Ready for Take OffI turn 39 tomorrow, a fact which elicited this reaction during my morning run: “Argh!” After I stop shouting and smiled at the other runners to convince them of my sanity, I settled into my head and asked myself, “Well, what do you think about this?”

Turning 39. Sounds like a zombie transition. He was bitten and turned overnight. To be honest, I don’t seem to sweat my age the way others I know do. I have friends who groan at the mere numbering of their years and others who spend half their salary on products that they hope will make them appear younger. I am in no way judging them – we all have our things – but I have always wondered if I was missing something.

Despite that, 39 has surely stirred up some thoughts, some of them positive, some of them not. And here are the ones I came up with while running and kept in my addling mind.

Stuff Hurts

It really does. A morning run is a 16-hour recovery time. A night involving more than four beers equals a headache like Krakatau and a butt to match. I make sounds getting off the couch that I last heard in the film Saving Private Ryan.

I guess the worst thing about this is the knowledge that it’s not going to get better. And to cope with these dings and dents I have collected an arsenal of over-the-counter pills. These cover every ailment that might occur at each pole of my body and everything in between.

At what point do I open my own pharmacy?

Doctor Doctor

I have been thinking about my relationships this morning. I don’t mean relationships with women, or my friends. I mean the relationship with my doctor.

From now on, my doctor is going to nod with a sympathetic smile and say things like, “Well buddy, you’re just getting older.” But the worst thing of all is how our relationship contract changes. From now on I’ll go to the doctor once a year and as part of our agreement, he is going to invade my anus with his finger. And he’s going to mumble things like, “Hmm” and I am going to worry and then say “Thank you” and feel relieved when he says that everything is normal. And then I am going to pay him money for this whole ordeal.

I think I’d prefer a lollipop from the days of yore. Yore, by the way, is the Latin word for before you got your ass probed.

Where Were You…?

There is a sound I am having trouble identifying. It’s sort of a “pfttbbrgtgrrrrr.” And it occurs right after you see the license or ID card of a person who was born when you were a full-grown adult. Usually the sound is made while you are trying to calculate how old you were when they were born and then remember what very adult activities you were engaging in that year.

Don’t fall into this trap. It is not fun to think that when this person was being crapped out of his mother, you were trying out your new fake ID to buy booze. It’s worse if you were using your real ID to buy booze.

Nananananananana Cat Man!

Yes, I am this man. Nearly every one of my friends has a child or two or three. I have a cat, and this is not something I regret. I do not want children and, in fact, when a friend tells me they are pregnant, my knee jerk reaction is to treat it as a negative thing. I frown and go, “Oh God, I’m sorry…”

Laugh at the cat thing, but I do enjoy my freedom. If I have a bad day, just feel like a drink, or if the B Monster is irritating me, I can go to the pub and read or go for a walk…that ends at a pub. Can’t do that with a kid, well, I guess if you live in Florida…

Still, I do have this vision of myself carrying 200 cats to a K-Mart for a family photo.

How’s that Bucket List Looking

This was the first positive to leap into my brain. I have accomplished or done many of the things I wanted to do in my life. I have written two books, and (so far) published one. I have jumped out of a plane, lived abroad, travelled to India and the Middle East, met Wil Wheaton, scared Sinbad (the comedian, not the Arabian sailor), and gotten a master’s degree.

If you’re feeling depressed about being a certain age, I suggest jotting down the things you’ve done in your life that you’re proud of. It helped bring a smile to my face, but then, just like everything else, it gave me a headache.

Fortunately, I have a ton of aspirin.

The Early Bird Special  

If I could show a picture with this section, it would be my dad’s face when I told him I had become a bona fide early bird. It was that look of amazement and incredulity that my cat makes right before she pukes out my neighbor’s roses.

But it’s true. When I was 21, a day that started before noon meant that I had to either play rugby or go to court. But now, if I sleep in past 10 am I feel like it’s a wasted day.

And this early birdness is surely related to how I spend most evenings. I used to see a night without drinking my face off as a blown night, and now I relish the quiet nights watching movies and reading with a sleeping cat on my stomach.

I guess if I could go back and talk to 21-year-old Me, I’d tell him to start waking up earlier much sooner. I’d also tell him to start eating more fiber and to write a series of books about a wizarding school named Frogwarts.


When it really comes down to it, the only thing that matters is happiness. And I am happy. I have friends, an active life, and a sex life which in no way involves monetary transactions. I live in a great city, love my job, and have my health – please knock on every bit of wood near you.

I can only say that turning 39 is sort of like that time you drank a bottle of Mescal and found yourself making out with an Iranian transvestite on a fainting couch. You’re not really sure how you ended up here, but you figure it could be worse.

I welcome any further insights into aging. So please, bring them on!

  1. #1 by Gabrielle on October 10, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    That will be my favorite definition of “Yore” and all I will think about this now whenever that word is used. I think you hit the nail on the head with the happiness thing at the end. When I turned 25 with a colicky (screaming baby 24/7 for no reason, lasted 4 months) baby and a partially laid off husband I had to do this inventory you have just done. I 100% agree that thinking about all those things you’ve accomplished thus far allowed me to have less regret and anxiety. Happy Birthday Damien.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on October 10, 2013 - 6:29 pm

      Thanks Gab! And I surely think you have a hell of a lot to be happy about as well. Smile, have fun, and get ready for a Galeone night at the Langhorne over Christmas!

  2. #3 by Andy on October 10, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    High-fives on the bucket list; I’m terribly jealous you’ve met Wil Wheaton. It’s funny how we often spend time looking at the things we don’t have and the things we haven’t done. Better to focus on what you have and what you’ve accomplished.

    One of the things I’ve learned in my years is that life is all about perspective. For example, when I get down about getting older, I can remind myself of my friends which are older than me!

    Happy Birthday, man!

    (P.S. Since you’re getting old, I suppose you DON’T want me to go ahead and mail you some Rumplemintz?)

    • #4 by Damien Galeone on October 10, 2013 - 6:28 pm

      Whoa Whoa….let’s not get rash here. Rumpleminz?! Oh…sweet nectar…

      Thanks for the wishes buddy. Wish you were here to help me celebrate and then bail me out. ha

  3. #5 by Emma on October 10, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    Wait… You met Wil Wheaton?! Pants off! NOW!

  4. #7 by greg galeone on October 10, 2013 - 5:58 pm

    damo-glad you’re happy. glad you met will wheaton but I have no idea who that is-just to show you how old I am. happy bday kiddo.

  5. #9 by Almarita Galeone on October 10, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    Happy Birthday to my Numero Uno…. the guy I made all my mistakes on….Thank you for being so sturdy in spite of me…I wish for you a wonderful birthday, and we will celebrate very nicely when you come home Christmastime….
    I am sure your good buddies will take great care of you in Prague on this auspicious ocassion….
    Love you So much!!!

  6. #11 by Kelly on October 11, 2013 - 12:55 am

    I know what you mean about having reactions of pity when people tell you they are pregnant. When my cousin announced at a holiday dinner that she was I blurted out “Oh my God, are you keeping it?” And I feel like we are living parallel existences. I was nodding and smiling the entire time I was reading this. Only I do spend a ton of money on things that are supposed to keep me young and my sex life is close to non-existent. Maybe I should try it your way. Happy birthday!

    • #12 by Damien Galeone on October 11, 2013 - 8:46 am

      It’s easy, K, just walk out on the street in a French maid’s outfit and sing Buttons and Bows from Paleface. I mean, it worked for me. I spend a lot of more money on beer than I’d like to admit.

  7. #13 by Jared on October 11, 2013 - 7:26 pm

    Happy B Day Damien. I am glad to hear of all the wonderful things you are doing. I need the details on how you met Wil Wheaton and scared Sinbad.
    I am also fairly carefree when it comes to my age. Remember, you are only as old as the women in your fantasies. Your list is truly impressive and I am happy for your happiness. Just one thing, you may not want to brag about your sex life so much. We all know you and the B monster are close, but seriously dude. That is sick.

  8. #14 by The Jake on October 12, 2013 - 2:09 am


    I once beat the shit out of Wil Wheaton, using Sinbad.

    Happy Birthday, douchehole! Make a wish and blow me!


  9. #15 by Allison on October 12, 2013 - 5:35 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    On aging, I normally don’t feel old until I’m forced into close proximity with the kiddos and they start making comments that make me wince. Or I made some cultural reference and get blank stares. Ah well….

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