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October 11, 2012 - David Alexander
When I was a kid, I always thought of a 30-year-old as an adult. Now that I am 30, I look back and wonder how I managed ever to think that. I still play video games, eat cupcakes for dinner, stay up late and listen to weird music. I drink coffee in the afternoon. I hate pleated pants. I swear a lot. A lot a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, some of my sensibilities are very “adult.” I don’t like a lot of crap on my ice cream. I smoke cigars. I can sit in a quiet room enjoying silence without needing the TV on. Instead of dragging out 45 minute text threads, I still call people and cover the same ideas with greater complexity in two minutes.
Not long ago, I had a guy come into the newsroom so I could interview him for an article I was writing.
“Oh,” he said. “By the sound of your voice on the phone, I assumed you were older.”
“How old did you think I was?” I inquired.
“I thought you were like 30,” he said.
“I am like 30,” I said.
On one hand, I suppose I should be flattered I don’t look my age. Sometimes it helps me deal with the younger crowd. So, that’s good. I think. People around here assume that I am younger than I am which I chalk up to my being short. As stereotypical as it is, people equate height with age as much as they equate it to power.
But I digress.
I have been 30 now for nearly a month. I am still waiting for it to hit me. Maybe my perceptions of what makes an adult are simply an aggregation of generational traits inherent to my parents’ generation. And on some level, I always assumed my resistance to traditional ideals would dissolve and would eventually accept all those things people of my parents generate hold in such high regard.
I guess I never considered that being an adult is most likely the rejection of youth. As one ages, they don’t identify with their parents, they just begin to reject youth. Their music is too loud. They are unmotivated and uninformed. The country is doomed.
While I don’t know that I share those notions, I suppose stepping back to realize you’re an adult ultimately is acknowledging that being cool is for teenagers. Perhaps more importantly, being “cool”— liking hip music, getting swept up in flash-in-the-pan political and sociological movements, being impetuous, caring about your looks and reputation — is unimportant.
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