In less than a month I will reach a new milestone.
I will turn 35. It will be my personal anniversary — the coral anniversary.
Turning 35 is not a widely celebrated birthday, but I will notice this one more than others.
In particular, when filling out online surveys or questionnaires and am asked for my age group.
I will no longer be in the 22-34 age group. Soon I will be part of the 35-44 age group.
I won’t be lumped with the college grads, the “take life by the horns,” and the “my whole life is ahead of me” set; but instead I soon will be in the “second mortgage,” “prostate exam,” “control your blood pressure” and “am I saving enough for retirement?” group.
To be fair, the above descriptions are somewhat stereotypical, but soon I will be in the “need for a disclaimer age group” instead of the “sweeping generalization” clan.
Next month, after I reach 35, my next milestone will be 40. That is 40 freaking years old. I am not sure if it will be acceptable to say “freaking” when I am 35-44, so I might as well get it all out.
Another concern: my wardrobe.
As a 35- to 44-year-old, do I need to tuck all of my shirts in, all of the time? Do I have to wear polos with shorts instead of T-shirts?
Do I have to trade my flip-flips in for loafers?
Now that I am on the unforgiving side of 30, I have noticed that I have to work twice as hard at the gym to shed half the weight that I could five years ago. This next step in the age ladder makes me wonder if it gets worse.
I fear that I will have to spend four hours a day in the gym just to work off the Saturday’s six pack and pizza.
And my beer drinking days may soon be over. I am pretty certain that at some point I have to trade for Scotch whiskey, and I need to pick up smoking cigars.
And a major concern is my memory. It is already bad, mostly from my days in the early stages of the 22-34 age group. Will I even remember to take all of the pills that are prescribed to me once I enter into that age bracket? Am I going to need one of those pill boxes that have separate compartments for each day of the week?
There are several lists online in which bloggers write out lists of things to do before they turn. Those include bungee jumping, seeing the Great Pyramid of Giza, getting a tattoo, hitchhike cross-country.
Some of those things I will never do. I can’t see myself getting a tattoo, and hitchhiking anywhere could be risky — although I may be picked up by someone harmless considering that I am a nice-looking young(ish) man without any tattoos.
It is possible that I would visit Egypt, or go bungee jumping, but I doubt I can cram both of those into the next month.
I suppose I could accomplish those goals retroactively, which seems to be the acceptable trend these days.
This brings up another question. Can I still call myself a “young” man. Once I cross the threshold of 35, am I just a “man”? I am pretty certain that I am no longer a dude. I also should probably get used to being called “sir” without griping.
People say that age is just a number, but by all accounts there are several changes that come along with this milestone. And is age one of those numbers that will only go up. . . much like weight, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.