Growing. “Old”

I turned 36 today and some people thing that represents growing “old”. I’m not sure I buy it. My Grandpa used to say, “Books get old, newspapers get old, magazines get old. People age. He was always annoyed that people asked, “How old are you?” To him, it was a pejorative term. Of the languages with which I am familiar, English is the only one that phrases the question quite this way. Spanish and Italian certainly ask, “What is your age?” (Or, literally, “How many years do you have?”)

I agree with my Grandpa that “old” can be a pejorative term. We age. And in doing so (one hopes), we grow wiser. It would be nice if instead of patting your buddy on the back and saying, “How’s it feel to be a year older?” people who ask, “How’s it feel to be a year wiser?” It might not always be true, but it sounds nicer.

There is, however, one benefit to being “old” that my Grandpa never seemed to point out. The “older” you get the longer you’ve know your good friends. I am particularly lucky to have so many good friends who I have known for a long time now. Think I heard from just about all of them this morning. So thank you!

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.