A few weeks ago I overheard a conversation between a man that I’d put in the mid-40 range and another who didn’t look like he was old enough to vote.
The elder man said one of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck if…” jokes.
The response was a dumbfounded look and an awkward forced laugh. The younger fellow did not get the joke, and when the older gentleman tried to explain it, it was clear that the young guy had never heard of the series of jabs at country folk.
While I was going to leave, I noticed the time and promptly turned on the radio in the car so I could hear the commodity reports.
I laughed at myself when the thought occurred to me that you might be getting old if you enjoy listening to talk radio.
I have no vested interest in the market prices of hogs, cattle, corn or beans, but it messes up my day if I don’t hear the report on the radio.
Add listening to Dave Ramsey and NPR, and you have a person far different than that which you might have known just a few short years ago.
Oh, and I also spend most of my day with my glasses down on my nose so as not to get a headache from the computer screen.
For some odd reason, my son thinks I'm 89 and that his mother is 22. I wonder where he got that information…
I'm not trying to make myself older than I am, and I don't feel old, but it's funny to see so many changes in perspective.
Most of it probably just comes from having kids and having to put on the "big boy pants" every day to work to pay bills, sans care-free college afternoons.
But there is also that intangible part of life, that moment when the actual reality of it all hits you right upside the head.
For some, that moment comes from a life-changing accident or loss of a loved one. Even those don't always work to make the change.
Others need much more, and even then it doesn't always stick.
I'm not saying that I'm all grown-up now and that I know everything, I'm just saying that many things are starting to make sense.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And with a few exceptions, most marathon runners are considered middle-age. That's good news.
I've usually been flattered by the fact that people tend to think I'm much younger than I am, something that used to happen a lot.
Those instances are becoming few and far between and I think that I'm OK with that.
Page 2 of 2 - I'm also good with the increasing number of gray hairs and the bald spot that seems to get bigger by the hour.
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Topic number two - cat in a tree. A few months ago I chased off a tomcat in the alley that was wailing on a small kitten.
The kitten clung to me, and being the poor decision maker that I am, I let it in. So now we have a cat.
I'm not, and never have been, a cat person. But I kind of like this one. She's got spunk, and if she can put up with the terror that a six-year-old and a three-year-old can unleash, she has to be pretty cool.
Coming from the outdoors, she likes to go outside at every opportunity, so we frequently let her out if its not too cold or raining, and we try to bring her in at night.
I went to see if she was on the deck to bring her in the other night, but she was nowhere to be found.
And then I heard the meow. It came from the neighbor's yard. As I walked over there trying to find the source of the sound, I heard the meow again, but it was behind me.
I turned around to head towards the other neighbor's yard, and I heard a third meow. From above.
I looked up, and there she was, perched on a small branch roughly 30 feet up a tree.
First I laughed, second I thought to go get the wife so she could take part in the moment, third was to grab a flashlight.
By the time I got the wife out of bed, found a flashlight that actually works and got back outside, we couldn't find the cat anywhere in the tree.
After awhile, we decided to give up and let Miz. Zou fend for herself.
And boom. Curveball. That stinking cat was sitting at the back door, waiting for us.
Point of the story, cats are the ninjas of the animal kingdom.
Just glad we didn't have to call the fire department to get her down.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org