Are You Prematurely Middle-aged?

Are You Prematurely Middle-aged?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my age has snuck up on me.

In my head, I’m still 24-25, yet my birth certificate disagrees. Apparently I’m 38.

Who knew?

There was a time when 38 sounded ancient. I mean, SERIOUSLY OLD. Now, as I approach 39, it seems like no age at all.

I’m beginning to realize that age changes different people in different ways. To be honest, I thought it hadn’t changed me at all. For example:

  • The idea of ‘free stuff’ in a cereal box still excites me. These days I’m aware that the toy (or similar) isn’t in fact free. It’s either a promotional device to persuade you to part with your money on a product or service, or they’ve raised the price of the cereal to cover the additional cost of the item. I know all of this, yet still I cry: “Let’s get this one, it’s got a free (INSERT BRANDED TAT HERE)!”
  • I still feel ‘naughty’ when I arrive in a pub. There is no way on earth I look under 18, I’m tall and often bearded. I have bags under my eyes and enough wrinkles to keep a Botox salon going for a month. Yet, despite all this, when I go into a pub, I still expect to get asked to leave this ‘grown up’ space.
  • I still double-take when people call me ‘Sir’. I don’t feel like a ‘Sir’ or a ‘Mister’ – that all seems far too grown up for me.
  • I still fantasize about buying and consuming bags of sweets. Whenever I walk past a sweet shop, I still say: “One day I’ll buy an entire jar of those…” I never will. I’m a diabetic.

Of late, however, I’ve taken up some activities that (on reflection) shock me. It took a friend to point out that I was ‘border-line middle-aged’ in order for me to see I’m not a young whipper-snapper any more.

  • My idea of a perfect evening is going to bed early – and sleeping. I’m serious. The days of partying, going to the pub or hitting the town are behind me. The biggest treat I could give myself is being in bed at 9pm to catch up on some shut-eye. I’m smiling just thinking about it. Give me a moment.
  • I love bin day! I genuinely get a frisson of excitement when bin day comes around. There’s something hugely cathartic about getting the wheelie emptied. God, I need to get out more.
  • I’ve started listening to The Archers. Let me say that again: I’VE STARTED LISTENING TO THE ARCHERS. It’s actually quite good. No, really. In my defence, it’s on the radio just after I put Sam to bed, when I’ve preparing dinner. Anyway I’ll just leave that one there…
  • I make a loud sighing sound when sitting on (and standing up from) a chair. I’ve tried not doing this, but it seems I can’t. The sound is something like “Ahhheeee”. Thankfully I haven’t (as yet) started making a similar noise after the first sip of a hot drink.
  • I have no knowledge of chart music. As a kid I was determined I wouldn’t become a fuddy-duddy who didn’t enjoy Bros, Rick Astley or M People. But seriously, I have absolutely no interest at all in the tunes listened to by the young. I won’t go as far as to rubbish them, I’m sure they’re very good. They just don’t excite me, at all. I’ve even started doing something that really annoyed me as a kid: announcing the original was better than the modern cover version. I do this because it is ALWAYS true.
  • I’ve been Googling Skodas. I’m currently having driving lessons – I’m a late starter. I’ve promised myself that, when I pass my test, I’ll buy myself a nice Skoda. I can only imagine the despair this statement would generate in my 16 year-old-self.
  • I enjoy watching Sky Arts. I know, I know. But Landscape Artist of the Year, and its sibling Portrait Artist of the Year are such a relaxing watch. I do enjoy a good documentary.
  • I have considered buying slippers. I haven’t owned slippers since I was 9. But, this year I’m actually thinking of investing in some. They just look so comfortable.
  • I own thermal underwear. Enough said.

I’m going to go now, as I’m a little shocked by just how old I am.

It’s all very worrying.

Chris McGuire

The Out Of Depth Dad

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