Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Well Back in My Day...."

When I turned 27, yes, 27, it suddenly occurred to me that I was getting old. With a realization like this comes a certain degree of sadness to be sure. One starts to feel that life is flying by, the good years are past and that you may as well surrender to being an old man. I have already adopted a lot of the habits of old men: scratching my ass with wild abandon and telling those, "oh no, he's not really going to tell that cheesy joke and laugh at it himself, is he?"-style anecdotes. Why not go whole hog?

For further exploration, let's examine this new frame of aged thought through the prism of my recent trip to:

This area has become the epicenter of all things young and hip. Which I have decided I am neither. Now, I've been to the LA area a few times and I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. When I found out that I had to go for work I wasn't too excited. However, I was going for business meetings- because that's what grown up men do. So I comply.

When flying your first thought upon boarding is, "please dear God, just don't sit me next to a fat person." It is unfortunate that you think that and as much as you are disappointed in your own bias, your need for self-preservation wins out as you walk with anticipation of what awaits you. This old man arrives at 22E to find that he is in the center of the row sandwiched between a 40-something male unfortunately decked out in skin-tight Under Armour apparel and a drowsy Asian octogenarian. Great.

Several minutes into the flight:
To my right Mr. Sunday Night Football stretches out, taking the arm rests- his creepily long arm hair brustling against mine as he takes deep wheezy breaths. And to my left? My fellow elderly friend has opted to use my shoulder as a pillow. Well this kermudgeon is none too pleased. Luckily, following doctors orders, I had started my day with a large helping of yogurt. Did I mention, I'm lactose intolerent? I probably should have. Never was I so happy to be afflicted with such a condition. I giggle with glee as I repeatedly lean to my right and left releasing my own brand of bitingly stinky gifts to my row mates. Some things do get better with age.

I finally get my rental car, wouldn't you know it bumper to bumper traffic. "Damn yuppies with their SUV's! Back in my day..... aw, nevermind." 2 HOURS later, I arrive at the hotel.

I swing the door open to my room, my large bed looks so comfy. I contemplate renting a porn through my in-room entertainment system, but decide I'm too sleepy. I would never reach the desired effect anyway. I turn on the tube, and flop on my bed. Why am I so tired? Early departure time? Crappy food? Jet lag? -"Just the way it is when you're old," I reason. I mix myself a generous helping of Metamucil and call it a night.

My meetings go on without incident. I stay fully caffinated and ultimately congratulate myself on professional decorum and the presence of both vigor and vim. When in OC, do as the OC-ians do. I change my clothes and head to the LA Fitness around the corner.

These gyms either by accident or by design have a unique coliseum-style feel to them. The cardio equipment reigns on the 2nd floor encircling the space. It takes all my self control to not stand in the center and scream "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?" But I resist and show myself to the water weights. If I'm going to be the old man in the joint, I decide I'm going to be the one who just doesn't give a fuck anymore.

I look everyone in the eye as I step to the racks to fetch my bitchin' 15 pounders for some curls. Then I stand in front of someone trying to watch themselves in the mirror and grunt - loudly. "Deeeaahhhh! ONE." I shout at full voice, as the other gym rats stare on in wonder. At least I think its wonder. Scared I might pull my Achilles (that was a pun from earlier, see...nevermind.), I decide to wrap it up and get some dinner. They ain't ready for THIS jelly.

Next to my hotel, is this incredibly cool open air shopping plaza called The Block. I have always hated malls, even before becoming old. However, I really had to hand it to the designers of this space. It is incredibly open and inviting. Well designed without being pretentious. I look at the directory to find some soft food and opt for a chain wrap place.

I sit outside and enjoy my 'Californian' wrap, as I watch people stroll by. My stubborn old ways come out once more. THESE KIDS. For starters I have never seen so many kids in my entire life! The concentration and the diversity of age was really remarkable, and awful. The young ones were burgeoning Ad Council spots for childhood obesity. I openly wince as I hear one scream, "I wanna Jamba Juice NOW!" The older ones were equally shocking. Girls with so much make-up on they would make Tammy Faye 'blush' (see what I did there? fuck. nobody gets me.) and the skankiest outfits I have ever seen. That's sayin' something too. I went to school with some real sluts.

I've met my limits and I head back to my hotel to put my teeth in a glass and get some sleep for my morning departure.

As I board the plane, I exhaustedly think back on my weekend and enjoy a delightful article on John McCain. "Now there's a good American," I confess out loud. (..and I really do think that. I'm not being ironic this time.) Boarding time arrives and I drag the tired 'ol bones back onto another plane. As I sit down, I shift in my seat to get comfortable. Most likely, the early onset of hemroids. Finally, I get my in-flight beverage, "Just an orange juice, please." The stewardess walks away.

She reappears a few minutes later with a cup of ice and a full can of concentrated OJ. "Here you go, kiddo." Kiddo!? Does she know who I am? Her circa 1992 bangs would suggest that she does not. Does she know that I am 27? I work to wrap my brain around this encounter, as I look down at my yellow, whimsical JuJu Fruit t-shirt complete with holes and paint stains. I begin to laugh. I'm suddenly a 'kiddo'.

I can't stop laughing. The woman next to me (who is outlining the qualities that make her a good mate-weird) gives me a look. After getting to the airport, I get into a cab and roll down all the windows to feel the air in my face. It just so happens that I get the best driver ever! I have the largest shit-eating-grin on my face as he takes 70mph speeds down the FDR, almost hits/trades expletives with a "real" old pretentious East-sider, and gets me to my apartment is what couldn't have been more than 15 minutes. It was totally kick ass! ...and I like, totally got these great shoes!


....except mine have red stripes.

DISCLAIMER: I'm sorry that this friendster blog sends out alerts. If I figure out how to stop it from doing that I will. In the meantime, I am sorry.

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