“Age is not a number. It’s a state of mind.” Bollocks. It’s both. And it’s adages like, “It’s not how old you are, it’s how old you feel” that trick women into believing leggings can function as pants, and men into believing wanton paedophilia functions as a customary greeting. Aging is difficult for everyone. We know this because everyone reaches an age where they start to realise their own mortality’s struggle against time’s decaying march, and decide to try and stop the clock somehow by spreading falsehoods like telling Corey at the dinner party that you’re 24 rather than 32. It’s nonsense, sad and pathetic. Attempting to deny your life’s continued persistence to yourself is something Comire has never been tempted by. Oh no. When Comire wants to deny his aging, he finds it simpler to redefine aging. Invent new, more inventine details for what classes as young and old, and slot himself into whichever category he pleases. Some call it a poor attempt to impress Corey’s 24 year old girlfriend. Others agree while also pointing out he’s referring to himself in the 3rd person again.
While Beauty Director, Valerie Monroe, lets you in on the secrets about aging and Elle Magazine & Olay gives you their 7 judgey signs of judgey judgement, no amount of seemingly pornstar-named beauty scientists (a job it seems a shame only women qualify for) can tell you how you age better than yourself. So your school days are a while behind you and, to be fair, that invitation to Christopher Walken’s ‘Walken through the park’ birthday bash is still a while yet, but you still need convincing if you’ve left the “young person” category or not. Here are my 5 personal signs of aging.
Winter Is Coming
As a child, the sight of tiny, white, friendly crystals of curious potential seemed to sparkle under suburban street lamps offering a mix of wonderment, welcome homeland hostility and a peculiar brand of Alzheimer’s making the resulting finger-based frostbite a complete surprise afterwards. But the average person’s developing relationship with snowfall is akin to a new recruit and Islamic fundamentalism. Fun at first, but steadily rage-inducing once the novelty wears off and the hindrances on public transport wear on. Not to mention approximately 40% to blame when your death is reported as “natural causes”.
Adults hate snow, part due to the inconvenience, part due to the resistance of the urges that are less than keeping with regular society (like you want to ask a blind man how they picked their sunglasses). If you see snow and do not get the urge to grab a bunch and grant it an airborne trajectory from your hand to an inanimate/animate object of your choice, you are no longer young. Children are always in a primal, instinctual, fun-seeking state. Therefore scooping a ball of powdered KKK robes and launching it straight into Corey’s smug, chiselled, girlfriend-having face is an act only mentally permissible by children or someone raised by polar bears.
Till Next Season
As an occupational school goer, the subject of your availability is largely based on your school calendar. The main reason you can’t do that week’s work at your uncle’s repair shop or go to Corey’s cousin’s country house for the long weekend is because your school’s spring break is a week later (and not because Corey didn’t invite you in the first place after that whole snowball incident). Then you leave school and never have to deal with the academic calendar again, steadily forgetting the placement of semester breaks, half-term holidays and all facts and figures learned 20 minutes before the final exams. By all accounts, you should never hear the word ‘semester’ unless your Irish barber, Mr. Esther, introduces you to his daughter Sam.
I can remember life according to the academic calendar with about as much clarity as medieval England can remember the Gregorian calendar without July and August. And if you ever find yourself confronted with a phrase like, “I’ll be free on half-term, let’s do something then” and you’ve no clue if that’s 2 weeks or 2 years from now, you’re school days are far behind you (where ‘school days’ is an metaphor for ‘chances of finding happiness’, grandpa). At least you can claim some solace in avoiding the gradual personality quirk magnification that occurs in people that are in contact with children all day, every day. You know the people I’m talking about. Your watch-tapping teacher friends, overly responsible youth worker pals and your grown up chums that want to hang out at the park just a little too often.
As a small bodied individual, you’re constantly suffering from a natural chemical imbalance; far too much energy inside an unbearably tiny containment unit. And it’s precisely that kind of magic that led to Hiroshima. Adults, however, suffer the opposite; barely enough power to mobilise the full unit effectively. The kind of magic that led to an ineffective evacuation – that and the large freakin’ bomb. Children are always trying to conquer things and prove themselves capable of sound judgement in the face of their oppressors: parents, teachers, Corey and his stupid swimming pool in the backyard etc. In a sense this stays with us throughout life, only as we get older we try to show our worth less through displays of energy, advanced learning and increased ability but more through ‘mature’ methods. Methods like nailing that interview at KFC despite being vegetarian. And like NOT killing yourself every day you come back to a job that makes you revolt more than Tyra Banks in the face of non-beauty.
The sign here that you’ve grown a bit too old to still be checking if they’ve brought back the prizes at the bottom of a cereal box, is when your immaturity and energy levels have dropped to such a place that you won’t boast it to prove the most insignificant of points. The test for this is as such. You’re walking along and find yourself parallel to a low wall or small concrete post. If you don’t get the smallest urge to step a top it, without any provocation – just to see if you could (despite probably already knowing the answer), you’re old.
You want uniforms, or you die
As a little shouty hormone monkey, your various, age-appropriate, potential partners tend to have one thing in common; you’ve probably seen them in their school uniform. And despite being categorically designed to neutralise all sexuality like a magician at a sweet 16, you’re trained to like the uniform (or rather the person underneath), since finding ties a turn-off is a rubbish reason to avoid first base. However when your school years move further and further behind, while your reproductive organs protrude further and further forward, your inclinations towards uniforms tend to change. When you experience the split second of amorous attraction followed by the passion plunge upon discovery of a school uniform in current regular use, eject the flash drive and weep into your floppy disk, YOUNG is not what you are.
Schoolgirl roleplay (and that wholly affluent market of schoolboy roleplay) can be a way to fulfil all the things you would’ve done to Carly Testonelli before Corey did his “preying viper” sex move in on her. Realistically, at the bloaty, 2 cups of coffee-dependent plateau of adulthood, if approached by perky teen Carly, complete with a new blue stripe in her hair and the same uniform she’d had since she could spell “awkward”, you send her back to the under 18s club she snuck into. The aversion from uniforms doesn’t come from the fear of resulting legal inquiries but from a disinterest of the complicated, nonsensical, emotional, directionless indecision that comes with teenage angst.
Crossing that bridge can be a very confusing time however. A slender thigh sandwiched between long white socks and a regulation pleated skirt is one of the most conflicting desires in a young adult’s life. A strong Adam’s apple and chiselled jaw choked between a tie exhibiting several stripes of red, blue and gold, and seemingly the brightest set of braces you ever saw is one of the ultimate paradoxes of an entire generation. Unless of course you’re more of the ‘paedophilically-disposed’, in which case I apologise for how frustrating those descriptions without accompanying images must have been for you.
The Old Gods
As a youth of few years and fewer interesting stories, the untameable expanse of your memories is like the area outside your house your parents let you play in. Massive, rife with discovery, almost bursting the limits of time and space itself. Only then you grow up, you realise there was another street passed that corner, this thing called the 70s existed before you ever did, and everything you ever knew comprised of the tiniest speck of information our infinite universe has to offer. Oh, and Corey is adopted because his biological parents are dead. He’s an orphan. Don’t you feel like a dick.
As the years go on, the human race likes to change and reinvent itself. As language develops and culture evolves, as technology advances and expression redefined, so too do humans come back again and again, decade after decade revelling in its stubbornness to not quit. Human life is basically a large metaphor for Madonna’s career. BUT, when you acknowledge one of those differences in modern life to an older time, probably using a phrase similar to, “it wasn’t like that 10 years ago”, it’s been a long ole’ time since you were only allowed to play up to the street corner. Your young nephew becomes paralyzed with confusion over the notion of discovering songs via. the radio? You discover Wonka Bars have been discontinued? Despite all arguments of Morgan Freeman’s legacy, the highest extractable opinion from your little sister is, “the old black guy in Django Unchained? I don’t like him, he was racist”? These are the moments you’ll show your extensive time on this planet with the reckless frustration of an invalid’s nymphomaniac wife. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.