I Am Not Old


You Know You’re Old When…

The Hallmark Channel, HGTV, and PBS are the only entertainment options you can stomach.

You are the only person in your office who has heard of Crane stationery or Pyrex dishes.

Icons who defined your youth are dying.

Things haven’t been the same for me since David Bowie died. But at least he lived a good, long life, as they say. Today, we learned that Luke Perry, of 90210/Riverdale fame, died after suffering a stroke at the TENDER AGE OF 52. Which is just a few years older than the candles on my last birthday cake.

TBH (as the kids say), I’m not handling this well.

How could Dylan McKay - yes, I still think of Luke as his handsome, bad-boy character on my favorite tv show from the 90s – have had a STROKE? And DIED?

Strokes are for long-standing matriarchs and dreadfully ancient great-uncles.

Death is for old people.

I am not old.

I am still running around in my cute Rachel haircut, wearing high-heeled wedge mules and consuming large quantities of cheap beer on the weekends. Right?

Wrong.

I am traipsing around to sports games and school plays, wearing Clarks ballet flats because my left foot spasmed into a Charlie Horse after attempting to wear heels last weekend. My Grayishly-blonde hair is perennially pulled into a pony tail, and if I’m imbibing, it’s certainly not cheap beer, which gives me migraines.

I am somewhat consistently cranky that things are not like they used to be. I am not trying to go all MAGA on you, it’s just that I’m having a hard time with my Circle, my sphere of cultural influence, changing and losing key members who influenced me over the years.

Yes, it sounds ridiculous to state that Dylan McKay made me who I am today, but what if in some small, strange way, he did?

From a college student to a young professional, what issues did his character explore that possibly made my freshly-minted and ever-evolving-self think about something in a new way? Family problems? Alcohol abuse? Relationships? 

Each time one of these treasured people from my youth leaves the earth, I hear a fractured piece of my childhood’s windshield tinkling to the hard, cement highway of reality.

I am getting older.

My peers are not always going to be around.

I am not always going to be around.

In the utmost of clichéd sentiments, I suppose all that’s left to do is live each day to the fullest, yes?

Stop, stop, stop worrying about stupid stuff. Stop letting non-essential people distract you from what and WHO is most important to you. Stop waiting to be happy.

Decide how you want your epitaph to read, and get that shit done.

I’m gonna start working on mine tonight, right after I watch this movie on the Hallmark Channel starring Luke Perry.

1991 Emmy Awards
Photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0


Comments

  1. Oh Jen, I have been struggling with this for years now. I had a good college friend pass away in 2010. He was 44. Crushed me, I loved that guy so much. Since then, every time someone impressionable passes, I really struggle. Not so much with Luke Perry, but certainly others.

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    1. Oh, I'm so very sorry about your friend. It is inconceivable that our friends could leave us so young. Just one more reason to focus on what really matters and not be caught up with things that don't. This is mainly a reminder to myself!! xxoo

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