Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kim Realizes Something about Middle Age

And it ain't pretty!

I realized two closely related things while on the way home from work. I had observed both inchoately for some time, but was finally able to articulate them. (I think I'd actually stated #1 in a different way before, but I'd never paired it w/ #2.)

1) When I was young, I'd put up with all kinds of crap from people, almost exclusively for two reasons: to woo them, or to cajole some other favors or benefits from them (most often related to education or jobs). Since woo-ing is pretty much gone by the way, and I'm probably about as advanced in my career as I'm going to get, this incentive seems more or less completely gone from my life.

2) When I was young, my tendency to say "Fuck you" to someone ran very high, but was strongly inhibited by #1. When it wasn't, my indiscretion was written off to youthful high spirits and/or stupidity or hormones. Now, the expectation is much higher that I'll behave myself decorously, and would never think to say or do anything confrontational to anyone. So, w/o #1 to impede me, I've got to make much more of an effort when someone crosses me.

I also realized that the four times I've lost it in public and said "Fuck you" (or its equivalent) to someone in my middle age - well, one time was a stranger, so that didn't do anything one way or another (though it still amuses me to think of it); one time the person actually did interact with me and we came to some better resolution of what was bothering us; and the other two times - I haven't really spoken to those two people since, and, well - fuck them!

So, no swearing is eminent this afternoon, but I just realized why some situations seem more ... tense to me now than they did when I was a kid, even though I was much more of a hothead back then.

And, to be clear: I'm introspective enough to understand that the whole situation is the same,for all those middle aged people who have to deal with me - the likelihood that they'll put up with my crap is much less than it was 25 years ago! Increasingly I think salmon have the right idea: spawn and die before you make a nuisance of yourself!


Blogger Sir Otter said...

I was thinking I ought to point out that when you typed this, "So, no swearing is eminent this afternoon", you might've meant 'imminent' instead, but then I thought about it and it is possible you did mean it as you typed it, in which case I ought to just let it go. So I am letting it go. Beside, you might tell me to fuck myself if I corrected you gratuitously, and none of us want that. ;)

It is strange at my stage in life, in which I receive almost daily mail attempting to recruit me into the AARP, that my attitude has settled into a fine balance between caring even less than in my youth what people think of me, and acting more maturely than I wish I could get away with. I suffer fools less gladly, but have more restraint in descibing to them the myriad ways they are fools. Not that they'd understand, which may be why I don't bother any more.

7:06 PM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

ha! - no, I just got caught misusing "imminent" so many times that I've sworn off it! But I'll keep working on it!

9:06 PM  

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