Young @ Heart

Earlier this month I celebrated my 53rd birthday. That’s right, celebrated! Even though I have reached the age where everyone under the age of 40 considers you over-the-hill, I’m appreciating all that I have. Besides 53 is the new 35, or so I thought. All it took was one day at our MidWeek office for me to realize that perhaps I should start filling out my application for AARP.

You see, our staff is comprised of a majority of young men and women. Obviously they are highly talented, having become so accomplished at such a young age. But working side-by-side with them five days a week makes me forget that there’s a huge age difference between them and me. I was with our youthful managing editor and going over some old photos of Don Ho for an upcoming feature. It was shot sometime in the ’70s, and sitting next to Don Ho was national entertainer at the time. She asked who it was. I said Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers. She looked at me and asked, “Who’s that?”

In fact, the rest of the staff overheard us and most of them had no idea who Tommy Smothers was. Our senior editor, to whom I am closer in age, jokingly said, “I’m going to smack her!” I then headed downstairs, and in a conversation with one of our young graphic artists, was informed that her grandmother enjoys my column. I asked, “So she likes to read ‘What’s Next?'” To which she replied, “What’s that?” and five seconds later she realized that was the name of my column. Later, talking with another young staffer about musical groups, I brought up the upcoming concert with Earth, Wind and Fire. He looked at me and sincerely said, “What is that, a new disaster movie?”

When I went home that evening, I was really feeling my age old. I had to stop by the grocery store. When I got up to the cashier, I facetiously mumbled, “Hey, I’m 53, don’t I get some kind of senior citizen discount?”

He looked at me and said, “You’re 53? You look way younger and besides, you’re too young for our senior discount.” Too bad I’m still paying for my car, otherwise I would have handed him the keys to my Porsche right there!