Ah Youth!

Can we take a week to talk about a pet peeve of mine? I do spend some time being active. Running, gym time, biking, etc. And I try to keep my diet within reason, with some occasional lapses .

OK, some LARGE occasional lapses. 

But yeah, I do appreciate being able to be active into my late 50’s and try to make choices to extend that ability as long as possible. 

But, do you know what I am NOT trying to be?

Young.

However, that is the first thing that many people associate my actions with. 

“Bob, you just don’t age”

“How do you keep so young looking?”

“You shouldn’t tell people your real age. You could pass for 45.”

BTW, I know the last one is bullshit. You know how I know this?

Drunk women. Really, really drunk women will tell their friends the truth, usually loud enough that you can hear it. 

“Why are you dancing with that old guy/“

or, when I was performing in a boy band in an Indian casino in Oregon;

“Why is the only guy in really good shape the old guy?”

And yes, I’m just going to let that “boy band” thing go unexplained. You don’t get to know everything.

but I digress….

I am 58. I’m going to be 59 in about 4 weeks.  I have dug 58. I plan on digging 59 even more. 

I’m not trying to reach back for youth because, for one thing, it’s IMPOSSIBLE! You can’t “Benjamin Button”. It is simply not possible. You can do all of the exercise, take all the supplements, do all the cleanses, eat kale til you turn green. YOU. CAN”T. GET. YOUNGER.

OK. We got that out of the way?

And I resent the fact that all things active, energetic, healthy and otherwise positive and life-affirming carry the adjective “youthful” with them.  I don’t dislike young people. I have friends who are young. 

God, that sounded a lot like “I have friends who are black”, didn’t it?

But I do. But all of the young people I see are not active, vibrant, positive, etc. Some are. Some are most def not. So, why the obsession with the “U-35” set?  

But I’m not going to fix this use of the term “youthful” as a positive thing in and of itself. Why? Because, from a marketing perspective, it works. Stick the term youthful on a cosmetic, on a “superfood” or on an energy drink, and people will buy it. So I’m gonna have to just suck that up. I know. 

But people. The things you will do to try to simulate youth. It boggles the mind. And that is what you are doing. You are loosely simulating youth. You really aren’t fooling anyone. But you will pay big money to;

– Put young hair on an old head. Guys. At least do your eyebrows if you’re gonna do this.

– Have silicone or saline injected into your body to simulate body parts which have aged. 

– Chemically burn your skin.

– Inject drugs into your body to paralyze nerves. 

– Have doctors cut and paste your body to “tighten up” your face. or waist or butt. or, well, other things….

I’ve been around celebrities who have had a lot of this done. Presumably they have money to get it done well and yet, up close their face looks like a mediocre halloween mask. It’s garish. It’s scary. And you can’t tell me it’s better than how they started. Or, briefly put…

….Michael Jackson.

Now, in the case of massive weight loss, cancer, injury, etc. Hell yes. I get it. Do what you need to in order to make yourself happy. But that’s different thing. That’s not necessarily an attempt to look younger. That’s dealing with a curveball that life threw at you. That’s not having fat cells vacuumed out of your body because you’re not up to pushing yourself away from the “all you can eat” buffet. 

Now, do I really think that I should be the arbiter of what you can and can’t spend your money on. Is it my place to tell the “human Ken Doll” that he can’t drop the million or two that he’s spent on the surgeries? 

Nope.

What gripes my cookies is when people automatically associate the term young with all things good and old with decrepit, dated and done.  They see a number and make assumptions. That’s bullshit. 

My second gripe is that people should feel a need to be, act or appear “young”. Revel in yourself. Your age, your race, your creed, your color. Judge people not on the color of their skin, religious beliefs, sexual preference or number of years they have been on this earth but on the content of their character. (Hey, if you’re going to appropriate a quote, steal from the best.)

Wouldn’t it be a  great world if people didn’t have to put the wrong age on their match.com profile and then say “they won’t let me change it”.  

A man’s allowed to dream, isn’t he?

Ok, the point of today’s parable is just that.

Love yourself. It took me a long time to get there ( and I still have moments.)

But accepting yourself, warts, wrinkles and all is a great beginning.

Talk later,

Bob

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