Last month, I turned forty-one.
And did so, as with most years, without so much as a whit of fanfare.
It’s not that I avoid celebrating my birthday out of a refusal to acknowledge getting older. Aging has never had much of a stigma with me, so celebrating birthdays isn’t that much of a priority.
Let’s face it: unless you’re a Time Lord or a certain hairy mutant with retractable claws and some anger management issues, we all eventually start to show signs of aging, and they’re not always pleasant.
Part of my nonchalance with it, I think, is because there’s few things I’ve had to give up and put aside as a consequence of some artificially-imposed age-based threshold.
When I was a kid, I read comic books, loved superheroes and cool toys, and played video games.
All of which I still heartily engage in. In fact, the only thing to offset the acceptance of ‘adult’ responsibilities, as far as I can see, is the fact that mandatory bedtime has been abolished. If I want to read comics at 1 A.M., there’s no more need for a flashlight under the covers. (Sorry, Duracell.)
The only thing I can really say I’ve ever abandoned because it was too ‘immature’ is playing with action figures, specifically Hasbro’s 1980s G.I. Joes, which were the du jour amongst myself and my early adolescent clique.
Then again, not long after I stopped acting out melodramatic fanfic with molded plastic terrorists and defenders of freedom, I discovered Dungeons & Dragons and other methods of interactive storytelling, which led me directly into a desire to be a writer and … acting out melodramas with intangible action figures via words on paper or on a screen.
One thing occurred to me last month, however: am I now middle aged? Exactly when does middle age start?
Quick, Robin — to the INTERNET!