200 Steps of Ageing. Part 2
- You might go to your parents for Christmas (or whichever annual festival you celebrate) because you are young and have nowhere else to go. When you are older you might go because your parents are old and you feel they need the company (if they are still alive).
Age 20 onwards:
- If you are straight, there is a good chance that you will be attracted to people who remind you of members of the opposite sex who were significant to you when you were growing up. You will try to recreate the relationships you had with them with your partner. For example, your wife might be similar to your mother or sister; your husband might be controlling and have a moustache, like your father.
- When you were younger you could have gone to bed at 6am, had an hour's sleep and still have been able to do a day's work without any consequences. You will lose this ability as you get older, and it will get harder and harder to manage on less sleep.
- Depending on whether you and your friends went to university or are career orientated, at around this age a significant proportion of your friends will start to get married. If you are popular there will be few weekends in the summer when you don't have to go to a wedding. If you aren't married yourself, each wedding will make you more and more isolated from your friends, as they will be in a couple and you won't be. This isolation becomes greater when they have children. A single person has very little in common with a new parent. New parents spend every second thinking about their child or getting sleep. Their life revolves around the child, as it would do. Most parents can't sleep on your sofa, or stay out late, or travel long distances at the drop of a hat. They won't want noise in their house or it will wake their children. Most new mothers won't be able to have conversations with friends without being constantly interrupted by their children.
- If you are a mother, you will realise that most men are fairly incompetent at helping with children. Due to the buck stopping with you, they are able to avoid a lot of the effort of looking after children, leaving you with the burden. If you had the choice wouldn't you rather spend an extra hour at work than an hour at home with screaming children? The trouble is that they are able to get away with it.
- If you are a mother there will be a high chance of you having haemorrhoids.
- Your views on life will start to become more rigid after this age. Whether you believe in witchcraft, ghosts, gods and so on, will most likely have been decided by now.
- Your appearance will start to deteriorate ever so slightly. Men often become balder and fatter; womenís faces often get longer and thinner. A lot of people who could stay slim naturally before wont be able to now without thinking about what they eat, or by taking exercise.
- Your youthful male aggression will be waning.
- From now on, you and your friends will begin to age at different rates (looks and health-wise). Some of your friends might pass for 40, while others might pass for 18.
- You may begin to get gray hairs at the side of your head
- If you are male you will start to get the odd nose hair now and then
- Your parents' friends will gradually begin to die off
- You will begin to get deep wrinkles when you smile or frown.
- You will have more in common with someone 30 years older than you than you do with someone 10 years younger than you.
- Opportunities will begin to close up for you. For example, to join the army or to get on some educational and training courses you need to be under a certain age.
- It is extremely unlikely you will ever become a talented athlete if you start now.
- As you get older you will become more weighed down with responsibilities that restrict you: your career, house, children, spouse, pets and so on. With each responsibility you will become less free and less able to take risks. For example, there will come a time when it would be extremely difficult to go backpacking for a year.
- It is unlikely that you have to prove you are over 18 in a nightclub or off-licence ever again.
- your body and health will continue to deteriorate ever so slightly - joints, teeth, eyes, hearing.
- Alcohol will affect you more than it used to.
- You are older than the characters in the sitcom Friends for most of the episodes.
- Braces to straighten your teeth would take a lot longer to work at this age.
- Potential employers will start to overlook you for younger people. Younger people are more capable at a lot of jobs because they can work longer hours without being so tired. To progress in some jobs, youth is almost a prerequisite.
- A lot of people around this age begin to realise that they don't like their career and so go off for retraining in a different field. A lot of men will do catering courses.
- 18 year olds will consider you old.
- Women's bodies will begin to broaden out. Your silhouette will no longer be mistaken for a sixteen year old's.
- A lot of men, even thin ones, will develop a belly.
- Your sense of the passage of time will change. Whereas when you were younger a year seemed a very long time because of all the new experiences you had, now the years will seem to go very quickly. Your life will stop being one of new experiences and become one of repetition and routine. You will begin to wonder where the time went.
- You are half way through your healthy and active life.
- If you were in the film "Logan's Run" you would be put to death now.
- At some point in the last ten years you will have lost the ability to hear high pitched noises, such as those from bats. Itís unlikely you will notice.
- Young people have nothing to say of any interest to you, because you feel that you know it all. This is a belief that will get stronger and stronger throughout your life from now on.
- You will probably have fat in your face that you canít shift through normal diet and exercise. If you hang upside down your face will look significantly different to when you are the right way up.
- You will stop looking forward to new experiences as much as you used to, and instead become wishful for past things, or variations on past things. This will be most noticeable in musical taste:
By this age, you will probably think that most music by new artists is uninspired and derivative. You will believe that new music doesn't have a tune, it doesn't have proper lyrics, and that it's terrible that the artists are using computers to improve their voices. You are just saying what everybody has always said when they reach a certain age. Your parents said it about your music, your grandparents said it about your parents' music. The cycle of dislike has gone on for hundreds of years. Bear in mind that even three hundred year old songs often have meaningless lyrics; whether a tune is good or not is subjective; and that for the last hundred years people who recorded music have always used technology to improve the quality of the performance. The fact that you don't like modern music means you have become old.
You will probably think that new pop stars no longer look cool, but look like teenagers trying too hard to be cool. You will dislike their haircuts. You will even think, "In my day someone with that haircut would have been laughed at." This is hardly surprising as a lot of modern acts will be half your age, and it is hard to look up to someone who is much younger than you. The fashions that they follow are fifteen years more modern than yours.
You probably looked up to the pop stars of your youth, as at the time they were older than you. You will continue to look up to the memory of the twenty year old pop stars of your youth, but the idea of looking up to a twenty year old now will seem completely daft. Music that has meaningful lyrics will please you less than it used to because of the way you no longer identify with the people performing it.
There will still be new bands and artists that you like, but more often than not they will be similar to the ones you liked before.