Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Life Time Of Experience

Hammen’s entry yesterday about growing old has spurred me to take action.

By action, I mean sitting on a comfy sofa while typing out a defense for the older generation of which I am (sadly) a member.

First of all, Hammen, I have you by at least 15 years so you’re still the young punk in these parts (‘these parts’ being my brain). Anybody younger than you is still a teeny bopper. They still use that term, right? Teeny bopper?

Secondly, there are many advantages to being more experienced in life.

Sidenote #1: I will forego use of the term ‘maturity’ due to - by any statistical measure - my being anything but. I may be older, but I’m still entirely immature.

Therefore, in my ongoing quest to educate the younger men in America (or the four that actually read this), here are the benefits to being older. These are in no order.

- We have already discovered that figuring out women is impossible and have become comfortable with that realization. There are ways we even know how to use it to our advantage, but I’m not spilling those secrets. It’s more fun if you figure that out for yourself. Come back in twenty years and we’ll talk.

- Confidence is at an all time high. You know what you’re doing, you have the ability to do it, and still look (semi) good doing it. The allure of the distinguished gent is very real. Unfortunately, I haven’t reached that level, yet. I’m more an awkward teenager stuck in a flabby 40 year old body. Pity.

- In the same vein, it helps one’s confidence when you have come to fully grasp that everyone else in the room is either a raving lunatic, incompetent or a complete idiot. Sometimes all three. This applies to where ever you happen to be at any given moment. Just wait. You’ll see.

- You can peg people as bullshit artists or someone you would enjoy hanging out with within three (3) minutes of meeting them.

- Knowledge that ‘Important conference call’ is code for ‘nap time’.

- Coffee, beer and sex are actually GOOD FOR YOU!

- Remember all those assholes and weirdos from high school? I don’t.

- You’re at the point in your relationship with your spouse where he or she literally doesn’t care if you go out for a night with your friends.

- You can still beat your kids at any sport and not hurt yourself doing so.

- The realization that if you treat women as actual people it increases your chances of getting laid by 95%. Sadly this always comes 10 years past when it would be useful.

- Knowing honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes the best policy is to shut the fuck up.

- The relationship with your parents has never been better.

- Sex doesn’t follow hours of flirtation, spending money, social games, or dinner. Now it’s as simple as asking ‘You want to?’ and getting ‘Sure, why not?’ as a response. This saves so much more time for the good stuff.

- You know those friends that you have nearly forgotten why they are your friends in the first place? The ones that are downers at every gathering or the ones that somehow always forget their wallets or the ones that disappear when it’s their round or the ones that seem to relish when bad things happen to you? I’ve shed all those and have only true friends left in my life. You’ll see what I mean after you get married. A wedding ceremony is like a loofah sponge for friends of the couple. It scrubs out the dead ones and leaves you feeling fresh, clean, and happy. More than a few of you will realize there are friends you haven’t seen since your wedding day and most of them will be summarized with ‘Why did we ever hang around with them?’

- You can spot a bad decision the second it’s made. For example, a friend deciding ‘Rather than propose, I’ll get a tattoo of her face on my forearm. That will show her how committed I am’.

Sidenote #2: I had a friend in high school that showed up one Monday morning to proudly display his brand new Van Halen tattoo. Even at the height of Van Halen’s popularity I knew this was a bad idea. ‘Dude, they won’t be around forever.’ He laughed and said ‘But they are awesome now!’ Haven’t seen him in over 15 years and wonder how he feels about that tattoo now.

- We are completely comfortable with new technology and have the foresight to use it the proper way. For example, using a BlackBerry to keep in touch with clients and to set reminders for anniversaries and birthdays is a good thing. Posting half naked pictures of yourself puking all over a sidewalk on Facebook with your status set to ‘I’m so effing hungover’ is a bad thing.

Sidenote #3: Back when email was first emerging as a company standard, one of the cute girls I worked with decided she would come back into work after having quite a few drinks and express her feelings for me in an email. We were simply friends and nothing more due to the fact that I was married. I understood the gist of it, but it was a time consuming process to decipher the message. I was flattered, but the email read like her keyboard was slurring. While it probably wasn’t her intention, I found it hilarious. Then I deleted it and never said a word about it to anyone. To this day I’m still not sure if she remembered she sent it or if it was even meant for me.

- I have finally perfected (if I do say so myself) the art of refusal. I get invited to a questionable family gathering? ‘Sorry, can’t make it that day. Have a project I need to finish before *Insert Date Here*'. Friend need you to move? ‘Sorry, I promised wifey we would get the house cleaned before *Insert Name Here* comes to visit’. When you have kids the possibilities are endless. ‘Sorry, *Insert Kid Name Here* has *Insert Sport/Activity Here* until *Insert Appropriate Time Here* ’. I’m convinced this is the real reason couples have children. That and they have run out of things to talk about.

- Having grown up without it, we fully appreciate the wonder of the internet.

- You may actually know what you want to do with your life.

- While at the bars, you can make fun of the younger guys making fools of themselves by trying to pick up women way out of their league.

- You know quality when you see it. This goes for movies, books, television, music, food. You have seen, tasted, heard enough in your life that you recognize something legitimate and original almost immediately.

Sidenote #4: Sorry, but ‘Top Gun’ is NOT a good movie. It never has been and never will be. That’s not to say itisn’t entertaining. It’s certainly one of those movies that you’ll stop and watch for a variety of reasons, but it’s plot and acting and story are not any of those reasons.

- You have a healthy distrust regarding anyone in authority. This goes for politicians, religious figureheads, bosses, and parents. I say healthy because you are – for nearly the first time ever – thinking fully for yourself. It only took 35 years or so, but hopefully you’ve shed all the bullshit that’s been drilled into your head by everyone from your childhood.

I could go on, but this list in way too lengthy and those are the main points. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but if it was life changing I think I would have remembered it.

Although I am getting old…

Today’s distraction: Some fun art creations from Terry Border. Pay attention to the grapes and raisins. I’m the raisin in that photo.


Clayton Bigsby said...

I'll be 28 soon. I notice that every year I seem to hate strangers more and more. People just bother me. I also don't care what strangers think of me anymore.

BeachBum said...

That's called learning from experience.