For the first time in the history of Jason O’Toole, I now have scientific (pop culture) data to prove I’m getting older.
It’s a detail I first neglected when failing to acknowledge the “greatness” of “Twilight.” However, nothing hit me more real than researching The Wanted.
It’s one thing to wake up and study the fine lines and wrinkles slowly forming on my face; but it’s an entirely different truth to watch now pop icons perform knowing they wouldn’t understand a Cory Matthews reference. I’ve seen this look before; the one on my face, but it was always from older roommates and friends who were shocked I didn’t understand their Alan Thicke references (you mean Robin Thicke, right?)…
This kind of aging, cultural aging, is subtler. It overtakes you slowly, and doesn’t reach your consciousness until it’s too late to try and retrace the steps to see how you got there. This reality check hit me the other day when I learned Max George (The Wanted) was 21. It’s not much of a shock (I’m 25), but rather that little nudge from Time saying, “Can you feel it? It’s starting.”
In diagnosing this while on my bed the other night, I came to this denouement. Maybe the trick to staying young, or feeling like I’m staying young, is to always surround myself around older people, or listen to NPR where most of the guests are in their mid-40’s. Of course, I would have to begin finally caring about politics (keywords: #Obamacare, #Oil, #Mormonism, #TheDeficit, #China); but I’m not ready to trade in my Bravo programming for Fox News. I want to stay right here where it’s safe; where I used to be; where the world was my neighborhood and middle school; where life made sense.
So… my advice for aging is to either completely accept it, or completely deny it. One works better, but most usually choose the other. Both give you the feeling you are no longer invincible, making life that much more tactile.
The choice is now ours. Thanks pop culture!