The Serenity of Succumbing to Your Age

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Picture: Hamed Masoumi

A few years ago, every time I looked in the mirror I would position my head at various angles and mentally note where I was beginning to lose the war against baldness. Like Charles de Gaulle I pledged to fight on against this hereditary menace but my follicular manoeuvres were more symbolic of Montgomery’s evacuation of Dunkirk.

Although I talk as if I have recently become as bald as a plucked chicken, I believe my hair would be better described as becoming slightly diaphanous. I still have quite a decent thatch and being tall means that if I select my friends wisely and try not to sit down too often, I have many years of hatlessness left.

If I select my friends wisely and try not to sit down too often, I have many years of hatlessness left.

I had a good innings with my hair, I remember my little afro, my flat top, I remember when my dreadlocks were so long they would fall into plates of food and then I would accidentally choke on them whilst eating, oh great days!

Now when I look in the mirror the act is cursory, I know that I reached the nadir of my beauty many years ago and now use the mirror as an aide to help remove flotsam from around my mouth and beard so as to prevent any comparisons to Mr Twit.

Fact of the matter is that I’m in my mid 30’s, I have reached the halfway point of global life expectancy, in five years I will have reached the halfway point of Finland’s male life expectancy. Which begs the question: why, for so long, did I find it so hard to embrace the inevitable?

In five years I will have reached the halfway point of Finland’s male life expectancy.

Something strange happened to age and growing up, I think it started in the mid 90’s when aspirational characters from sport and media seemed to become younger and younger and advertising increasingly became directed towards a larger age group demographic.

For my father’s generation the heroes of film and music were people like John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, men who seem to have always been old. In the 90s when you turned on the TV the screen would be awash with 40-year-olds like Tom Cruise playing characters younger than I was at the time and doing so quite well.

For a long time now the chief propagandist for this partial facade of immortality has been the dishy ex-football star and inventor of the tattoo David Beckham, who manages to bridge the age gap between the likes of Harrison Ford and One Direction, resulting in middle-aged men revealing their ankles whilst wearing flat peaked baseball caps, manoeuvring the streets on roller-skate boards or B.M and X bicycles.

I have found a great comfort in relenting to my inner adult, nowadays I allow practicality to style how I dress, which sometimes results in me looking like a very confused member of The Countryside Alliance. I get excited when the weather is looking a bit grey so I can go full adult and carry my umbrella which is handy not only for keeping one dry but also for signalling to busses that I want to get on, gesturing and waving at unruly teenagers, and when I’ve got a newspaper under my arm I feel like I could be a grandfather, it’s great!

I seem to have drifted into the life of a happy adult, monogamy and/or family life demand the re-evaluation of what your future may yield. It is a life that can be stressful, that demands unwavering patience, empathy and altruism but there is a comfort and security in embracing it, as it will be my new foundation as I creep from the late summer to the early autumn of my life.

Now more than ever the allure of the pangamic tribe and the hedonism of their pre-coital weekend rituals seems about as appealing as returning to wearing nappies.

Now more than ever the allure of the pangamic tribe and the hedonism of their pre-coital weekend rituals seems about as appealing as returning to wearing nappies.

For my weekend I’m over the moon if my girlfriend and I can have a couple of uninterrupted glasses of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo whilst I immerse myself in the lesser known works of the sweet swan of Avon, soundtracked by the eclectic sublimity of Radio Yle Yksi.

I honestly couldn’t give a hoot if someone invented a hover-board or remade Mac and Me (the film E.T. could’ve been!), I’m happy with a shoehorn that doesn’t stretch my Brogues and a bird book that can fit in my pocket.

Oh the serenity of succumbing to your age!

 

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