Age is just a number to people who are counting. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to count. Why do that when you can do things with your time instead of fret about it rolling by? You can’t beat time anyway.
I prefer to transform the concept of age into the concept of living. As in, what have you lived through? You can identify it through events – who was president when you were born, and how many of them have you lived through to this point? I’ve lived through the terms of six of our presidents. One of them served half a term, the other served close to two, and as of today two are dead.
One exercise I enjoy is thinking through technology. The phonograph was introduced in 1877. The vinyl record appeared in the 1930s, and was the dominant audio format until the rise of the compact cassette tapes in the 1960s. My earliest memories were of having a cheap plastic turntable in the late 1970s, then quickly abandoning it for cassettes in the early 1980s, particularly the day the Walkman became the dominant way to enjoy your music. If you had a Walkman, you’re a certain age. If you started with an iPod, you’re of a certain age. See, it’s not about the numbers.
Since we’re on music, that’s another good way to tell age. It’s not necessarily accurate, as a teenage in 2014 might actually enjoy himself some Billie Holiday, though I can’t imagine someone who was an adult during the first moon landing twerking to Miley. How about movies? If you saw The Third Man or North by Northwest when they first released in theatres, you must be of a certain age.
So no, I don’t count. I’d rather not even celebrate birthdays since it’s far more interesting to celebrate that you’re still alive.
This Daily Post was spurred along, lurching, by a complete lack of sleep (thanks, work), a few gallons of coffee, and Rom-Com Week at Grantland. I will forever hold that Meg Ryan kicks Julia Roberts’s ass at rom-coms. I don’t care if Julia made buckets of money. Thanks, Bill Simmons.