On Monday the 24th of July, I turn 34 years old. I don’t feel all that old. I don’t think I look it, either, but I have a few gray hairs that beg to differ.
As a birthday present, my wife took me to a shoe store and we bought a pair of running shoes. Really good ones, not like the pair I picked up for ten bucks at Costco that made my shins hurt if I’m going at any speed over a slow trot. I discovered that for most of my life I’ve been wearing the wrong size shoe; I have small feet but very high arches, so a size 9 sneaker is long enough, but it takes an entire team of engineers to get my foot inside one. I end up buying a size 10 1/2 for comfort, but my big toe is an inch from the tip of my shoe, and after a while the ends start curling up as if I’ve just been selected for Santa’s workshop. So I had my foot properly measured and I now have a size 9 that’s a bit wider than normal. I tried it out today and it felt wonderful.
My only real annoyance at getting older (besides high cholesterol and lower back pain) is that I’m starting to feel as if the world is not catering to me any more. My age puts me solidly in the middle of Generation X – my generation was test-marketed and over-commercialized almost from day one. Throughout my entire life, the world wanted to know what we thought was cool. They wanted to know the music we liked, the clothes we wore, the catchphrases we said to each other, the breakfast cereal we begged our parents to buy. Our fashions and our thought processes were what the rest of the world wanted.
Not so much any more. But that’s cool. It’s the way of things. Soon, my wife and I will have children and we’ll get to see the world from their younger, newer eyes.
Meanwhile, I’ll be telling kids to get off my lawn. And trying to convince those who are in the library that authors like Sarah Dessen and Scott Westerfeld are far, far better than those games of Runescape they play endlessly.