Tag Archives: 40

I’m hip. I’m with it. Right?

Not long before my 40th birthday, I went to get a haircut, and when the time came to hold up a mirror and show me the back of my head, I told the 20-year-old girl cutting my hair that I really didn’t need to see my bald spot. She said, “Don’t worry, it’s still there.”

Sometime after my forced laughter stopped and the crying began, I realized that the reminders of my advancing years are coming at me faster than ever these days. And as the father of a two-year-old and a 3-month-old, I have resigned myself to the fact it is only going to get worse.

This past weekend, I had a twenty-minute conversation with my 13-year-old niece which covered the topics of One Direction, the One Direction movie and who the members of One Direction are dating. All of this was peppered with various “hash tags” and was frequently interrupted by her texting what I can only assume were eight separate people.

When my kids are her age, One Direction will seem like a quaint reminder of a simpler time in music when I didn’t immediately shut off the trash that my kids are listening to on the radio. Or whatever passes for a radio at that point.

When my brother and sister and I laughed at my Mom for finally figuring out what the “doobie” in Doobie Brothers” meant around 2003, she responded that she was busy raising kids back then and didn’t have time to know about that sort of thing. That now makes perfect sense.

I am already out of the loop, and I am barely two years in to being a parent. I don’t know what this Twerking thing is, but I know that by the time I do know, it will be eight “things” past being relevant to anyone under the age of 21. I don’t want to become one of those “things were simpler in my day” people, but all I know is that no one ever sent a picture of their butt to someone on an avocado green rotary dial phone.

You had to really want to be the hundredth caller and win REO Speedwagon tickets on one of these babies.

You had to really want to be the hundredth caller and win REO Speedwagon tickets on one of these babies.

I guess it can’t come as too big of a surprise that my coolness level is at an all-time low when the mini van I drove to work today is actually a step up from my previous model of car, for which the majority of owners were either Truant Officers or Retired Priests.

Now that I think about it, I have never really been cool. There was that one moment in 6th grade when a teenager at the pool said “Thanks dude” when I let him borrow my towel, but I’m not sure if that counts.

Until recently, I felt like I was pretty much the same as I was when I was 27, and the realization that I could now be cast as one of those brain-dead dad’s in a cereal commercial is a little disheartening. I am a father and a husband (sorry Jen, you can’t get rid of me now) so I am not looking for any attention, but finding out what the perception of a 40-year-old Dad is can be a real kick in the relaxed-fit khaki pants.

Girls in their twenties weren’t interested in me when I was in my twenties, but somewhere along the way, for that demographic, I transitioned from “young guy I’m not interested in” to “asexual being whom I am vaguely aware exists.” Like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Like the Dough Boy, my mid-section also appears to be filled with raw crescent roll dough.

Like the Dough Boy, my mid-section also appears to be filled with raw crescent roll dough.

Maybe these changes are inevitable, so perhaps I should just enjoy things now before my kids figure out that I’m lame.

Or maybe I can drag them down with me. My daughter could be the only girl graduating in 2030 who has a favorite Steely Dan song.

Steely who?

Steely who?

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Filed under Fatherhood, Humor(?), Parenting, Pop Culture

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

Looking good and feeling good in leisure suits that couldn't get too close to an open flame.

All of us have friends that we have made because we shared a class or a neighborhood,  but there is nothing like a friendship with someone with whom you have shared pair after pair of hand-me-down pants.  For me, that friend is my brother Sean. 

There is an old saying which states that you can’t choose your family, but somebody up there was sure looking out for me when they chose my brother. 

Like most younger siblings, I have followed Sean in just about everything I have done.  I followed him as we walked to grade school.  I followed him to high school and college.  When he started wearing parachute pants…..well, I stayed behind on that one.  

This Sunday, he is leading the way to a place that the little kid in the picture above never saw coming.  He is turning 40. 

Last week, I wrote about watching Sean’s two sons, and while I was with them I couldn’t help but look back on my relationship with my brother.   While most kids can’t wait for their younger siblings to stop pestering them, there was never a day on which Sean wouldn’t make time for me.   With his friends, it was always understood that his weird kid brother was part of the deal.   (And I was most definitely weird) 

Why would the 6 Million Dollar Man have a picture of himself on his chest?

He is someone who I always looked up to, even if he would change the rules of Freeze Tag mid-game if he was losing or always make me play Tonto to his Lone Ranger.    As kids, he was the good one, and didn’t always make the greatest partner for youthful shenanigans.  He would roll over on himself (and me) in a second if our parent’s discovered that we had peeked at the racecar set they had bought us for Christmas.  I played dumb, despite the fact that there were really only two possible suspects in the house. 

This may be damning him with faint praise but, of the two of us, he was most definitely the cool one.   Whether he was going through his preppy “Sweater Boy” phase or his skater look which led to my Dad sending him back to the barber when he came home with a feathered mullet, Sean was the Theo Huxtable (or insert a current cool kid reference) of 622 Lynn Haven Ln. 

He has always treated everyone like a friend.  When he was young,  he would ask kids that he met in line at the store if they would like to come over to our house. As a teenager, he brought over kids who didn’t have any family in town to join us for Thanksgiving. As an adult, he makes his living by helping people. 

My brother is a devoted father and husband, a great friend and the hardest working person I know.  As he turns 40 this weekend, I can only hope that I can continue to follow in his footsteps. 

You are my brother.  I love you.  

Happy birthday Sean.

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