A couple of days ago, I was filling out an online entry form for a fun run to be held in September this year. Name, gender, date of birth, address, who should we call if you heart stops beating or you trip over and crack your head wide open.Frustratingly, I kept on getting stuck on one question, one that asks to what age group do I belong. I must have clicked on the 30-39 bracket 4 or 5 times. Each time, the god-damned website returned with the message: “Please check your answer before proceeding to the next question“.
Just before I was about to fire off an irate email to the race organisers, telling them in no uncertain terms to fix their bug-ridden online entry form, I decided to read the question one more time, and this time with care. And the words were:
Click on the age bracket you will belong to, at the time of this race (my emphasis).
That was when I realised that, on 22 September when this race will be held, I will have clicked over into my 40s. In other words, I will be categorised as a 40-49 age bracket participant!
After getting over the initial shock, my next reaction was: “Why the fuck did you ask me about the age bracket if you already knew the answer from my freaking date of birth“?
Of course, I knew I was just being an insolent brat, more so having just discovered that I will be well and truly past the half way mark in a few months’ time. Nevertheless, the realisation of my impending entry into senior league stayed with me for some time afterwards. Indeed, it suddenly dawned on me (just like how it did on the Bruce Willis character at the very end of The Sixth Sense) the reasons behind some of the small stuff that were happening in my everyday life.
For instance, when I was younger (see, I’m speaking like an old fart already), I used to get a playful but hard elbow jab to the rib from my lovely wife, whenever I cast a glance at a not-as-lovely-but-still-good-looking female. I am a man. I can’t help it. More importantly, I love my wife just that little bit more whenever she does that. Why? Because it shows that she still loves me enough to get a little girlie jealous, just as I get little cave man-jealous whenever she drools over Colin Firth (what’s the attraction?) or Brad Pitt (I can see the attraction).
However, the realisation has hit me that my ribs have not any any jabbing for quite some time, even though my innocent glances at beautiful ladies have not diminished over time. And in my newly-found paranoia about my age, I’m starting to wonder whether my wife is thinking along the lines of: “Let the old fool perv. What’s the harm? He ain’t going nowhere“.
It has also dawned on me that I hardly ever get invited to drinks by my twentysomething colleagues. Come to think of it, even the early-thirtysomethings drift away from me in social situations. Is it the reminiscing about the days of Michael, Larry and Magic? Or is it the incessant talk about the bowel movements of my two little boys? Could it be the endless bitching and moaning about this unhealthy thing called Facenote or Titter? Whatever it is, it is now clear that whenever I talk, younger people try to avoid eye contact while ever so slowly distancing themselves from the dangerously boring old nutter.
As if that’s not enough, I have now come to understand why strangers don’t even bat an eyelid when they find me talking to myself in cafes and shops on weekends. It’s because there is nothing unusual seeing a grumpy old man mumbling to himself. My honest defence is that, on weekends, I’m usually out and about with my two boys. Unfortunately, they have this habit of running off to cause some mischief as I’m talking to them while my eyes are fixated on a menu, admission sign, blackboard, not-as-lovely-as-my-wife-but-still-good-looking female. When I eventually realise that I have been talking to myself, I look around sheepishly but am usually greeted by people just minding their own business. But, as I said before, it has now dawned on me that they all saw what I did but just accept it as quirky behaviour of a mindless old man.
Unlike the Bruce Willis character in The Sixth Sense, however, I am not going to accept this ageing fate graciously. I will join that Facecrap thing and relive with “friends” my fond memories of Michael, Larry and Magic. I will Titter all about my boys’ bowel movements to all my strange “followers”. And I will certainly clean up my act (eg a $50 haircut instead of a $5 one) so that my wife will get all girlie-jealous over me again when I “spectate” on other beautiful women.
But, then again … what have I just done but mumble to myself like a mindless old codger!
Keep on pounding.