Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Old Guys

Most of the time I do not act my age. I laugh at my own farts, belch proudly at the dinner table, make up dirty lyrics to songs*, and always spend a few minutes in the action figure aisle when shopping. My job requires me to spend most of my time with nine year olds, and I write books for kids. I'm like a lewd Peter Pan.

However, there are times when I am rudely reminded that I am in fact thirty-three. (I know. You can't believe it either, right?) Some of these times:
  • Whenever I exercise. This includes jogging across the road because I misjudged the speed of an oncoming car, or climbing a flight of stairs because the elevator was taking too long or I was going to be stuck inside of it with a stranger and I didn't feel like going through the thirty seconds of uncomfortable silence associated with that.
  • While driving I find myself thinking, "Today's music sucks. I guess I'll turn it back to talk radio."
  • When it's Friday night and I fall asleep on the couch around nine o'clock.
  • When it's Saturday night, Little One is at Grandma's, and the only thing The Wife and I want to do is watch TV or read.
  • When everything on TV stinks, but instead of turning it off, I watch The Weather Channel, and then complain that the idiot forecasters are never right anyway.
But the real reality check is what I did this past weekend. Some college friends were in town and we thought it would be fun to relive the "glory days" of our youth.** So we went to a college bar at our alma mater.

When we were in college there was this guy who would show up at one particular bar and we would make fun of him.*** He wore a suit, carried a briefcase, and looked like Paul Simon. I'm sure he was trying to cultivate a successful businessman image, but he ended up looking like a lonely dude who thought his chances with the ladies would be improved by wearing that ratty-looking suit and carrying the weathered briefcase. We'd watch and laugh as he struck out with girl after girl.

Now we were the old guys at the bar. A few times we caught some girls looking our way and of course the waitress was really friendly. As guys do, we all told ourselves that we still had it, even though none of us had "it" when we were actually in college. More likely, we were being stared at because we were old, out of place, and a little on the creepy, Paul Simon side of things. The waitress was nice because, unlike most of the customers, we had real jobs and could afford to generously tip.

Here are five things that revealed our oldness:

1. Our receding hairlines. (Not mine, though. I'm still doing okay up there.)
2. Our needing to use the restroom at a far too frequent rate.
3. Yawning.
4. Our lack of familiarity with the most popular dance songs played. It seemed to us that there was a strong correlation between suckiness of song and popularity of song, the correlation being that if a song was really bad, like this one, then college-aged kids (God, I just called them kids.) responded enthusiastically.****

Of course, the theory was hard to test. We thought all the music sucked.


* I have amended Shania Twain's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" to "Whose Head Have Your Boobs Been Under?" Genius, I know.

**The "glory days" usually consisted of going out late, drinking too much, spending a lot of time talking to each other while all the girls ignored us, egging each other on to go dance with a girl who had had a few too many, being too nervous to dance with said girl, talking some more, drinking some more, dancing by ourselves, leaving, stopping at Panchero's for a burrito, going home, talking about how hot the girls were, and falling asleep on a couch. Glory days, yeah they'll pass you by.

***Not to his face. We all preferred making fun of people behind their backs. Safer that way.

****The enthusiastic response usually manifested itself in a couple of ways. Girls would go "Whooo!" They would raise their hands in the air while doing this. They would then start dancing, usually with other girls, often in a circle. There was much smiling. Guys would grin and nod a lot, approach the circles of girls from behind, look over at their friends and grin and nod some more, get ignored by the girls, and eventually go back to their table.


Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Oddly, I can relate to this far more closely than is comfortable.

Jason said...

Although I am a much younger 32 I would like to add to the list of what makes me feel old.
1. I now plan my meals around what it will make me feel like for the next few days. White Castle for instance is only allowed if I will be spending the next week alone in the woods.
2. I now have to decide after the second beer if I am willing to deal with the ensuing hangover.
3. Probably the biggest eye opener in the last few years is that while at the mall when my wife smacks my arm and rolls her eyes at me for checking out the attractive girl passing us, I am actually checking out her stroller and wishing mine had four wheel independent suspension.

Betty said...

A few of my college friends and I are planning a 5 year reunion trip back to Truman State at the end of this month. Although I am really excited, I know there will be the moment where I say "Holy Crap, I'm old!"

I'm just glad I'll have all my other friends there for moral support. ;-)

Big Plain V said...

Mr. Murphy, I don't think you partied correctly. Surely there was some puking going on during your glory days.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I admit to leaving out a few things.

MG Higgins said...

You may be right, your present life makes for some fairly uninteresting Twitter material. You're funny, though. You could tell jokes. I'd follow that.

Lily Cate said...

Good thing I read this in time to enjoy the rest of my 20s...
all two weeks of them...

Kelly said...

My husband also tends to change songs, phrases, even fast food restaurants into pervy things like Pizza Slut and Hardee's is...oh, nevermind.
Did anyone see the "How I Met Your Mother" episode about the "Wooo Whooo girls? They acted exactly like the ones you mentioned. I may or may not have done that in my time.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Oooh! Oooh! I know what he calls Hardees.


Taco Bell can be either Taco Smell or, my favorite, Crotcho Smell

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Crotcho doesn't really rhyme with Taco. Anyway, we call it Taco Hell.

The being old stuff...it only gets worse. In ten years, you'll start channeling your parents and everytime you open your mouth, their voice will come out.

Anita said...

So tonight's not going to be a good, good night?

Are you trying to depress us?!

I'm not sure if you monitor your blog, but I come here a few times a day because of the agents/VIPs you have on the side of your page. It's just easier clicking from your blog than finding them on my own. AND your posts are funny.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Thank you for using my blog as a hub, Anita.

I should probably get to updating those links.

Monica said...

my husband does the same thing with songs, and with restaurant names, and with farting. Whats up with that? Men. They really are just overgrown boys. I think that accepting that men have those limitations could really take us women a long way. Just lower your expectations... no, lower..keep going... keeeeeeeeeeeeeep going....lower.... keep going.. just a wee bit more.. ok..now you're there. that's where your expectations should be, right around the grade 5 level of maturity. (just kidding, you guys wink wink nod nod)

Every time i think i'm cool and hip, something happens and i start sounding like my mother.