What’s My Age Again?
Lately I’ve been getting ominous messages through Facebook warning me that my high school reunion is fast approaching. I went to my 10th, and I’ll probably go to this one, too. But I have no intention of helping plan the thing, or build a float for the alumni parade, or any of that stuff. Mainly I’m interested in satisfying my basic curiosity about what has happened to all those people I went to high school with.
I recently got together with some friends from high school, and they seemed equally astonished that our 20th reunion will be held this summer. Is it really possible that we’re almost 40? Frankly, this is unbelievable. I don’t feel at all like someone who will soon be 40. Maybe it’s because I don’t have children. Or maybe it’s because I don’t understand numbers. But I still think of myself as someone who is fairly young. Like maybe in my mid-20s. Of course, this illusion can only be maintained as long as I don’t spend any time with people in their mid-20s.
Recently, I’ve become dimly aware that most major league athletes are younger than I am, and that those close to my age who are still playing are widely regarded as old. And not just old. But as freaks of nature who are defying the odds. “How many years does the 36-year-old Tom Brady have in him?” football commentators are fond of asking. “How much longer will Kevin Garnett’s knees hold up?” basketball observers like to ask. “After all, he’s 37 YEARS OLD!”
During the World Series, I grew oddly depressed while watching 21-year-old Red Sox phenom Xander Boagaerts face 22-year-old Cardinals pitcher Mike Wacha. “I don’t feel that much older than 21,” I told the New England Sports Fan Friend. “But I’m almost as old as Mike Wacha and Xander Boagaerts put together.”
My high school friends and I had a similar revelation while discussing the New Zealand singer Lorde, who just turned 17. Lorde is very talented, and I really like her song “Royals.” However, it’s a little disconcerting to realize that I’m more than twice as old as she is. You could put two Lordes together, and you’d still fall a few years short of my age.
“I could be Lorde’s mother,” my friend Amy said glumly.
My friend Jenny’s birthday was coming up, and we decided to measure her age not in numbers, but in Lordes. “Congratulations,” Amy told her. “You’re turning two-and-a-quarter Lordes.” “Ugh,” Jenny said. “I don’t like the sound of that.”
In addition to the missives I occasionally receive from my high school classmates about our reunion, I receive reunion updates from the high school class I would have graduated with had we not moved to another town. What this means is that I might very well attend two high school reunions this summer, rather than one.
Most of the people in my high school class I remember as 17- and 18-year-olds, while my middle school classmates are permanently frozen in time at the ages of 13, 14 and 15, which is the last time I saw most of them. I have the feeling that things have changed over the past two decades or so, and I’m eager to see how people have changed. Or not changed, as the case might be. Will I feel older or younger when I see these people? Or simply amazed by the passage of time? I have no idea. But I guess I’ll find out.
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