Feeling old comes in waves. I remember turning 23, repeating that classic, petulant Blink-182 lyric on repeat in my head and honestly wondering whether I was “done” because I didn’t feel like going to a party that night. Yikes. But in a way, I was. The styles I’d adopted up to that point became harder and harder to deviate from, the bands I loved then largely remain my favorite bands eight years later. Partly because hipsterdom won, and everyone dresses pretty nicely now. But the adage attributed to the late comedian Lenny Bruce, that “there’s nothing sadder than an aging hipster,” would start ringing in my head from then on. Don’t be that guy. But it’s tricky striking that balance between staying true to your cool self and not making a fool of yourself doing so.
There were other milestones of irrelevance to come: Being called “the adults” by a younger guest at a New Years party thrown by a friend and his 21-year-old sister; speaking to a teacher friend’s middle school class (a notch on the oldness belt itself) and being asked by a student why my shoes were dirty. “Umm, don’t let the J Crew button-up fool you. I am punk fucking rock, kid. I was banging out Buzzcocks covers when you were in utero—oh my God I’m that old guy now, fuck.”