Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Milestones Unrelated to Seymour

For my 650th blog post, I figured why not have a little fun with that which makes this blog the unique waste of time it's been for the previous 649?

First, to the title. It has nothing to do with my pet rock, Seymour.


I guess he told me.

Next, to the photos h'yar. What a study in contrasts. More on that shortly.

Milestones. In a life, however lived, one cannot help but encounter milestones.

For some, life's milestones are important, defining moments on their journey from birth to weighing the marks they've made in their passage to the next phase of spiritual evolution.

Little of which has to do with me. From henceforth I'll digress.

Tomorrow, I hit a milestone. Since it's unavoidable, I checked my insurance, and find that I'm not covered for unsatisfactory results resulting therefrom. I have to accept that which tomorrow brings.

My life has not had all of the milestones one might associate with the average life. Yes, I was born. Yes, I got baptized. And perhaps defined at least part of my life's path, when I chose my moment of baptism to fill my diaper 'n attire in the hands of the baptizing minister.

A sense of timing has not been one of my gifts.

I was average in many ways. I went to school. Achieved puberty. Kissed my first girl. Contracted my first bout with cooties. Found I couldn't sustain it (the puberty or the cooties). Was a lackluster Boy Scout. Started drinking coffee, shaving, coping with zits and why my voice was changing. I even had time for pondering life's imponderables, like why I was stupid enough to believe, at a young age, that I could pee on an electric fence with impunity. And why dares of that kind are best blissfully ignored.

I learned about chivalry while losing a bout with 400 lbs of concrete, and how a chivalrous episode was not always appreciated. I learned about gravity while falling out of barn haylofts, trees, off bicycles, and from one exceptionally well-placed bird house, courtesy of a sister.

I graduated from high school, and learned a simple truth: cheerleaders were never easy, and only got harder thereafter. I moved onto college, wherein I proved the previous sentence. I never succeeded in dating another one. Not for a lack of trying; more a lack of confidence and resources.

Life in adultdom has had its moments. I think I had one in 1981. It's been long enough ago that I'm not sure.

But other milestones and I have not met on the highway of life: marriage was not in my cards. There were too many jokers in my deck. The one I have always referred to as "the one that got away", didn't really "get away"; she made a wise choice.

My one and only engagement was a loss, if viewed militarily. Perhaps if I had viewed it militarily, a timely withdrawal to protect my flanks would have been in order. At any rate, I have no kids to have cost me sleep at night, to have given me moments to remember, to have driven my hair gray, my bank account empty, or to take care of me in my rapidly approaching dotage.

Some egg is thanking me, somewhere.

I managed to avoid an affliction referred to as 'mid life crisis'. For the male of the species, this 'mid life crisis' oft-times took the guise of buying a toupee, a sports car, dumping the wife and getting a 20 year old girlfriend. All of this done under the auspices of proving to the world -- and ones' self -- that they could do in mid life, what they did in their 20s.

I had no need of such demonstrations. I never lost my hair, only its color. I never lusted for sports cars; I found I could get tickets in a simple 4 door sedan. And as for the last category, I had no wife to dump, and as I aged, I found that 20 year old girls scared the hell out of me.

In short, I didn't need to prove to anyone or myself that I could do in middle age, what I did at 20. I did little to nothing when I was 20, and in the years since, I've gotten better and better at doing nothing.

My chosen career field was never a particularly 'get rich' kind of field. Coupled with the fact that an old joke about how money talks -- mine only knows how to say goodbye. Not that I haven't helped it over the years. But at least my chosen career field keeps me employable at just-above poverty wages.

So I have missed a number of milestones that many of my friends, peers and colleagues, have not. But tomorrow is a milestone I cannot deny. Chronologically, I hit the low end of a western US interstate highway speed limit sign. Put another way, 37 years ago, I was a senior. 26 years ago, I was a senior once more.

Now I get to be a senior again. No diploma this time. Only discounts. Eh.

And now, back to the pictures. One is me, a few months after I got my start. The other is me, 53 years later.

Did I ever go downhill. Small wonder I'm still single. Well, okay...a few other reasons for that as well.

But this milestone does not signify that the End is near: I still have online email scammers to abuse. I still have a job that counts on me to show up, until they tire of my crusty curmudgeondom. I have a book project that might or might not eventually see the light of day. I might yet indulge in another storm chasing opportunity, taunting and tempting the tornadic gods to give me more than I bargained for.

And I have an unexpected milestone coming up this summer -- unexpected because I never got married and had kids, yet have been asked to play the role one would associate with a father at a very pivotal moment in another person's life. And perhaps I'll have more things to come along and cut into my hours of too much time on my hands, in the time left me.

What's more, I happen to have the benefit of knowing exactly how much time I have left. Yes, I do. I have 18 years, 9 months, and 26 days left. So says Deathclock.com. And that was on the normal setting. On the sadistic one, I died back in '93.

Since I'm still here, I reckon the latter date is still a 'go'.

Now I have 650 uniquely time wasting blog posts. Maybe I'll try for 700. After all, with now 55 years of practice, time wasting is what I seem to do best ;-)

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Blogger Sueann said...

Well Happy Birthday dear friend! You have made it this far so I call that successful!! So good for you!!
Hope you have a terrific celebration.
PS Throwing confetti in the air and blowing a horn!! Toooooot!!!! Woot!!!

24 January, 2012 04:42  
Blogger Unknown said...

Happy birthday! May I suggest you check out the blog post I did back when I turned 65?

24 January, 2012 08:51  
Blogger Serena said...

Happy Birthday! And if it makes you feel any better, I'm older than you are. LOL. I don't get any senior discounts, though, because I've never been able to make myself tell some clerk how old I am and ask for it.

May you pen many more blog posts, dude. Oh, and the photos are great!:)

25 January, 2012 13:10  
Blogger Mayden' s Voyage said...

My dear friend...In the midst of all that surrounds me- I missed the date!
But, and I swear it, last week I noticed your b-day and made a mental note to send you a hug, and I'm sorry I didn't send it right then.

5 is my favorite number- and nothing is better than 5 except for 2 of them :) By the time you get to 555 I hope we'll both be somewhere lofty, or at least more comfortable than the space we're in now.

Happy Birthday all year- I wish I could give you a "hug" for every day :) I think the world of you ♥

26 January, 2012 19:08  
Blogger Andy said...

Skunks, I've had this post in my feedreader since you put it up, but only now getting time to catch up.

Sorry I missed congratulating you on hittin' the double nickel! I don't think I'll make it 2 1/2 more years myself.

Excellent post, too. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

28 January, 2012 06:08  

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