Today, I am 37 years old.
Yesterday, I was 36, and that didn’t seem so bad. 36 is worldly and street smart, but still kicky and fun. 37 is sudden back spasms and irrational fear of teenagers and the cut-off point for even attempting to understand today’s music.
Although I have always been afraid of teenagers. Even when I was a teenager.
Point is, when I was a teenager, I felt with absolute certainty that 37 was the age at which a person became middle-aged, and entered the realm of the full-fledged adult. In fact, when I was 13 I wrote a terrible novel in which the main character, who was also a 13-year-old girl because, you know, write what you know, went to live for a short time with a virtual stranger, a washed up actor who happened to be 37 years old. Because 37-year-olds HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER.
Now, with the wisdom that comes with being 37, and with two small children of my own, I know that I would never, ever allow a 37-year-old man watch my child for any length of time, regardless of how many Oscars he had won, because you know what, you guys?
There is no such thing as a full-fledged adult. The adults have all been faking it this whole time. None of us should even be allowed out in public.
But this opens a whole new can of worms– if everyone is faking, does that mean, like, everyone everyone? Or just most of us? Is the President faking? Is the Pope? Because the Pope seems kind of badass, and I would hate to think of him getting ready for bed at night, setting his giant Pope hat on his bedside table, sitting gingerly on the edge of the mattress and thinking I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.
But if not everyone is faking, how can I tell the real adults from my own tribe, those of us who were just too polite to call attention to the fact that were were not really to be trusted with houses and children and actual jobs with ergonomic wrist rests? Is there a test? If I make a fart noise really loud in a public place, can I trust that only those who laughed are like me?
Would the Pope laugh at a fart noise?
I guess these are the kinds of deep questions you’re forced to ponder upon entering middle-age.