Sunday, August 13, 2006

54: A Retraction and Reflection

It has been a year since I changed my identity from pastel yellow to well...pastel yellow, except my daughter commented I looked like a catfish now. That is how I looked a year ago, this is what I'm shooting for.
I can't explain it, but I conciously remember ever since I was a child I wanted to be old. I thought it was cool to look really old. When I was in my thirties and many of my friends were going bald, I was not. I realized I may never be completely bald. I was disappointed. I was actually jealous of my best friend who went bald when he was mid twenties. With all the hair restoration programs out there playing on men's fear of age, and me getting carded for the last time in my life at age 47 in a restaurant with my daughter, I've concluded there is no justice in the universe. But I knew that a long time ago.

So, I'm chronologically another year older and not anywhere near another year wiser. I've concluded God created a set amount of wisdom to go around when He created the world and it has gotten spread thinner and thinner as the human race multiplies. It is hard to not believe that when the last TV I used to watch regularly was Donna Reed, Lunch with Soupy Sales, Ed Sullivan Show and Father Knows Best. In recent years, I've seen a few minutes of programs like CSI, Jackass, ummmm... and one of those psychic crime shows where the stars look like they are zoned out on Thorazine... Anyway, I cannot grasp why these programs are entertaining. Seriously. What happens to the human soul when it is filled with images of grisly death, absolute stupidity and supernatural stories with no clear dogma attached. It is difficult to not take the "world is going to hell in a handbasket" bunker mentality when I percieve that the vast majority of the people in this country actually mindlessly accept this assault on their humanity (its tantamount to inviting a serial rapist to attack your mind and soul), and the media keeps pushing the envelope of brutality and dehumanizing and sells soap, real estate and male performance enhancing drugs every 6 minutes during the assaults.

OK... so that's my "old man" rant. Sorry, just had to get it off my chest.

So, my kids did in fact take ME out for my birthday to celebrate what my oldest daughter called my "slow march to death". Yeah, it is funny, we can say stuff like that in our family and laugh. I seriously have the coolest kids on earth (step kids, god kids and all). No, they aren't all Opie and Beaver Cleaver and they've all had their seasons of flying out of orbit in one way or another, but I'm never ashamed to introduce them to anyone as my kids. It is not until you get old enough to have kids this age that you understand the true parental meaningfulness of the Psalm verse "your children will rise up and call you blessed".

Anyway, no, I'm not moving into the senior trailer park I found in Apache Junction... I'd have to give up my women. Actually I'd have to give up my library to fit into it too, and I'm not sure I can do that either.

All in all, life at 54 is good. Mortality looms larger and larger. The body grows more and more feeble and weary and breaks and creaks more easily. Yes, when you are young it is a slow march to death but it seems that as we get older we somehow break into a sprint. We can only hope to wake up to one more gray hair, one more brown spot, one more wrinkle of flesh and pray we live long enough to at least look as wise as we should be.


Meg said...

54?!?!?! You infant. We'll talk when you hit 60.

Philippa said...

Happy Birthday s-p. As usual, good food for thought. I, unlike you, am appalled that I am aging. I've got that bulldog look, you know, the jowl thing going on! Though I don't mind the crow's feet around the eyes and the gray hair.

As for wisdom...hmm...that seems to be getting less and less the older I get. And I'd prefer to NOT know what the kids are saying about me.

6 weeks till my b'day. whoop-de-frickin'-do.

Mimi said...

Happy, happy Birthday and Many Years.

I am also an August baby.