Bizarro is brought to you today by And Poor Spelling?
To my thinking, growing older is the greatest mindfuck in the human experience.
I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but for me, even though I’m in my mid-fifties, I don’t feel any older inside my head than I did when I was 21. My father, who is 78, reports the same experience. I’ve never completely felt like a “grown up,” except during times when I’m putting up with things like divorce, death, financial chaos, trying to make sense of mail I get from the IRS, etc. But when I put on a suit and talk to a loan officer, lawyer, my accountant, a judge, what have you, I always feel like a kid pretending to be an adult and I hope no one notices. Is it possible that the authority figure I’m talking to is doing the same thing? Is that judge wearing an Incredible Hulk T-shirt under his robe?
Additionally, I don’t think I look as old as my parents’ generation did when they were my age. (Of course, in their high school senior pictures from 1955* they look older than I do now.) From my perspective, since I’ve looked at myself every day for so many decades, I have no objectivity, no way of knowing if that is true or if it is an optical illusion caused by denial. When I look in the mirror, I see an aging man who looks a lot like me (and way too much like my father!) but given how vividly I can remember being in high school or when my first daughter was born, I don’t see how it can be. Speaking of my first daughter, she’s 30 now. Not possible. Too fast. WTF?
I don’t mean to complain; almost everything about aging is good news––wisdom, maturity, confidence, knowledge, the ability to walk away from bullshit and say, “whatever”––except the way my body looks and feels. Injuries come more easily, aches last longer, my whiskers are mostly gray, when I cough, a cloud of dust comes out. I’ve already begun telling myself that 60 is the new 50. Maybe by the time I get there in four-and-a-half years, it will be the new 40!
Next January will be the 30th anniversary of Bizarro. I cannot wrap my mind around that. Oh well. Whatever.
*I don’t have a yearbook picture of my parents so I used a random one from 1955 to illustrate my point.