As it happens, I turn 50 tomorrow. Cue applause.
It’s a number I’m not exactly sure what to do with.
Before I turned 30, I figured I needed to increase my level of libidinous hedonism, and make the most of the withering flower of my youth. I kinda did that, I guess, although, in retrospect, I probably could have managed a little more.
Before I turned 40, meanwhile, I’d already gotten married and had two children and figured I should either get a jumpstart on my midlife crisis or start behaving more like a sentient, capable adult. Not sure where I landed on that one, honestly.
50, meanwhile, …. well, that’s just a whole `nother thing.
By many accounts, I’ve already capably reached the curmudgeon stage (Hell, I was well on the way to that destination in my 30’s). And as I’ve laboriously pointed out on myriad other posts, the particular bits of art, literature and pop culture that fire my imagination and color my life are now largely considered dated, out-of-step or anachronistic, so you best just get the fuck OFF of my lawn. In that sense, I’m more than happy being the old guy. As the cliche goes, I may be old, but I got to see the cool bands.
But regardless of my own attitudes and predilections, it seems there is a whole litany of arguably hard’n’fast RULES of behavior for 50-year-old men. As such, I figured I should probably acquaint myself with some of them.
Evidently, here are some of the things that, after tomorrow, I should no longer be concerned with.
According to such august sources as Executive Style and something called The Good Men Project, apparently, it’s no longer seemly for a gent of my age to be sporting “cool t-shirts.” Houston, we’re going to have a problem with that.
I’ve been feverishly collecting stupid band t-shirts since about 1979. My first was a black one featuring the signature Gerald Scarfe artwork from the gatefold of Pink Floyd The Wall, which I prized at an establishment of dubious repute on otherwise posh-o Lexington Avenue called The Happy Head Shop. Since then, I’ve amassed a legitimately unwieldy array of this particular variant of garment (most — but not all — of which can be viewed here, should anyone honestly give a damn). Even since setting up that stupid Tumblr, I’ve amassed a few more, — notably, most recently, a lovely purple one with John Holmstrom’s signature cover art from Road to Ruin by the mo’fuckin’ Ramones. If you think I’m not gonna rock that one, you’re sorely fuckin’ mistaken.
In perusing these two articles and a third one from — God help me — the AARP site, other things I shouldn’t do are ride a skooter (no great chance of that happening), go crazy with cologne (also not a big risk), parkour (ditto), take ecstasy (been there, done that), dismiss the idea of a man-purse (not on the menu), do Jell-o shots (was never a fan), wear shorts in the city (this one I really don’t get … what difference does it make where I wear them?), do karaoke (I did last summer), try to break a plank with my head (this strikes me as ill-advised at any age), vote for the Green party (fuck you, I’ll vote for whomever I damn well please), “crowd-surf” (I did it when it meant something, not like you pathetic twerps today), collect owls made of shells, try to get a six-pack, wear a baseball cap (says who?) and wear skinny jeans (okay, they may be right about this one).
I’ll take these all under advisement.
….but you can have my band t-shirt when you pull it off my corpse.