I was at a mates 30th yesterday, and as the small hours approached the topic got around, as it always does, to the aging process and growing old. Being nearer to 4 decades than 3 decades does make one reflect on this from time to time.
It strikes me that over time, I've managed to enhance my immaturity in order to find and enhance the silly, the puerile and on occasions the downright stupid. I already feel like the guy from that joke about Alzheimers who asks his wife if she wants an ice cream and then gets it in the ear from her when he doesn't bring back the ketchup to have with her steak and cheese pie.
To me, its a great way to cope with the aging process as you never really feel like you've aged at all! It helps you cope with all life throws at you by responding at a totally different tangent to the topic at hand. Obviously this involves some extent of responsibility shirking, and this is always frowned upon by those who may have cause to view themselves as superior to oneself. A prime example is that furtive beast known as the mother-in-law. One of my greatest triumphs in the great immeasurable, "Real Life" was to win a game of scrabble in rural England one Christmas against the In Laws by delightedly laying the word "***" on a triple word score. Revelling in the deliciousness of it all was an easy reason for the Beast to act as if she'd ruthlessly devoured a mouthful of bees for the rest of the night.
Back in those heady days of the 1980s, we all wanted to be something - whether it was the lead singer from the Flock of Seagulls, Gordon Gecko or Ewen Chatfield. Priorities have obviously changed over the years, but the same old same old still applies. People still want to be Justin Timberlake, Richard Branson or Shane Bond. The age old debate of Spandau Ballet vs Duran Duran has developed into one of Panic! At the Disco vs My Chemical Romance and people still let their opinions of people live and die over how they react to their views on their favourite brand of musak. What need is there to 'mature'? Why should one aspire to become so uptight that they live their life in their pin-stripe suit and develop an aneurisym before their 40th birthday? The issues always stay the same - you may be twenty years older but the debate hasn't matured, so why should you?
That said, I occasionally have to make a brief, fleeting nod to responsibility. Long gone are the days that'd I'd come out to bat in a game of club cricket without a helmet. Ending up in hospital because of a poor ball from some club journeyman-hack and the combination of my failing eyes and skill would just be one insult that'd be too much to bear. Plus, I doubt the other half would be too impressed.
Anyway, this isn't about checking out that fluff that's found its way into that divot you have in your belly (or did have before you grew a large enough beer belly that if you didn't have facial hair, people might think you were an unusually old, pregnant woman), but this is about how you cope with the aging process. I see people here who feel that they couldn't mature any quicker - they want to be an 'adult' now and debate 'important' issues and I see people who veer the other way.... But how do you do it??