The Logical Philosopher

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Symbols of our age

Like a tide slowly rising to wash away the sand castles, there are distinct signs that time marches on. Even as a kid at heart, things happen in our surroundings that force us to reevaluate where we should be doing our castle building.

Time and tide wait for no man
Getting older is a true journey, so they say, and like any journey on a forest path there exists markers to remind you of the distance traveled. Last week one such marker hit me square in the face - thwap - unexpected and out of the blue my age became apparent.

For your reading enjoyment some markers in the past I have reluctantly embraced or avoided include:

Marker: Owning a toolbelt.
Status: Passed. Yes, during house renovations one year I needed one desperately but to me they symbolized my dad working on the house with me as a young boy. I just didn't want to admit that I had gotten to that age but for fathers day one year my kids got me a new I wear it while the kids play with their plastic tools in the sawdust around me.

Marker: Racing Ironman in the 30-35 age group.
Status: I'm in but competition is fierce and I will never podium again. Although racing as in the clydesdale category does cut the competition down some; at least that's my excuse to drink excess amounts of coke slurpees while training. Got to keep the weight up to podium!

Marker: Owning a Minivan
Status: Not Reached! I will resist to the last mile - towing the kids in a red wagon if I need to. And no, I don't count my Subaru Outback as a Minivan.

Marker: Yelling at the partying kids on the block to turn the music down.
Status: Not yet...and only because my neighbor does it before I do (he's much older).

And what new Marker did I reach this month? Here's how the conversation went as I was interviewing for a daycare job for our youngest:

"So you're in 2nd year university?" I asked, after looking at her resume. I don't remember female students looking that young when I was in 2nd year, but then I was in engineering and there were no female students, so I really didn't have a reference point.

"Yep, I'm in education and doing daycare for the summer our of our apartment."

"How much room is there in your apartment?" I inquired, looking around and seeing technical books strewn about on top of the kids toys.

"Well, my boyfriend is an engineering student taking summer classes so he's always away, meaning we have the whole place for the kids."

"Ahhhhh, I remember doing that - I did engineering and graduated in 1997."

"Wow...1997. I was only in grade..." she started before I cut her off holding up my hand in mid sentence.

"I don't want to know what grade you were in...I think you just made me feel old." I said, feeling the stinging thwap of an invisible age marker on my head. Check another milestone off my list of getting older - I was just dated with the mortal phrase "I was only in grade X when you did that."

But whatever happens I still won't give into the Minivan.