Old age doesn't just hit you overnight. Here are a few warning symptoms of aging that event the spriest Millennials have no doubt encountered...
I'm not really sure if there's an official cut-off for when someone is "old," but my personal measuring stick has always been 30. After that, you are without question an adult, a seasoned soul well acquainted (and well-equipped for) all of life's trials and tribulations.
That said, holy fuck, do I not want to be an adult, ever. Now inching towards the big "2-9," I can almost smell the impending oldness enveloping me, circling overhead like really, really smelly vultures.
And the beautiful thing here? It's not like "oldness" just sneaks up on you, all of a sudden. Indeed, if you're a smart egg, you'll probably take note of all of the hints, signs and symptoms that herald what can only be considered the entry point for middle age while you're still in your roaring '20s.
Pay heed, twenty-somethings: these are the warnings that spell the inevitable end of your youthful years...
Sign #1 - Loud music starts to really piss you off
Sign #2 - You have to move up one font size when typing stuff
For roughly twenty years, size 10 font was my standard. A few months ago, I was horrified to find out that I needed to pump it up to size 11 to comfortably read my own writings. Never mind the gray hairs and the apparent decrease in scrotal volume as of late -- that was when I knew I was turning into an old fogy.
Sign #3 - While driving, you prefer the radio being off
As a teen and college student, basically, all a car is is a stereo with wheels. It’s not so much a machine that transports you from point A to point B as it is a gigantic boom box that takes you away from the rest of the world for awhile. As you get older, though, your tastes start to change; you actually drive around without the radio on sometimes, because you just want to hear your own thoughts for awhile. Also, you want to pinpoint the exact minute any strange rattling from your engine begins; that shit’s still under warranty, and there ain’t no way you’re paying more than $200 to get that shit fixed, either.
Sign #4 - Both getting up and sitting down start to hurt a little
A while back, I noticed a sharp pain in my right ankle. I ignored it, because I figured it was just a passing sensation. Well, a good three moths later, the twinge is still just hanging out, resurfacing every goddamn time I sit down or stand up. Sitting on the floor used to be no biggie, but now, it leads to me flailing around the room like Brock Lesnar every time I try to get vertical.
Sign #5 - You want to sleep, all the goddamn time
Eight hours of sleep? Oh no, that’s just half of the story now. I can seriously sleep from midnight to noon on the weekends, and I’m still pretty drowsy throughout most of the day. Either I have undiagnosed malaria, or aging really does turn you into a cat.
Sign #6 - …But you still make an effort to wake up as early as possible each morning
Even so, my alarm clock goes off EVERY morning at five, weekends included. The idea is, I have so much stuff to do that I HAVE to awake as early as humanly possible to get it all done. The reality, however, is that I just end up hitting the snooze button every twenty minutes until 10 a.m.
Sign #7 - Diets just stop fucking working
In my early 20s, I could drop weight like a Japanese MMA fighter. Now, just SMELLING food makes my waistline bulge. Even if you can stick to the diets that used to prove fruitful, their ability to make your fat rolls shrivel away have been reduced to -- if you are lucky -- a pound or two a month. Your body wants you to resemble a bowling pin, and their ain’t shit Atkins or South Beach can do about it anymore.
Sign #8 - You find yourself eating things for no real reason
No lie, I sometimes find myself nibbling on things that I cannot recall where I got them from. You’re not even all that hungry, most of the time: you just waltz into the kitchen, grab a bag of Oreos, and next thing you know, there’s a three inch pile of crumbs surrounding your shoes. Sometimes, I’ll just be standing around, and all of a sudden, I notice there’s food in my hand, like the Pop-Tart fairy put it in there while I was thinking about college football rankings or something.
Sign #9 - You become obsessed with saving money
Back in the day, extra money meant splurging. Nowadays, every single cent I come across that doesn’t go towards my basic monthly expenditures or my significant other goes STRAIGHT into my savings account. The other day, I deposited a $15 check from my auto insurance company -- and I added the change in my pocket to the account, just so that shit would bump up to a full $16.
Sign #10 - You get excited about leisurely reading
Old people get excited about reading, and it’s a different kind of excitement than young bookworms feel. Young readers have all the time in the world to read, but as mature readers have, at last estimate, two hours a week to do anything that even remotely resembles free-time reading, just cracking open a book is like orgasming a little.
Sign #11 - Your sex life becomes a little more adventurous
It’s the opposite of what everybody tells you. You think younger folks would be into the really daring and kinky stuff, but no, its us older people who have the REALLY scintillating sex life. When you’re young, you’re dating and stuff, so you don’t want your other of significance to think you are some kind of pervert, so you downplay all of your sexual weirdness. Well, by the time you are 30, you’ve probably been with your gal pal or guy pal for a couple of years now, and with that sense of commitment, you find yourself a little bit more confident in engaging in sexual activity that would make Alfred Kinsey throw up a little. In my 20s, I was afraid to even pop kiss a girl. At almost 30, I have nary a qualm about sexting my girlfriend nude pictures of me dressed up like Frankenstein -- I think by the time I’m old enough to be President, I’ll finally get that menage-a-twenty I’ve been fantasizing about since freshman year…
Sign #12 - You really, really get into cooking
As a young adult, you don’t give a shit about food. Its just stuff with nutrients in it, that you occasionally eat to not pass out. Climbing towards 30, though, you become downright obsessed with food, and you really enjoy making your own dishes. You’ll gladly spend five hours working on that one-of-a-kind quinoa-pizza recipe, and you spend more time at farmer’s markets and Trader’s Joes than you do at concerts or even playing video games. If you can’t name at least 55 different cheeses by the time you are 30, something must be seriously wrong with you.
Sign #13 - Your consumer habits become WAY more conservative
I used to be really, really into metal, horror and video games. I still am, to a certain extent, but in my early twenties, I was downright obsessed with them on a consumer level. I’m not quite sure how much I spent per month on new CDs, games, and DVDs, but it’s probably way more than any human being should have ever spent on anything. Now, I don’t even bother purchasing disc-based media, my interest in modern gaming is virtually nil and surprisingly, I have a whole lot more money in my savings account than I used to. Shit, I actually have a savings account now, for that matter.
Sign #14 - You start wondering about your legacyKids, generally, only care about the moment. That means your contemporary needs mean the absolute world, and everything after (and really, before) that is completely irrelevant. Well, as an old fogey, all of a sudden that little dynamic reverses itself, so now, you give nary a good goddamn about the present and obsess endlessly over your accomplishments and the things you want to accomplish that you haven't accomplished yet. Death, it must be said, is not your utmost concern -- rather, it's the prospects of greeting the Reaper when there's still a fuck ton of things to check off on your bucket list.
Sign #15 - Scantily-clad girls concern you more than they arouse you
True story folks: my last year in college, I saw a bunch of frosh headed to orientation. Fresh out of high school, they were wearing the absolute gaudiest, trashiest ensemble I ever saw -- I mean, you could practically SEE their baby-making parts. When such a sight makes you worry about people’s reputations instead of giving you an instant chub, you KNOW you are on the path to adulthood proper.
Sign #16 - You start feeling paternal/maternal pangs
Unless you're some kind of anti-Darwinist, you'd probably agree that the whole point of human existence is to create more human beings. Wait, what's that, something about homosexuals? Well, uh, just change "create" to "adopt" or some other shit. The point I'm trying to make, I suppose, is that as soon as you reach "30," the idea of having a child of your own suddenly goes from "about as desirable as herpes" to "secret hidden desire" in roughly the same amount of time it takes to make Minute Rice (which, I am presuming, is only a minute.) Hey, they don't call it your biological clock for nothing, you know...
Sign #17 - You worry about your job incessantly
As a rough estimate, I think the aggregate 30-something employee spends eight to ten hours a day working, and another eight or ten ceaselessly worrying about being fired, laid off, demoted or forced to take a side job because your primary bread and butter ain't paying you enough to keep all your bills paid. All in all, I'd probably say that job-based anxiety -- harnessed collectively from all Millennial workers -- would be powerful enough to power China's textile mills for the next half a century or so.
Sign #18 - You come to find out that thing about the weather impacting your joints isn’t bullshit
Growing up, I always heard older people talking about how rainy weather made their bones ache. As would anybody with two brain cells in their head, I thought that was some grade-A bullshit and a half. Recently, I began experiencing a pretty unusual sensation myself -- during a downpour, my ankle started hurting like a motherfucker. Even weirder, my leg would begin to ache BEFORE stormy weather, almost as if my tibia was some sort of clairvoyant meteorologist. As it turns out, it has something to do with barometric pressure -- here's the science, if you give a shit.
Sign #19 - You spend more time on LinkedIn than Facebook
Facebook is where everybody goes to make an ass out of themselves and say things that would probably get them fired, arrested or deported in real life. LinkedIn is basically Facebook’s passive-aggressive older sister who’s really career oriented and super paranoid. Even if you’re not actively seeking a job, you still need to dial into the social networking site, just to see how your friends -- or is it enemies? -- are doing financially. The service actually NOTIFIES you when other service users look at your profile; it’s less a networking service than it is mild electronic espionage.
Sign #20 - Your Facebook feed makes you really, really depressed
There’s nothing quite like seeing your former acquaintances grow older before your very visage. Thanks to the magic bestowed upon us by that modern Prometheus Mark Zuckerburg, we know have the ability to know what all of our former friends, family and lovers are eating for lunch, what they think about “American Idol,” how much they hate their job and how great it used to be in the eighth grade, without any worries and shit. Call it a social networking site, if you must: it’s actually a portal to the most miserable and banal nether regions of the human soul.
Sign #21 - Late nights become an impossibility
In college, I could literally stay up for DAYS on end. And no, I wasn't on crank or Ritalin or even Monster. Unless you're an EMT or something, I'm not really sure anyone over the age of 30 is physiologically capable of going more than 12 hours without needing to rest for at least eight or ten immediately afterwards. Shit, I'm kinda' sleepy from just writing this one piddly paragraph, to be honest.
Sign #22 - You have moments when you can’t recall basic information about yourself
As a kid, you can drum up your vitals automatically. When you are around 28, though, the ability to recall even the most mundane information about yourself -- your phone number, your computer passwords, hell, even your own age -- becomes a little more taxing. A few days ago, I just forgot how to unlock my cell phone, out of the blue, and spent a good fifteen minutes trying to do something that should be an effortless muscle memory function by now. Considering my contemporary absent-mindedness, the other side of 50 looks really concerning these days…
Sign #23 - You take almost-excessive pride in your resume
Al Bundy had his four touchdowns in a single game, and Kurt Angle won Olympic gold with a broke freaking neck. By the time you are 30, you’ll probably have at least one or two personal accomplishments or feats of your own that you NEEDLESSLY drudge up all the goddamn time to impress others and reinforce your own ego. Strangely, you may end up telling people about these prideful endeavors at the most weird-ass times -- faced with lackluster service, I once told a Taco Bell employee that I deserved better because I graduated from college magna cum laude and debt-free, as if that shit was even remotely a factor in getting a chalupa quicker.
Sign #24 - You really understand Bruce Springsteen songs all of a sudden
I hate Bruce Springsteen -- the American worker lovin’, corporation hatin’ draft dodger he is -- for his politics and nausea-inducing Christmas ballads, but at the same time, I have to say his lyrics really, really make sense to me as I approach 30. From “Thunder Road” to “Promised Land” to “Glory Days,” there’s no denying that the “Boss” has a knack for nailing the sentimentality of growing older. It still doesn’t exonerate him for not making a good album in 30 fucking years, though.
Sign #25 - You begin to lose all sense of time
Sign #26 - Eating becomes your sole definition of “socialization”
For most of your 20s, going out meant doing an assorted array of activities: drinking, movie-watching, park-walking, concert going, museum-visiting, so on and so forth. As you creep towards middle age, however, your mingling experiences begin to narrow down to dinners, brunches and various other permutations of chowing down on stuff. Not that you’ll complain about this, naturally -- in the transition from 20 to 30, you’ll have no qualms whatsoever about making the leap from “rock and roll” and “party time” to “taco bowl” and “party tray.”
Sign #27 - You actually want to be rooted now
Up until you are 30, life is about “getting out there” and “experiencing” stuff. Well, with 30 staring you in the face, all of a sudden, you want to do the exact opposite; you WANT to settle down, and get a permanent place of your own, and God help you, even start a family. If your 20s is all about being unchained and “freely” roving about, than your 30s is about putting the shackles on yourself and cementing your feet to the ground…voluntarily, even.
Sign #28 - You become more complacent about daily frustrations
Sign #29 - You FINALLY seem to have a sense of who you are as a person, and a firm idea of what you believe in
Sign #30 - You no longer give a shit if people don’t like you or accept you
The first third of your life was all about achieving mimetic desirability and gaining group approval. By the time you hit 30, though, you couldn’t give a lesser shit about proving yourself to others or making others like you, especially when that reciprocal admiration was founded on frivolous and flimsy underpinnings, anyway. You are your own person, and you know what rests inside your own soul. You’re not making apologies for who you are and what you believe in anymore, and in that?
Nothing could possibly feel so liberating, kiddos.