In large part, I can swallow the sad fact that I am getting older.
I've fully entered my mid-40s. Panting, heaving, falling into my fifth decade, I've reached this ignominious milestone. And I've noticed a curious and disturbing verbal tick these past few months. Not mine. It's the public at large's verbal tick.
Everyone is calling me "Sir."
Nearly every acquaintance who I know through my world's intersecting Venn diagram of social circles, and absolutely every total stranger who works in a retail environment, if they are five or ten years younger than I am, they call me "Sir."
"How can I help you, Sir?" "Thank you so much, Sir." "Sir, did you say whole milk with your half-caff Ensure smoothie ... Sir?"
Yet I am young. I am virile. In my mind. There's nothing sir-like about me. I have never carried myself with an air of sir-dom. (Sure, I've been know to dress in chain mail. But that happens hardly ever in public. Besides, wearing armor should elicit a "Your sword, m'lord" or "My liege." Not "Sir.")
All this comes right on the heels of me barely getting comfortable with the latest fashions. By "latest," I mean, wearing baggy jeans. By "just" I mean about a year ago. You know, those saggy slacks that hip-hoppers and skateboard punks and other ne'er-do-wells wear, whose pant legs drag six inches on the ground so that they're stomping on their own cuffs and getting them all dirty. I heard these were all the rage about a decade ago, so I figured, it was about time I went down to Montgomery Wards and grab myself a pair.
Only to discover the "newfangled" trend of super-loose, wide leg pantaloon had been replaced by skinny jeans. Sadly, the forward thrusting power of my fashion-sense rocket boosters seem to have run out of fuel around 2003. My wardrobe now mostly consists of casual shirts I got a Target, baggy corduroys and one pair of too-tight black stretch jeans that John Travolta might have worn in Urban Cowboy.
I try to be a shape-shifter. I try be a chameleon. But, at 47, at what point do I throw in the towel? For me, my towel-toss began with music. I haven't purchased a new CD in about half a dozen years. Wait, you say they're not making CDs anymore? I meant, "download" a new CD.
I don't watch TV anymore, either. I heard of a great show called "The Deadliest Breaking Walking Mad Thrones" but when I heard it would take 89 hours of non-stop binge watching to get up to speed in time for the finale, I decided to take a nap instead.
So here's my solution. I have resigned myself to not being hip. I will always about 1 to 8 years behind the times. I've decided I don't care. I'm old. I'll wear my wool fedora hat, and no facial hair, and a jacket that Molly Ringwald might have sported in Pretty In Pink. Heck, I'd wear Toughskins, if Sears still made them.