Signs of aging - John C. Kirk
Jul. 9th, 2011
10:34 pm - Signs of aging
Last week it was my birthday, so I turned 37. I usually take the day off work on my birthday, but this year I wasn't going to bother; I only did it in the end because I was helping a friend to move house. Basically, birthdays have become less of a big deal as I've got older: they don't bother me, but there's no significant difference between being 36 and 37, so I think it's only the multiples of 10 that I'll pay much attention to.
Meanwhile, I have had a few reminders from colleagues about the passage of time. We were doing some training scenarios recently, where I was the casualty, i.e. I was pretending to have something wrong with me. The first aiders (teenagers) assessed me, then reported in by radio, and described me as "a middle aged man". This was a casual truth rather than teasing, so I don't think they actually realised that I'd be surprised by that description.
A few people have also commented that my hair is going grey. That's true, although I like to think that it's still mostly brown. I'm not enthusiastic about this, but I'm not going to start dyeing it either; get thee behind me, Just for Men! That's partly because I'm lazy and partly because it seems dishonest. That may be too strong a word, but I think that people (i.e. society in general) may have unrealistic ideas of how old you need to be before you go grey.
When I was watching the Babylon 5 DVDs, Bruce Boxleitner mentioned that he had to get the producers' permisson to go grey (i.e. stop dyeing his hair), and they only agreed after his character had been through a particularly traumatic experience. If more people are open about it, that should help to reduce the stigma. Also, if you start dyeing your hair when there are a few grey hairs, then you eventually stop, you'll basically go grey (or white) overnight. How do you decide when you're old enough for that? I think it's simpler to let it happen gradually. However, if you could all refrain from pointing and laughing then I'd appreciate it.