"I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting." - Bill Shakespeare
I have to admit, this idea spouted from a good friend of mine turning twenty-three yesterday. (Or should I say "three-and-twenty?") My personal calendar (read, Facebook) reminded me to wish well upon my friend as he celebrates another year of life. I made the mandatory joke, something along the lines of, "You're old, grandpa," "I bought you some Depends," or "Get your Velcro shoes, suspenders and wrap-around sunglasses and we'll head to the unmentionables department at Macy's and talk to the fine sales women down there." You know, the same old bag. But it all got me thinking...and you know what happens when I think. I make you read.
My friend, we'll call him Steven. Steven Penn. Yea, we'll call him Steven Penn and he'll go by Lil Steve because he's short and he'll drive a Ford Explorer and he'll really like European Futbol and gaming. And he'll look something like this-
Anyway, he turned 23 yesterday and amidst the 'congratulations', 'happy birthdays' and 'enjoy your days' there was an equal number of, "Wow you're old" and "Lets go out tonight, but not for too long."
For some reason, my generation has regressed to the 18th century when life expectancy was 41 years old. Since when is 23 senior? Does Stevie qualify as a geriatric now? What's going on?!
I understand time passes faster than gas after bad Mexican food, but lets not lose perspective. While making jokes at how old Lil Steve is, I realized I am also 23. And yes, I'm married, I have a full-time job, a 401(k) and a cat, but I still love superhero movies, ping-pong and high-fives. I might be done with a quarter of my life, but the best years are still ahead of me. And its because I choose for them to be.
Sure I miss college, it was the best four years of my life....to this point. Should I resign to adulthood and live through the memories of the 'Glory Days', even if they are only 9 months old? No way!
I have a brother turning 30 in May. Much like him, I expect that's the age when I'll begin to really believe, "I am old." Yet I still won't be halfway done with my life! There will be plenty of years left to enjoy.
I know what you're thinking. When you get old you can't do all the stuff you want to because you'll have stiff joints, your diapers will need to be changed regularly and you won't be able to remember why you poured milk over your pancakes. Perhaps that's true, but Buzz Aldrin (you know, "I walked on the moon moments after Neil Armstrong but didn't get much credit cause I didn't write a cutesy phrase about steps") is thriving and he's 81 years old!
Now is the moment when I have to admit I watched some of "Dancing with the Stars" last night. Wait wait wait!!! Before you close out of the window, please read on for just a little longer. I swear I haven't had to turn in my man-card yet. I swear the reason I watched was for Chad Ochocinco...I swear.
Buzz Aldrin is on this season of "Dancing with the Stars", he's 81. In his life, he's flown fighter jets in Korea, strolled around on the moon, released a rap song and competed on a televised dancing competition. Yes, a rap song. A real one too, with Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli, Quincy Jones and Soldja Boy working on it. Seriously! Look. (Its pretty bad). The man has literally done it all. When filmmaker Bart Sibrel confronted Aldrin outside a hotel claiming the moon landing was a hoax and called Aldrin a "coward, liar and thief" you know what Buzz did? Punched him in the face!
This was in 2002 and Buzz was 72 years old! I get chills watching it. When I'm 72 I hope I'm still punching people in the face.
Here's the point. I am a strong advocate for acting my age....minus a few years. What's the point in growing up too fast? And what are we dreading will happen when we really do grow up? All of a sudden we'll become less fun and boring? If a 72 year old man can still hand out face punchings then old age sounds great to me!
Think about it, when you're old you get to go to dinner when nobody else is there. You can say whatever you want whenever you want blaming 'senility', and you can get out of traffic tickets by acting lost. Your kids will be grown so you can spoil their kids without fear of consequence. I mean, you pretty much have a free pass to do what you want. I can't wait to be old!
So I challenge you, don't act your age today, act yourself. (I would also like to disclaim any responsibility regarding the repercussions of you following this advice).
Enjoy your life, spend it wisely.
Happy Birthday Stevie, try not to get any wenches with child.