It’s my birthday this week, and this time, I finally feel old. All the other birthdays were fine, I would celebrate them and then forget them, but this one is different. This one makes me feel like Wilford Brimley.

Frankly, I’m amazed I made it this far. The way I see how kids are coddled today, I wonder how I ever survived. I didn’t have  an entertainment center in the backseat of the car where I could spend countless hours watching Finding Nemo.  Hell, we didn’t even get to use the backseat. My parents simply tossed me and my brother into the cargo area of the station wagon, with no seatbelts, and we just crashed and banged into the sides of the car like a pachinko ball. No Disney DVDs for us. We just made faces at the people in the car behind us.

When I grew up, there were no play dates. My Mom gave me three dollars and sent me to the movies for the day with my friends. She told me not to come back until the streetlights came on. She allowed me to bend the rule if I was bleeding.

But now I’m old. I don’t really go to malls anymore. Why should I? I got Amazon. I can sit on the couch, browse way more things than I could ever have seen at the mall, and then order stuff right from the comfort of my own living room. Then a nice person delivers it to my front porch in two days. How perfect is that? I can collect my packages and my AARP newsletters all at one time.

I’m happy to work from home now too. I can literally roll out of bed five minutes before start time, and still be downstairs and on my computer on time. I don’t even have to get dressed. I used to dress for work. Then I figured, why bother? I’ve already helped close hundreds of deals clothed in nothing more than underpants.

And while I’m working from home, I can listen to my own music. I don’t have to endure the politically correct, office slop. It’s funny, when I was a kid, I laughed at the fact that my parents listened to the oldies station. It was thirty year old music for god’s sake. But they said it was their music. Now I listen to my music, it’s thirty years old, and on the same oldies station.

I look in the mirror and think what the hell happened to me? Ok, that’s a lie. I don’t look in the mirror. I don’t even look at myself in store windows. I tell myself that gray hair is cool and that the fatter I am, the less wrinkles I’ll have.

It used to be I’d wear tight jeans, tight fitting shirts, and cowboy boots. Now I spend my money on birdseed for the feeders in the backyard instead.

I show female friends or co-workers pictures of myself when I was younger and one of them always says, “You were hot back then”. Yeah. I need that. It’s not enough to go to a wedding reception and have a hot twenty-something girl sit down next to me, and look right through me. I could probably flirt with her, and make her laugh, but flirting sounds creepy coming from an old man.

Instead, I just put on my reading glasses and pretend to look at the menu or whatever else might be on the table to read. Maybe I make a comment about how loud the music is.

I used to like to be the center of attention, and while I still like to make people laugh, I am much happier blending into the background and disappearing.

And speaking of the bird feeders, my backyard needs a summer trimming. Or as I like to call it, a Brazilian.  In my younger days I’d just schedule an afternoon to do all the work, smoke a few bowls, and finish the work in an afternoon. Now the same chores take two days, and once I’m done, I’m sore for another two.

I should probably just accept the fact that I’m old, but some part of me won’t let that happen.

I just bought a new accessory for my upstairs weight room, and managed to wear myself out assembling the damn thing.

But I’ll keep on trying.

At least until my stair chair arrives.

Written by stevemargolis

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