The three ages of man
To my great surprise, there has been a bit of interest shown in this blog. I didn’t think anyone would be bothered, but I suppose there are strange people everywhere. I have noticed that there has been some surmising as to my identity. Theories have been put forward ranging from one that I am a pimply 16 year old who is having you all on, to one that I am an octogenarian tapping away at my cobweb encrusted 386 PC. You are all wrong, but sadly the latter is much closer to the truth.
Age is a funny thing. I have discovered that we all actually have three ages – our mental age, our physical age and our chronological age. Those of you still in the flush of youth won’t have a clue what I’m talking about as the three ages only begin to separate in your late twenties. However, as I reached my thirties, my mental age more or less stopped. For the next twenty years or so, as far as I was concerned I was still thinking like a twenty five year old.
The physical and chronological ages usually run in parallel, but I have been blessed / cursed with a gene that has separated the two. I look much younger than I am. If I could isolate that gene I’d be a millionaire.
Not so long ago, I went with my daughter to pick up her son [my grandson, to save you the calculation]. The teacher came beetling over, all smiles and her hand out. “Hello” says she. “You must be the boy’s father”. There was an embarrassing pause before I told her I was in fact the grandfather. She didn’t know where to look. I was very flattered and my daughter was highly amused.
Another time I was talking to a woman in the village, and I mentioned my grandchildren. She gave me a strange look and said [and I quote] “you don’t gave grandchildren”. This was not a question. It was a statement. She left in a hurry.
Those of you in your late teens and early twenties will know the problems of trying to buy alcohol if you don’t have proof of age [though, from what I hear, they’ll sell it to ten year olds in some places]. I have the opposite. I have to bring proof of age to avail of Golden Oldie offers.
One incident scared me. I was on nodding terms with an old fella in the local pub. I reckoned he was in his late eighties. He was old and wizened. A nice chap. One night I got talking to him. I don’t know how the subject came up, but it turned out that we shared the same birthday. Then the scary bit came. It turned out we were born in the same year [and, strangely in the same hospital]. So we literally could have been twins. But I felt like I was talking to my father.
So to get back to my current age. Mentally I’m in my thirties [having grandchildren gave that age a kick up the ladder]. Physically – I don’t know. I’m hopeless at judging how old people look but I have had guesses ranging from late forties to early fifties. And my chronological age? Mind your own business. Let’s just say that I’ll never have to pay for a passport, and I remember well travelling by steam train on the old Harcourt Street line.