Old Dog, New Thrills


old dogThere is almost no worse combination of words for a twenty-something than the term ‘forty years old.’

It’s momentarily cool to be thirty years old; fifty years old is too inconceivable, and sixty is basically dead. But forty, that’s the dreaded combination of middle-aged, and in the not-too-distant future.

Despite the fear that is struck into the heart of those twenty-somethings, and thirty-somethings who are staring forty in the face like a blind date who is getting drunk and belligerent, there are some good things about being forty.

I know, I know. Impossible, right? But it’s true. I’ve gotten to know my doctor so well that I got a personalized Christmas card. I am also perfecting the craft of gaining ten pounds in one weekend.

But the best part of being forty is that I know myself pretty well. I have a very clear understanding of what I like and don’t like. I have an intimate relationship with my limitations and what resides outside of my comfort zone. And I am very OK with the fact that I am uncool.

I used to be cool. Well, at least I think I used to be. I seem to remember a time when people might have referred to me as cool. Of course there’s a solid chance this was a wishful thinking-induced fantasy. In any event, people didn’t use to call me a dork. Or at least not to my face, so I’m counting it.

When I was cool I used to enjoy cool weekends. There were rugby games and whiskey and the occasional bender. There were plans that involved other people, sometimes even women. There was Jagrmeister, one night stands, and public nudity. And there was always the chance that I’d arrive home as the sun was coming up, or perhaps embark upon an impromptu road trip that became less and less romantic as we became more and more sober.

This no longer resembles my life in any way, but I do find with surprise the occasional new thrill. This manifests itself in ways that would make my twenty-something self hide his face in shame. For example, the things which excite me have radically changed. While in the old days it was parties and booze, now it’s a good ass-groove in my couch, a great pair of Dr. Soles inserts, or extra crunchy fries. I’ll brag about a found piece of Tupperware for a month.

There has also been a change in my hedonistic addictions. The most recent ones are Baklava, the combination of coconut and chocolate, and smoked cheese. There’s also a daily Gold Bond powder routine whose absence would make my life empty.

This extends to guilty pleasures, which at the moment seems to be British crime drama. I seek them out online the way a heroin addict might peruse trashcans and squats. Though addictive enough in itself, British crime drama has even introduced me to some new, alarmingly specific fetishes. My forty-year old, uncool self has found his engine revved by watching middle-aged brunettes play tennis in 1960s shorts, curvy African chambermaids cleaning pools of blood, and blonde British teenage girls in white nightgowns smoking cigarettes.

Who’d have known?

Though these may seem like the Walt Disney version of thrills, addictions, and pleasures, I have never been happier with the level of excitement in my life. And though surely my twenty-something self is groaning at the boring old man he’s become, I am very happy. Uncool, but happy. Also, a Baklava hangover doesn’t match a Bushmills hangover and I get a whole lot more sleep.

I guess all that’s missing is a blonde British teenager cleaning blood off the floor while smoking and playing tennis. But I’ll settle for some smoked cheese.

  1. #1 by greg galeone on January 26, 2015 - 4:55 pm

    great post Damo-coming from a “dead” relative-smiling.

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