I’ve been thinking about my age–again. So, what got me thinking about my age? The presidential campaign had a lot to do with it. Come January 20, 2009, I will be–for the first time in my life! –older than the President of the United States of America.
This must be a significant moment in my life. Now that I think of it, I’m also older than Osama bin Laden–if he’s still alive. I was the oldest of six children. After I failed the fourth grade–the toughest two years of my life–I was among the oldest in the class. When I joined the Marines, I was 22, so I was the oldest recruit in my platoon in boot camp. I’m now older than my mother was when she died in 1986 at age 51.
I remember in grade school how we had to date every writing assignment we turned in. Every time I would write the year 1963, 1964, etc., I would fantasize about the day that I would someday write the year 2000. But I planned to be out of grade school by then. The year 2000 seemed so far off into the future.
Time traveled much more slowly back then. I remember watching the second hand of the clock in our classroom. The second hand moved ever so slowly right around dismissal time. Those last ten minutes of school seemed to last a lot longer than the previous six hours of school.
I remember birthdays taking much longer to come around. Birthdays meant so much more back then. I remember anxiously awaiting my tenth birthday because writing my age would require writing two digits. That tenth birthday also took forever to come around. The next milestone was 13 because then I would be a teenager. At 16, I took driver’s ed. At 18, I registered for the draft even though no one was being drafted to Vietnam anymore. At 19, I was able to buy wine and beer in the state of Illinois. When they changed the drinking age back to 21, ta da! I turned 21!
25 was my favorite age because my auto insurance really dropped then. That meant I was no longer in the high-risk age group of drivers 16-24. The last significant milestone was 30. I enjoyed the nice round number. After that, birthdays didn’t really seem all that important to me anymore. When I turned forty, I celebrated by taking a nap. My friends insisted on throwing me a surprise big 5-OH party even though I told them I didn’t want one after they told me about my surprise party. I mean, it really wasn’t a surprise anymore after they told me about it so I wouldn’t go on vacation before my party even though it was in July even though my birthday was in May. So, I’m older than President-elect Barack Obama. How do I absorb all this? I think I’m going to bed. Good night!