Sunday, April 12, 2015

Today I am 40. We ponder my mortality via Superman.

It's my B-day.  A milestone b-day at that.  I'm planning to take the day easy, read some comics, watch some movies, play with some dogs.  Nothing too extravagant.

But it's also a time to ponder and reflect, and nothing helps you reflect more than Superman.


Oh, 70's humor.  You were on the nose to the pointy of cruelty.

But nothing helps one ponder old age like a good Superman comic book cover.



Let's face facts...  I work on a college campus.  I am more than aware this is how the undergrads see me as I wander the halls.  The notion that these whipper-snappers see me as anything other than someone who might know their parents is delusional.  I never feel the need to try to pretend like I know what the kids are up to these days, because that's like your parents trying to impress you by going to see Billy Joel.



I, of course, see myself as older and wiser, telling these young punks how it should be done - and how it should be done is by doing it exactly how we did it in my day.





I'm due for my annual physical in the next month or so.  It's shocking that - as much as I've abused and misused the vessel carrying around my brain, the doctors more or less don't find much wrong with me.  In fact, I feel fine these days.  Better than in the past few years.  40 is the new "I'm not dead yet" which is more or less how I've felt since college.


I'm at an interesting point in my life.  I feel like people kind of take me seriously here and there, which is new.  But I also know that, one day, I'll be the weird old guy who can only remember this window as "the good old days".  Luckily, I'll be in good company.


Of course, we'll all be full of regrets, watching the next generation get to run around and do what we once did, probably doing it better and with worse haircuts.  But I'll still have my dog.  And someone telling me how I wrecked their life.  (Jesus, Lois.  Own your problems.)



If this is how I go... with an oddly impersonal robot shooting me with lasers and predicting my end...  well, that's kind of awesome.  I always assumed I'd go in the maw of a shark or bear, but you never know.  Robot Medic screeching about your imminent demise has some appeal, too.


this comic is terrible, btw
 And, of course, I wouldn't mind taking Hitler and Tojo with me.



I assume some sci-fi weaponry wielding cowboy could be what gets me in the end.  No complaints there, either.



In the meantime, I'll just try to understand my place in the grand scheme of things, and try to show wisdom when it comes to when and if it's the right time to tell the kids how they're doing it wrong, how they've repackaged it in a way that tells me they're interpretation was never going to be how it was.  We've all got our place, and we've all got to find our way.  It's a different role, this being an adult in a world I'm just passing through.  I can just be me in my age, and expect those older and younger are doing the same.

Here's to a new era.

4 comments:

RHPT said...

I like the cane Supes uses while flying in the first comic. How does that work, exactly?

Happy Birthday, old man.

Ryan Steans said...

I assume the cane is for whacking pigeons and sparrows that irk him.

Thanks, man!

picky girl said...

When I got my current job two years ago, I was cautioned "not to flaunt it" because I was young to have this position. At 31, having had my MA for six years, I was a bit insulted. So it's nice to know my 40, maybe I'll be taken seriously. :)

Loved the post and all the iterations of Superman. And again, I hope you had a great day.

J.S. said...

Now that you've got your first 40 behind you, you can relax and just laugh at all of the youngsters who are taking things so seriously.