Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Woke Up Old This Morning

As I have already mentioned, I spent this last weekend attending a conference of the newspaper industry in Washington DC. This is a conference I have been participating in for most of my 33 year career in the printing industry and as a consequence, I have made many good friends and many more acquaintances while at it over the years. 

As you might expect during such a long history, there were many famous and infamous events that have occurred. Some were funny, others sad, and most are simply too numerous, ridiculous, and embarrassing to recount here (mostly the latter, if you must know). With the attendance of this conference down to abysmal levels this year, I had more more free time than I normally do (or wanted), and many opportunities to renew some of these past friendships during hours that I was supposed to working during the show (shhh, don't tell my lords and masters). We spent our time both catching up and recounting many of those numerous misadventures, chuckling over the ignorance and insanity which we had shown in those bygone days. When I woke up yesterday to fly home is when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had gotten old. 

I was now one of those guys who spent most of their time discussing the misadventures of their misguided youth (and middle age for that matter) that I used to laugh at when I was younger. I was now one of those foolish fogies who, too old and tired now to commit further atrocities, found endless amusement in my own (and others) past abilities to commit social suicide in the presence of large audiences. I was now one of those guys who, no longer able to function as a practicing miscreant, I was forced to sit on the sidelines, comparing the antics going on around me to those dubious deeds of daring in the days of my youth. 

The unexpected timing of this revelation has taken quite a toll on me. While realizing that I am no longer a child, I am not yet ready to accept the mantle of senior citizen. I freely admit that there is more of a past to my life than there will probably be a future, but I hadn't counted on getting old quite so soon. I always thought that I might still have one or two misdeeds yet to commit before hanging up my fool's cap for good. I believed that I still had the drive and know how to confirm my fellow mans' low opinion and expectations of me a time or two yet. I thought that I would have at least a few good years of immaturity left before having to settle into the senility that I know awaits me. 

Confronted by the sorry facts however, I now realize that I may well be past my prime (which is a damned shame considering that I never really had one). Oh well boys and girls this is it, get the rockin' chair out cause grandpa's feeling the urge to just sit and rock for a spell. (Oh my God, I think I'm going to be sick...)

11 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tim,

Snap out of it you old fart and start enjoying yourself.

You know, when you're considered old, you can get away with grabbing the nurses in the hospital, for old time's sake ;-)

Not that I'd know first hand, mind you..., wink, wink, nudge, nudge :-)

(Well, that's my story and I'm sticking with it)

Tim Higgins said...

Sorry hooda,

My only excuse is that this revelation occurred during my trip to the "logic free" zone of Washington, DC. Perhaps there really is something in the water there?

The effects seem to be diminishing slowly with time, and I hope to be back to my level of normal soon, or better than that if I get any real choice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember something about Captain Morgan in Cleveland....

Tim Higgins said...

It appears that I may have inadvertently provided an opportunity here for people from my past to attack me and cast aspersions on my name by attempting to bring up "alleged" episodes from my past. While neither confirming, nor denying the occurrence of these events, I suggest that all such charges are hearsay unless direct evidence should be provided.

Maggie Thurber said...

No, Tim...you're not too old to participate in the shenanigans, but you may choose the 'wiser' side of participation.

That would be the instigation, idea-planting, urging, encouragement, etc... all with the ability to not suffer the consequences.

There's a lot to be said for this 'wiser' role - not that I know first-hand, mind you.

And then there is a furtherance of Hooda's idea. There is a time during which adults act like... adults. However, you are at that age where you can once again begin to participate in those 'childish' activities ... the cloak of age allowing for some immunity from disgrace.

Of course there is also the 'teacher' role which allows for the same enjoyment...the 'let me show you how it's really done' aspect which, too, grants immunity from the criticism of foolishness.

Again, not that I would know any of this first-hand, mind you. I'm certainly not that old...LOL!

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I think that I begin to understand. It's the old, "Deviousness and experience will defeat youth and enthusiam" thing. Interesting.

As for the concept of "passing on what I have learned", it's hard to be Yoda when you look more like Jabba the Hut.

I understand of course, that you must have learned about such behavior from books, and as for your age - I have socks that are older. :-)

Anonymous said...

Tim,
Has your "show" ever played in Peoria? I think I saw it there once.

Tim Higgins said...

I will admit to being in Peoria and add that I was there on more than one occasion. Having lost hair and gained weight however, I am sure that the pictures in the Post Office, if they have not already been taken down, no longer resemble me.

Harold Thomas said...

Some advice from an elder (I will be 58 next month). You really are as old as you feel.

If you're physically 52 and mentally 40, you'll feel like you're 40. (There are some limits to this -- if you're mentally 20 you will look foolish).

Just keep doing what you're doing...

Harold from The Ohio Republic

Tim Higgins said...

Harold,

My goal in life has always been to go from immaturity to senility without noticing the transition. My fear is that every time something like this draws my attention to the situation, that I risk failure in achieving that goal.

kck_kat said...

Tim,
Oh......the stories I could tell! I could go all the way back to high school, but given the fact that you could do the same to me, I will defer to my elder and keep my tales to myself!
Just remember, Peter Pan never grew up, so it gives us all something to strive for! In the meantime, always remember, no matter how old I am, you are always older!