Oh sure, people want to say "50 is the new 40!" Sounds swell, but tell it to my arthritic thumb, my spare tire, and my blood pressure meds. I don't care if you call it 50, or 90, or 7 in dog years, it sucks.
Oh sure, I know I'm still young by many standards. In other words, there are a lot of people older than me who will say, "Well, I'd give anything to be your age again! When I was your age, I was still...uh...what was that thing I used to do?" But that is not the point. In real terms, people my age are way past their physical prime - in fact, nearly useless for the primary function of reproduction - and are only good for mental exercises. Think about it - even if you are some kind of super athlete, your best performance approaching 50 is probably just a shadow of what you could do ten years ago. Ten short years, the interval between the 20 year reunion and the 30 year reunion. To paraphrase that great standard, "what a difference 3,650 days makes - 87,600 little hours. "
So as I ponder whether or not it's a good idea to attend my 30-year reunion, with the hopes that there are people more pathetic than me that will make me feel good about myself in some sick way, I feel I have fully "grown into" my appreciation for the poem that I have considered my favorite for just about all of these last 30 years, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which tells us:
I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.