I know I’m officially old now, because I no longer enjoy leftover pizza straight out of the fridge. It has to be reheated in the microwave for me to think it’s remotely appetizing.
It happened suddenly.
One day, I was happy, munching on the tasty cold triangles of young adult bliss, and the next day my stomach is turning at the very thought of putting a congealed blob of nastiness anywhere near my mouth.
It was like someone, somewhere, flipped the “no longer a youngster” switch, and now I insist on eating it warmed to the appropriate temperature. I feel old just writing that. Did I just use the term “youngster?”
I remember the smugness of my youth, sneering at those “fogies” that insisted on warming their pizza. “It tastes fine cold!” I’d say, or even “It tastes better cold.” Now I am the fogie, and I can hardly wait until some whipper-snapper mocks my need to microwave. The circle of life.
I did it again. I added “whipper-snapper “ and “fogie” to the evidence against me.
Somehow, it was this, more than most things, that really made me realize that I have arrived at middle age. I am not amused.
I hadn’t expected a sign like this, or even imagined it would make such an impact. I expected things like arthritis and gray hairs, so those didn’t impact me nearly as much as a need to have my pizza hot. Worse, I just figured it was a preference thing, not a sign of advanced age.
It’s probably signaling a host of other changes that I thought were personality quirks and not age-related mutations. I can see thigh-high pants pulled to the middle of my chest in my future. I’m starting to feel a “Get off my lawn you rotten kids” coming on. Like any never married female of a certain age, I wonder if I’m starting to develop a need for excessive house cats. Could unintelligible speech, ragged clothing, and an urge to hurl these felines be close behind?
I have never been especially fond of cats, but, if I come over all cat obsessed, my family needs to know this is a signal to break out the nursing home. It might soon be time for that pamphlet entitled “So, your family thinks it’s time for you to exit life by walking onto the polar ice cap.” If there are still polar ice caps when my time comes.
Part of me had never imagined turning into my grandparents without children and grandchildren of my own. How can you be old if there is no one from the next generation to roll their eyes at you and threaten you with expulsion to the cheapest nursing home that money can buy? Who will I bore with long rants about living in the “aughts,” or lie to about having invented the Internet?
Maybe I can find some kids on the Internet that I can rent for a few weeks every year. I’ll work on that right after I put the cat out.