The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 March 2007

Only sixteen

A curveball from Scott Adams:

I've observed that everyone has a permanent age that appears to be set at birth. For example, I've always been 42 years old. I was ill-suited for being a little kid, and didn't enjoy most kid activities. By first grade I knew I wanted to be an adult, with an established career, car, house and a decent tennis game. I didn't care for my awkward and unsettled twenties. And I'm not looking forward to the rocking chair. If I could be one age forever, it would be 42.

When I ask people about their permanent age, they usually beg it off by saying they don't have one. But if you press, you always get an answer. And the age they pick won't surprise you. Some people are kids all their lives. They will admit they are 12 years old. Other people have always had senior citizen interests and perspectives. If you're 30 years old in nominal terms, but you love bingo and you think kids should stop wearing those big baggy pants and listening to hip-hop music, your permanent age might be 60.

The number for me, I think, is 16. It's not that I feel the passions of youth rushing through me, or that I'm energetic to the point of being indefatigable, at the expense of taking care of business: it's simply that I have never quite gotten out of the mindset that everything that has happened up to now is merely prologue, and that "real life," whatever that may be, is still somewhere in the ill-defined future, despite the fact that I have an actual job and an actual mortgage and two children quite a bit older than sixteen.

That said, though, I'm secure enough in my teenaged self to tell those damn kids to get off my lawn.

(Via gorgeous "older woman" Jane Galt.)

Posted at 2:27 PM to General Disinterest


I would buy that theory for a nickel. I've always said my dad was perpetually 14.

Posted by: Veronica at 3:53 PM on 30 March 2007

I'm not sure how I'd answer the question of my "permanent age." I think I must have different ones for different aspects of my life.

People who see me and my wife together think we still act like newlyweds. We'll have been married an eighth of a century in a few weeks. Then again, I've always been kind of grouchy and crotchety about the world in general.

So maybe my "permanent age" is somewhere in that range once commonly referred to as "second childhood" -- but not so far gone as to remember that those smart-mouthed kids are gonna ruin their hearing if they don't that damn noise down!

Posted by: McGehee at 8:45 PM on 30 March 2007

Should be "not so far gone as not to remember"

Dang old-timer's disease. <grumble>

Posted by: McGehee at 8:46 PM on 30 March 2007

41. The best year of my life. If that one was taken already, I'd go with 27.

Posted by: Winston at 5:30 AM on 31 March 2007