Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Baby Growing Up.

On a recent Sunday, I was wandering with two friends in the Penn bookstore after a weekend reunion of my college a cappella group. "Who do you think is the most improved?" I asked. "You mean as a singer, or as a person?" one of them said. "As a person," I said.

Unlike many of the times I ask a question like that, this time I had no particular answer in mind. Neither, as it turned out, did my friends.

"I don't know. They all seem, fuckin', the same," said G., who is now a musician in L.A. and still has crazy dyed hair despite being a married dad. "Yeah," said the other G., who is still irrepressible, smart, good-looking and an incurable yet harmless letch, despite also being a married dad.

There was silence. "[Name redacted] is better," someone offered. "THAT is true," I agreed. "Was he really that bad?" one G. said. We debated that for awhile.

Here's the point: No one had really changed, as far as anyone could tell. Which can't be true, because that means I haven't changed either, which is unacceptable. Aren't I more polished, sage and at ease with myself than 10-plus years ago, when our reunions did not involve hotel meeting rooms with placards out front and kids running among the tables?

Come to think of it, no.

I was telling my sister about the fact that no one from college had changed. "Did you expect that they would?" she asked. I guess I had. I guess somewhere in my subconscious, I assumed that getting married and building careers and having children and facing 40 turned you into a different person along the way. Maybe it does, in some respects, but why did I expect the change to be immediately detectable, like a hand-stamp or a third eye?

The weekend had me ruminating a lot on the strangeness of getting older. But, turning my youth-challenged frown upside down, I decided to list some positives:

  • You don't know, or don't care (as much), when people are talking trash about you.

  • You and most of your friends have outgrown the need to nitpick restaurant choices or bill-splitting techniques.

  • You can pick the people you live with, and where.

  • You can have whatever you want for whatever meal, whatever time.

  • No futons. No fake IDs. No internships.

    That's all I can think of so far. If you have others, please post them.

    1. Anonymous8:26 AM


    2. Anonymous8:55 AM

      this post makes me sad -- you are a bit older than I am, but I'm still in my 30s and should be able to contribute in the same spirit as you are. However, I've decided to slide backwards. I'm on the verge of dumpster diving since I never have enough money to afford a cup o' ramen. i m a Lozr.

    3. thicker, more manly facial hair leads to increased opportunities in area of moustache-growing.

    4. No one ever changes. Except John Basedow. He's 42, and he's in the best shape of his life.


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