Sunday, June 15, 2008

Old, but immature

Lately, I’ve run into a rash of old friends who all seem to greet me in the exact same way:

“Wow, you’re old!”

I don’t think they mean anything by it. They’re not trying to be insulting. I can tell by the genuine look of shock and disbelief in their eyes. (Except, of course, for those “friends” who I’ve seen maybe two days earlier. They’re just trying to be mean.)

I think I’ve developed quite the retort to all of the people who are suddenly stunned to discover that I am, if fact, apparently on the downhill slide:

“I may be old, but I’m still immature!”

Once upon a time, my “immaturity” would have been a decided downer for me. Like, when I was fifteen years old, and girls my age seemed not to know I existed. (“Downer”, incidentally, is a word from my youth.)

But not any more. Nowadays, I pride myself on my immaturity, because it’s about the only remaining trace of my youth.

Never mind that it’s probably pathetic case of denial. I can’t help it. I’m immature… and my immaturity prevents me from facing up to reality.

Most guys my age are every bit as pathetic as me, but they don’t know how to handle it. They, instead, go through a “mid-life crisis”… you know, with the shiny sports cars and the comb-over.

Not me. I’m old, but I’m immature. Plus, mid-life for me was a probably a lonnnnng time ago.

I’m comforted by my immaturity. It’s like my own personal fountain of youth.

Yes, I’m clinging desperately to the last vestiges of youth, as they surely slip away -- who am I kidding? “slipped away” -- holding on to every shred, every morsel of anything even resembling me from 30 years ago.

The hair is gone from the top. The eyesight is tragic. The weight has shifted.

But I still have my immaturity.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s a “cop out”. (Another word from my youth.)

You’re thinking I’m manufacturing my immaturity as a way of coping. You think I’m making it up.

Am I?

Have you seen the clothes I wear? Do you know it’s been years since I wore a necktie to work? Immature, I’d say.

My beard is a throwback to the sixties. Very immature. (During the sixties, by the way, I was 12 years old, and totally incapable of even a bristle on my chin.)

I don’t like vegetables. And therefore, I don’t eat vegetables. That was a mark of my immaturity in 1961, and it still is today.

At this moment, I’m not wearing any socks. I’m in my office working, but without socks. Typing my weekly column on my laptop… but no socks. Very immature.

And did you know that, once again, I have procrastinated writing my column until the very last moment. Procrastination is a clear sign of immaturity. That’s what my teacher told me in the fourth grade when I didn’t turn in my homework… many times!

And if that’s not proof enough of my immaturity, try this: Lately, I’ve even taken to following people around the office, and repeating everything they say back to them:

“I’m hungry.”

“I’m hungry”

“Where are you going?”

“Where are you going?”

“Stop following me.”

“Stop following me.”

“Quit saying what I’m saying.”

“Quit saying what I’m saying.”

“I’m telling Mom.”

“I’m telling Mom.”

Yes, I take a lot of comfort in my immaturity.

Like the songs say: “Call me irresponsible. Be young, be foolish, but be happy.”

And I’m thinking about writing a new song: “I may not be a child anymore, but I can certainly still be childish!”

There I go again: Daydreaming about writing a song when I should be working. How immature!

I’m 54, going on seven.

Yes, I may be old, but I’m immature.

“Hope you have a good week.”

“Hope you have a good week.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No socks? I hope you still have some odor-eaters!