Cafe Hitch-hike


Getting old

Mary today said that the way things are nowadays gives her proof that she's getting old.

Kids are really fat nowadays, she noted. They don't go outside and play dodgeball, tag, or go play on some train trussel someplace. They sit on their asses and play Nintendo. They probably don't even walk to school... Mom or Dad drive them in their SUVs equipped a DVD player so they can watch Powder Puff Girls.

I can SO see that. My landlord, who is totally The Typical American. He even has his own fat kid to go with it (Age: 6 years old. Weight: 85 libs).

I weighed 85 lbs. in 6th grade... A fat kid was a fat kid back then, not a status symbol.

Sometimes the things that arise in conversations gives me proof of my impending aging. I invited some of my co-workers to my house for a party, some of which were undergraduate students. They saw pictures of when I was in college and they were flabbergasted. When I told them about a couple of my misadventures (because the pictures were in plain view), they were surprised! They assumed I was born 30 years of age and born a librarian, looking the way I do now. It didn't occur to them that I was 22 years old once upon a time!

One of those undergrads told me she was going to see Mary J. Blige, and said I probably didn't know her. I told her I knew she was an R&B star. I thought to myself, give me a fucking break! Do you really think I'm ancient and don't listen to the radio?

Hairstyles come and go, I know. How many of us laugh at our big hair and teased bangs with AquaNet in the 80s? Yeah, it was a hairstyle, but not necessarily a testament of our entire life and personhood! One of those undergrads laughed at my hairstyle from 1995. I have thick, naturally wavy hair (a la Teresa Heinz). That year, it was long and quite full. The undergrad smirked, "gee, that hairstyle looked SO 80s!"

Alright, I get it, I thought. They obviously saw me as somebody older. I was able to face I was no longer in my early 20s. However, I was just so surprised at this mentality of "us" (people born in the late 70s/early 80s) and "them" (old farts like me born in the early 70s).

But you just wait, I think. Somebody's gonna look at your bobbed style and smirk, 'your hair style looks so Bush-era' when they see YOUR picture! You think you're gonna be this young forever? Think again!

My beliefs are another indication of my age. What I support and don't support also scream it. Example: it was my final year at the University of the Rustbelt State. My co-workers and I used to eat lunch by the Student Union. The cement on the walls and staircases were in really crummy shape, and we were puzzled because they were contructed less than 3 years ago at that time. We were there one day when a swarm of skateboarders landed on the Union's entrance. They clumsily banged on and off the walls and steps, with bits and pieces of concete flying everywhere. We laughed because we thought they really sucked as skateboarders, but then we figured why the entrance was so ripped. It was amazing how much damage was able to be done so quickly by a bunch of sucky skateboarders.

Later, when I'd go to the Union, they were rude as hell. I'm walking into the building, and come flying within inches of me before went crashing on the ground. No "excuse me", no "coming through!"

So later that year, a petitioner was standing outside of the Union. He asked me to sign his petition, and I asked what it's for.

"The city's trying to ban skateboarding on public grounds," he said, waving his petition.

I leaned away from him and shot him a glare. "I see. You guys do a great job wrecking things, so I can't say I blame them!" He gave me a dirty look and I walked away.

While in middle school in the mid 80s, I thought skateboarding was so cool! 12 years later, I was thinking more about the overall beautification of the campus! Ooooh, was that civic pride?! I was getting way-old!

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