My older brother, that keen observer of the time-space continuum, observed on the occasion of my father's forty-fifth birthday that he was "halfway to ninety." This came from a man who regularly wishes for his own birthday gift to be "another trip around the sun." Obla di, obla da, life goes on bra.
Now I find myself running smack into this milestone myself, giving me pause to reflect on all those relative ages around me. I work with a number of teachers who have yet to celebrate their thirtieth birthday. I am older than my son by a factor of four and one half. Most of my pop culture icons have moved on to the next column on their demographic chart, paving the way for me to start worshipping AARP Members.
And then again, I remind myself that you're only as young or old as you feel - in which case I was in my seventies when I got out of bed this morning, but I feel more like thirty-seven now. If it is better to look good than to feel good, I wonder if it is better to look old than to feel old.
My wife once gave me a wonderful surprise party: A Thirty-Three and a Third Birthday Party. The theme is now somewhat antiquated, as the number of humans on the planet who know what 33 1/3 RPM refers to is growing smaller every day. Today I am celebrating the next level of recording - the single. I won't dally too long on the metaphor here, but I think it's interesting that an Long Playing album runs at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, but a 45 has only two songs on it and is over much faster. Time to start cranking up the Victrola for those 78s.