guess these are the first signs of dementia that come with growing old.

But the definite sign that I'm getting old became clear the other day, when I got a chance to see a re-run of Dukes of Hazzard. I'm pretty sure it was a re-run since Daisy Duke looked hotter than ever.

As a kid, Dukes of Hazzard was THE show. You'd savour it. You'd talk about it with your friends. You'd relive the adventures with your die cast cars. You wished your old Peugeot 504 could fly up in the air like that too, assuming that such a fine sample of French engineering could even reach such speeds.

I don't tell this to anyone now, since I already have the reputation of one that watches bad television programmes. Just the fact that I watch Stargate SG-1 has my friends say such things that forces me to cry myself to sleep every night.

But nothing beats reliving memories of our past, during a carefree period where there was no such thing as bills, mortgages, long working hours and the other fun stuff life has the tendency to make you experience with the gentle tact of a charging rhino. Our only concern at the time was the constant dilemma of how to have fun next.

You can imagine my excitement, therefore, when a show I was madly in love with was being reshown. So I sat down, anticipating exciting moments, salivating over it all with delight.

It was the most horrible thing I had ever seen, forever destroying my happy memories of flying turbo-charged Dodge Chargers, high-octane gas (what musicians fill up their cars with?) filled rumbling engines.

I turned off the telly in a state of disbelief.

"Holy shit," came out first.

Then later, "I used to like that?"

To make things worse, Daisy Duke didn't really look all that good anymore.

This really made me question whether or not at the time I was just unable to grasp what was bad. Perhaps as a kid your perception is a little off and you just come to accept things as they are. We're still pure, free of malignant thoughts, of assumptions, of ill-thinking, and we accept everything as it is, not knowing any better. As opposed to now, where things just make no sense and the only reason you accept them as they are is because you're tired of questioning the insanity found in them.

Perhaps more than ageing, then, this is maturity. My only fear now is what will happen when I decide to watch Knight Rider again.