Saturday, March 17, 2012

AGE APPROPRIATE

All right.  Granted that you are that sort of person with such joie de vivre, then you must be the sort who you can sincerely say, "Age is just a number".  You can expel this pronouncement without feeling like you are making such a terrible excuse for attempting to move like Jagger. But can you really say deep in your heart that youth is indeed just a state of mind?


After looking at the mirror and counting your laugh lines or even grabbing the measuring tape to account for your ever-ballooning girth, can you really say that attitude can conquer the onslaught of Mother Nature?  


Better yet, past the age of fifty --- can you even dare do fifty percent of the acrobatic steps shamelessly exhibited by the young in performing their numbers for Showtime?  I guess you can --- if your name is Madonna.


Or is it possible that according to the laws of human decency, there is a cut-off age in which:
(a) one can wear skin tight jeans and look really sexy rather ridiculous like a walking version of a Magnolia Drumstick 
(b) women can wear bikinis and men can don skimpy Speedos on the beach and still elicit oooohs and aaahs ... and not Oh my Gods! or even Yuuuuchs! and 
(c) adults can actually party without looking like drugged-out chaperons desperately trying to keep up with the beat and dancing to the tune of Nikki Minaj?


Then you remember your own wild days, then look at the kids now and say, "You should have seen the things we used to do when we were your age." But you don't say that. Not to your kids. Not when you have become a parent.  Not when you try to tell them to quit smoking ... because when you were their age you were rolling joints before your Theology classes.


Remember that in our younger and more vicious days, we would easily pick out middle age to senior citizens to laugh at the way they dress and the behavior they exhibited impersonating the youth.  We would throw scathing side remarks, condemning these pathetic creatures in their desperate attempt to cling onto years lost or actually delude themselves into thinking that they can still look good wearing the clothes that their grandchildren have in their closets.


Well, guess what?  Even before we can master the skill of mental multiplication sans the aid of a calculator, we find ourselves in exactly that same predicament but now as the objects of mockery.  When you see people your age salivate at the sight of women like Marian Rivera, Sam Pinto and Anne Curtis ... it is no longer the macho in them at work. You call them perverts.  


We do not know how fast the years sped by ... or at what speed the planet revolved around the sun, but what we know is that our birthday cakes are getting far too crowded by candles.  Worse, we could no longer extinguish all those lighted darlings in one puff.


In our younger days, we used to find such great excitement each time our natal day is just around the corner. But now that happiness has been replaced by dread. Plain and simple unadulterated dread.  Suddenly age has been diminished to the anticipation of discounts accrued by possessing a senior citizen card. (Just imagine all the free movies we can catch ... or how much discounts we can get from Mercury Drugstore each time there is a necessity to buy our 40mg of Nexium.)


Yes, aging can be a bitch. No, it is a bitch. 


By the time you hit your thirties, you realize that you can no longer do 25% of the things you so easily do in your twenties.  By the time you hit your forties, you realize you cannot do half the things you can still do in your thirties. So imagine how it is when you hit your fifties ... your sixties ... and your seventies?


Worse, they used to call you Kuya ... then it became Sir ... and soon, our of endearment, they call you Tatay and you will never be ready for the day they start calling you Lolo. If you are single and never raised kids of your own, you lose track of the benchmarks of age --- like your kid's first step, first day in school, first love ... first child.


Single people age in a kind of time warp --- not unless they are unusually attached to their nephews, nieces or pet chihuahuas o poodles. It is that or they have taken hobbies like bonsai or breeding koi fish.


Because of this disparity between reality and fashionable taste, they begin to believe that it is still OK to wear carrot-cut jeans even until the age of sixty. They still think it is cool to walk around Greenbelt wearing lemon yellow or acid green skinny jeans. They still greet each other with "Hey, Bro ..." or "Dude, how's it hanging?"  (And in the background, you hear the sound of barfing.)


Uhm, that can be dangerous.  Like fifty year old women wearing those fashionable high heel shoes that seemingly came from the planet Uranus.  Or middle age men sporting the hairstyle of Justin Bieber.  That boils down to a matter of taste or discretion. Or mental health.


But then again ... that is also a question of choice. Or courage.


( I precisely remember the time I attended a reunion of sorts with batch mates from college: I arrived in the venue to find that everybody looked and dressed like everybody else. I guess that goes hand in hand with being in your fifties, right? Lacoste shirts. Short sleeved checkered shirts. Fred Perrys.  Your conventional 501s.  Worse, cotton twill slacks from Levis or Topman.  And there I was wearing distressed and tattered jeans that looked like I went through a tunnel of barbed wire in order to get to dinner.


My schoolmates welcomed me, smiled --- and were either caught in ultimate amusement or expected me to look like that. I came dressed as their children ...and not as one of them.  Some would excuse it as that artistic quirk but for the greater majority it will be interpreted along the same line as abusing Botox.)


So is there really such a thing as "age appropriate". Or do we only appropriate certain behavior out of wanting to be pigeon-holed to a certain chronology of years? 


Does that mean that after you hit your forties you have no more right to appreciate Maroon 5 and stick to your Burt Bacharach albums reminiscing about the time when all good singers sang like Whitney Houston?  


Does that mean you will only hit the dance floor when they play "Take on Me" or any of the songs of the Go-go's ( giving that extra oomph to emphasize the chorus of "Head Over Heels"?).  You automatically shudder at the thought of moving your body to the collection of Hed Kandi and you think that Big Fish is a wet market.


Does being age appropriate mean --- that your world view stops with the mindset of your chosen generation because anything else after that belongs to somebody else?  Maybe not.  


There may be truth to age being merely a numeral: you may eventually grow hips wide enough to look like a turnip or look like a hamburger franchise mascot. Or your metabolism can slow down so that working out six days a week will not bring you back to your 31 inch waistline (not unless you have Dr Belo implement all the most recent developments in weight loss technology on your person) --- but that does not mean you let your brain hit a ceiling.


There are no limits to learning. And adapting. And changing.  That has got nothing to do with age.  But it has everything to do with understanding the world ... and appreciating life just a tad bit better. Sige, fine. Wear your skinny jeans.  Sport the skimpiest of tattered denim shorts matched by Lady Gaga pambuwis-buhay high-heeled plaform shoes. If that is how you want to enjoy life, do it. 


And if anybody dares to question your sanity --- just give them the finger.  Tell them, "When you get to be my age, can you still do the things I am doing now?"


So, if you don't mind, let me do my moves like Jagger.























5 comments:

  1. totally enjoyed this read...!

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  2. True many people old and young alike tends to look more on the outside appearance of a person rather than his or his achievements, i've met lot of people like that.

    Really age does not matter when you do something that would make you smile "live the way you want it be" because there is no turning back time!

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  3. i'm still in my early twenties, but still i could relate to this!! oh teen years!!!

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