Peter Pan not-so Complex


Readers, I pride myself on not being old.

Sure, my hair may be greying, but I still have a full head of it.  And I may not be in the very best shape of my life, but I am in better shape than I was five years ago.

I have kept up-to-date with music, movies, televisions shows, and social trends.  I can converse knowingly with persons who are younger than myself on a variety of subjects, and I don’t believe I appear as old as I actually happen to be.

But there is the matter of my children, who refuse to remain children, and that is becoming inconvenient.  And it is especially inconvenient when the rest of the world continues to get older right along with them.

I was training a new employee at my place of work yesterday.  This happened to be during an event called “employee appreciation week”, which is a thing held every year to celebrate the continued service of the company’s employees, largely by turning the entire building into a kindergarten class.

Large aside

I’m not kidding; there is a giant construction paper tree taped to the wall of the cafeteria right now with a star glued to it for every country represented by the staff in the building.  At 3 every day free snacks– juice boxes, ice cream, popcorn– are handed out.  All that’s missing are big mats for nap time.  That I would have appreciated.

back to the story

So I drink lots of water.  I drink lots of water to counter-act the detrimental effects of all the coffee I drink, and I drink a lot of coffee because I’m not as young as I used to be and need the coffee to keep up the hours I maintain.  (Ten years ago I could go to bed at midnight and get up at 6 no problem.  Now, I need stimulants.)  The water I drink comes out of a plastic sports container given to me by the aforementioned company for employee appreciation week in 2008.  And when my trainee saw it she commented that at least then they handed out gifts.  (This year has been gift-free if one doesn’t count the snacks.)

To elucidate the consistent cheesiness of EAW gifting, I produced a “sports watch” handed out in 2005, which I still have in the metal tin it came in.  The watch looks like something you’d find at the bottom of a cereal box, but the metal tin is awesome.

Joining in, a coworker from the neighboring cubicle held up a travel coffee mug he got for EAW in 1998.  It was a much better product than anything we’d gotten since, and naturally I don’t recall getting one myself.

The trainee looked up at the coffee mug and said, matter-of-factly, “I was ten.”

I am actually old enough to be her father.

And not in a “let’s say you’re an inner city kid on a football scholarship and you and your fifteen year old girlfriend got crazy one night” sort of way.  She is only two years older than my actual daughter.

This is why

This is why vampires are all over popular culture.  Sure, there’s a large contingent of giggling teenagers behind some of it, but other than the psychosexual aspect that has been latched onto by a certain demographic there is the undeniable appeal of associating, for a little while, with a being that does not get old.

Then again, neither do immortal men.  And that may explain some other things.

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  1. Tee on June 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Take heart, I had a similar convo in college, freshman year, when one of the kids asked me who Frankie was and why did he want everyone to ‘relax.’ You get the idea, they were much younger than me, but in many ways, being around kids younger whilst in college made me fell younger.

    You’re only as old as you allow yourself to feel.

    • genedoucette on June 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      Hah. The secretly dirtiest song I can think of off the top of my head.

      I’m going with the “only as old as…” thing, but it’s tough when the kids become adults to buy into that so completely.

      • Tee on June 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

        Ha. You know, I never really paid attention to the lyrics until VH1 started airing their ‘Best of the 80’s’ mini-docs. Oh, Frankie was a bad, bad boy!

        I haven’t gotten to that level yet, with my kids, however, we’ve reached the ‘oh my God, my mom is so embrassing’ phase. This growing older thing really is horrible.

        • genedoucette on June 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm

          I used to write about my kids ALL the time, to the extent that I have two books of humor columns about them out, and could assemble two more. But once they got to a certain age I realized I had to leave so much out– for privacy reasons– that it just became impossible to share as much as I used to.

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