If you asked me if I felt more mature than some theoretical version of myself from ten years ago, then I would probably have to answer to the negative. Maybe my mental vision of myself is wrong, but I just can’t find it in my heart to call a man who’ll spend a full-day drinking vodka and watching cartoons “mature.” Also, Gravity Falls is fucking legit.
On the other hand, if you were to ask me if I could tell I was getting older, that I would say a hearty “Goddamnit… yes.” That’s because there are undisputable signs of my aging, ones that don’t involve subjective terms like “maturity” or “personal growth.” No, there is no denying that I’m getting older, and it’s because of shit like this:
I Know My Haircut
There is an embarrassingly long period in most men’s lives where, gun to our heads, we could not tell you what the last barber did to our hair. Oh, he almost certainly told us at the time, we just weren’t listening because we didn’t think it was that important. It’s never much a big deal, because we as a gender are more faithful to our barbers than literally anyone else in our lives. Men will abandon their families before they will voluntarily switch barbers, so the fact that they don’t know what their haircut is never seems like an issue. And it’s not… until the day when you have to change barbers, possibly due to a move, retirement, or them developing a meth habit and selling their fancy lift-chairs.
Now, we’re stuck wandering into some new place, being asked all types of shit we don’t have any answers to.
Gauge on the sides?
Trim or texture the top?
Maybe… spackle? That’s a texture, right?
Rounded or square in the back?
Fuck you, are you drawing shapes in my hair?
Eventually we give up and ask for them to just make it look like our current style, only shorter.
But now I’m older: Which means I’ve been befuddled enough times to start paying attention when they tell me what they’re doing, and making note of it looks good or bad. I can now walk into any barber shop and spit out a detailed enough order to get me the same basic hairstyle I’m expecting. It’s a little less exciting than playing Russian Roulette with the stuff on the top of my head, but it’s nice to know I won’t be showing up at another black-tie event with an accidental Mohawk.
I Get Hangovers
In college, I probably put away enough alcohol to kill five horses. I went to a university known for heavy drinking, in a town known for heavy drinking, and I was the heaviest drinker in my social group. Now, let’s be clear: I was in no fucking way the heaviest drinker at that college. I saw spectacles of imbibement that made me genuinely wonder how people weren’t dead. I’m not trying to lay claim to titles I didn’t earn. This is isn’t about me being awesome at booze; it’s about expressing to you the volume that I put in my body without ever getting even the slightest hangover.
In your early twenties, or at least my early twenties, hangovers just didn’t exist for me. I’m told that’s the case for most people, though I did have some friends who were struck by the brown-bottle-flu even in those formative years. A night out, pounding well-liquor until halfway to sunrise, then getting up early for cheap food and mimosas wouldn’t even slow me down. I probably did devastating long-term damage to my liver, but damn we had fun.
But now I’m older: And I have learned that sooner or later, the tab on all that fun comes due. I do all the little tricks to keep hangovers at bay: constant hydration, B12, bacon the morning after, but ultimately I just can’t shrug off the effects of the sauce the way I used to. It can bring me down for an entire day if I don’t take any precautions, and it is one of the most miserable states of being I know of.
Be warned, you young ones reading this. Sooner or later, you lose hangover immunity. Enjoy it while you can.
I Take Too Many Pills
I can only remember one time I ever took any pill other than Tylenol or cold-medicine: in college when I was hooking up with a girl who was a fitness nut and harped on me about the importance of vitamins. That phase lasted exactly as long my association with her, which wasn’t terribly long. Other than that singular incident, pills were for old people or druggies. They had no other context in my world.
By the way, I wasn’t just some dumb kid who was unaware of the importance of vitamins, oils, and the like. I come from a very medical family, one out of every three of my immediate relatives are some form of medical professional. Nurses, Nurse Practioners, Doctors, I grew up surrounded by them, and was endlessly informed on the importance of maintaining my body if I wanted it to last. I understood the science, I just didn’t really give a shit about it. I was young and strong, what the fuck did I care about long-term worries?
But now I’m older: I’ll level with you guys, I have one of those day-of-the-week pill caddies that you saw in your grandparent’s house. Admittedly, part of the reason for that is a medical issue that would be a blog in itself, but a good chunk of the space is dedicate to stuff like vitamins and supplements. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and realized the wisdom of proper body-maintenance either. No, this practice was born out of necessity.
I’ve mentioned this once or twice, but I am an objectively big person. My height is around 6’4” and even with my dedicated exercise regimen I am no one’s definition of slender. It’s great a lot of the time, however there’s a downside to being big: large bodies tend to wear down faster. If you want to stall the effects of that, as well as alleviate symptoms, then you have to start downing all the shit your body needs to keep maintenance going as strong as possible. Fish oil for shitty joints, Vitamin D because I’ve spent my adult life as an office drone out of the sun, Multivitamins because I used to eat like shit and didn’t get everything I needed, you get the idea.
All that leads me to a conclusion that I feel needs to be stated: House M.D. is full of shit. I take a fuckload of pills every day and I can’t even come close to dry-swallowing like he did effortlessly. Be warned people, sometimes the television tells you lies.
I tried to find a way to make this clip seem germane to the topic overhead, but ultimately I'm putting it up because it was a long week and this always makes me happy.