I discover that I’m middle-aged. I’d been living in denial of this fact. But when a friend cast me as an extra in his film and I discovered that my part was ‘middle-aged man’ I decided it was time to embrace my new status.
I’m over youth. Apart from health and attractiveness it has so little to recommend it. For a start you don’t know anything. You greet every new experience with fear and drama. I, on the other hand have become jaded and cynical. So much better than having fragile expectations.
For example, youngsters, Are you peeved that Kevin Rudd turns out to be a tosser who promised much and delivered nothing?. Well, I’ve had twenty years of being deceived by the Labor party, so pass me another Jatz cracker and the avocado dip, comrade. Better to promise social change and fall drastically short, eh ALP? Wrong.
As much as I abhor the self-interest and kowtowing to power that characterises the Libs – at least they’re being true to their nature. I understand why their party is full of dimwitted climate change sceptics. What I didn’t appreciate quickly enough is how much tough talk those ALP f**kers do until they get into office, whereupon they flip their position entirely. Garnaut report – ignored. Coal Industry – given the reach around.
I was still a whippersnapper when the last shreds of my gullibilty were removed. Now I’m middle-aged I can settle into a life of self-interest as I fully appreciate that my anger at those in power cannot change anything one whit. I have expended much time following politics, thinking that being an informed voter would somehow lead me to make better choices. Now as my teeth give me gyp and my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am learning that whoever I vote for, I will always get a politician. My one vote is worth a lot less than Rupert Murdoch’s and he isn’t even a citizen anymore.
So, caring less and, as I have hinted, seeing less. For the last three years I have resisted getting glasses. However, recently my inability to read even regular print in average light has meant that I have to abandon yet another position – the vanity that I don’t need technical assistance to see. I was going to get proper glasses, but the situation grew so drastic that I ended up with supermarket specs. A number of my beglassed friends suggested that el cheapo non-prescription lenses were a good stop gap measure, but I balked at the ideas of sullying my vision with medical apparatus purchased from the same place that I got my Weetbix. Until the day that I was in a supermarket checking out the nutrition panels on food packaging and I realised that I couldn’t read what was in a box of Weetbix, even if stuck it under a 200 watt lamp. Time to move on.
So middle age, I’m your new best friend. There’s nothing about your lightly furrowed, greying, paunchiness that I don’t love. I don’t need to be surprised and I certainly don’t need to learn new slang or know what music is cool. Thank God! I will never have to move the dial on my radio off the awesome 80s. The Eagles. Fleetwood Mac. Martha and the Muffins. All my music has been written and played. I hear Madness and I feel calm. It’s all written off and played out.
So kids, if you need me – and you won’t – I’ll be in the backyard cultivating my garden and ignoring the front page of the newspaper. I’ll have my glasses with me, but I’ll only put them on to read Calvin and Hobbes.