Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Four Six

Last Monday I turned 46 years old.

For me, my angst on aging first surfaced when I was 28 years old. Turning 30 was a scary thought, and youth was something I had to hold on to for dear life because the big 3-0 was just two years away.

But then a funny thing happened. When I hit 29, the inevitability of 30 was so palpable I had no choice but to confront it head-on. And when I finally learned to accept the inevitable, the fear and anxiety and shame of aging quietly slipped off my shoulders.

But how did I find it in me to accept the reality of age? I guess it was when I saw how the 30s was a fantastic decade to be in—not too young to be scoffed at, but not too old to be deemed a killjoy. It was the best of both worlds. And along with that, I found a new appreciation for the gifts that age can bring: experience and wisdom. I couldn’t wait what the 40s could bring.

Little did I realize that the best of times also means the worst of times wasn’t far behind. The most dramatic changes when hitting the big 4-0 happen with your body. It again reminds you, in no uncertain terms, that you are not invincible. Your eyesight starts to deteriorate, and you’re not as limber. Recovery from injuries takes longer. The changes are most obvious when it comes to sex. Whereas before it only takes a few minutes for your body to rev up for round two (or three or four), now it takes longer (and round three begins to look iffy; forget round four entirely). Sometimes you find a night in bed with a hot stranger a more tedious prospect versus a night in bed with the cast of “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

I had to remind myself that it’s all quid pro quo. You win some; you lose some. But what you gain in experience more than makes up for the sagging of the skin and the stubbornness of the flabs. It’s just physical beauty, you say to yourself. That, and your discovery that there are boys—from twinks to chubs to athletic types—who like daddies will make you realize that a change in marketing strategy solves the problem.

So here’s to 46. They say 50 is the new 40. If so, then the next decade looks pretty exciting still. (I better stock up on Viagara.)


rudeboy said...

Thank you for this, Joel.

And belated happy birthday to you!

fried-neurons said...

I had a way better time in my 30s than I did in my 20s. If my fairy godmother were to allow me to stay forever a certain age, I'd pick 32. Anyway, for me, my 40s are kind of a mystery. I feel like my life is mostly settled and established, but there are still things I want to do.

The difference is, now I wonder if I'm getting too old to do those things. The aging thing is a bitch. One day I (thought I) had perfect vision, and the next morning I woke up and could hardly read the text messages on my phone. So now I wear reading glasses. *sigh*

joelmcvie said...

@FRIED-NEURONS: I've made peace with having reading glasses, especially when I bought rimless ones, hahaha.

akosi_mrlim said...

Belated happy birthday, Joel! I'm turning 30 this April. Yes, I guess 30's a good age. Not too young, not too old. Pwede ring mag-date ng 20+ at older guys na hindi pa masyadong masagwa sa mata ng lipunana. Haha