Today is my last day of being 35. It’s weird. 35 is already way older than I ever imagined myself being. In fact, when I was a teenager, I remember saying shit like “man, I’m pretty excited for my 20’s but then when I turn 30, I just want to skip ahead to being an old ass man, because 30-60 seems like the turdiest time of life…everyone’s a dork. Fuck that. I want no part of it. Just fast forward me to ‘cool old man’ please.”
Well, this assessment, like almost all the assessments I made as a teenager, was pretty half baked. 30 was actually up there with 22 in terms of my favorite ages I’ve ever been and as someone who’s about to be 2 years closer to 40 than 30, I feel it’s my duty to point out to my younger self that everyone who’s between 30 and 60 are not dorks. Most of them are, but not all. But, compare that to teenagers. Almost all teenagers are complete dorks. Therefore, you, younger self, are existing in a vastly dorkier world than me. The difference is that your dorky peers are all fresh faced, full of potential and blessed with dangerously, stupidly low standards when it comes to pronouncing something to be cool. Your dork friends aren’t cool. YOU aren’t cool, and frankly, you’re not really gonna get very cool until you turn about 27.
But that doesn’t change the fact that getting old is weird. Today is the last day of her life that my wife can ever hope to give a BJ to a man under the age of 36 (well, you know what I mean…today is the last day that I can conceivably know about her giving a blowjob to someone under the age of 36…but I don’t want to think about that at all). I’m old. I think, and I could be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that I now qualify as ‘middle aged.’ Is that right? Good grief. Get me a nitrous balloon and a cupcake tattoo STAT.
The really odd thing is that I literally don’t think I feel any different at all than I did when I was 22, but intellectually I know that’s not true. I no longer have the desire to be out all night. I’m no longer nearly as angry or happy or excited or prone to pull out my dick/break stuff/start shit just for fun. I think things through a little more. I’m vastly more afraid of the world than I was. I’m more dismissive of new things. I’m satisfied with vastly different pastimes than I used to be.
There’s really no doubt about it. I’m getting old in body and mind and it’s an insidious, slow little journey that only sneaks up and shows its progress every now and then when you really stop and apply some serious self examination (which, as I age, I feel less and less comfortable doing). Suddenly, your dick is grey and you’ve got saggy, pendulous breasts and you think that modern music just sounds like noise. You find yourself saying stupid shit about what went down back in the day and trying (like an asshole) to convince younger people that shit was actually cooler back then, ignoring that the reason you feel that way is because back then YOU had more enthusiasm and were less jaded. Consider the shitty bands that you made yourself listen to over and over and even went to see live….horrible bands. Why did you put yourself through that? Because you WANTED to like them. At a certain age, ‘wanting to like something that you don’t actually like’ goes away. Either it’s somewhere between good and great, or it’s not worth your time. There’s no more forcing yourself to have marathon Suicidal Tendencies listening sessions simply because their aesthetic is cool. Old farts don’t really think that way. Frankly, that’s good, because I hardly have time to listen to anything cool, much less a bunch of bullshit like the bullshit I used to listen to back when I had no idea what I liked. And that’s the weirdest thing:
I can miss the energy and enthusiasm of being 22 and I can miss the freedom that my younger, childless self enjoyed, but I don’t want to be young again. I mean, I would take the brain I have now and go back to a younger body in a heartbeat, but I don’t want to trade my seasoned, storm-weathered soul, even though I think that I used to be happier and I know I used to be smarter. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Well, fuck it. I like you guys. How about those of you who live in Toronto come see The Lawrence Arms at Riot Fest on Sunday afternoon and come to my birthday party at the Bovine Sex Club on Saturday night. I think it’ll be fun. Also, if by some chance anyone out there has an in at the Toronto Film Festival, I would absolutely love to go see the showing of Midnights Children on Sunday if it doesn’t conflict w my schedule. Think of it as a birthday gift to me from you, random Canadian who probably doesn’t exist.
Okay, thanks for another great year. I promise to keep writing songs and blogs if you promise to keep pretending they’re not garbage.