Dangit, dangit, dangit.
I just spent an hour of my early morning looking for that graphic of the young dude turning into the old dude so that I could write a blog about how much charts and the expectations they bring influence us into becoming what the picture says we should be.
That’s an hour I’ll never get back.
And to top it off, I ended up using this picture of a guy who always wears a suit and a hat.
I wear a hat most days now…I tell myself that it’s to keep the top of my skull from getting a sunburn, but it may be for other, more vain, reasons…I don’t really know…but I don’t wear a suit…and my hat is always a baseball cap….so I can’t relate to this guy.
I picked this picture because I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the other picture.
I see these pictures…with the age appropriate body changes…and I find myself sinking into the “so that’s what’s supposed to happen” mindset.
I find myself thinking “Well, I am getting older…maybe I should just sit for a while…like a really long while…and see how big this belly that I’m supposed to be developing (according to the flow-chart) can get.”
I hate them.
But if you buck the trend and for some reason never really act your age, that’s kind of suspect.
People think that you’re “immature” if you “never grow up”.
I guess that, ideally, you’re supposed to be an old man in a young man’s body? “Mature” …but eternally youthful?!
How does that work?
You could be some bimbo in Wal-Mart who is ageless from the back….but a fright from the front….dressed inappropriately young and bolstered by medical intervention…but who gives it all away when you look into the caverns of her ancient, black-hearted eyes.
I guess you could be like that.
Or you could be alive and wrinkled…sun-kissed and wind blown….smiling and age-appropriate, but youthful somehow.
That’s more appealing.
But these stupid charts…aghhhhhhhhhhhh.
How about the ones with the body fat percentages? Or growth charts? Any of these charts really…any of these things that set a weird benchmark that say that if you stray outside of the “normal” range that your “being” is suspect.
“We better fix that…they’re a little off the beam, a little outside of where they should be….see the chart? See what I’m talking about? They’re here and they really should be here….”
Young….old….everybody gets caught up in it.
If you’re young and you achieve, you’re precocious. That’s outside of the norm…that’s unexpected. It’s almost like there’s a tipping point that you’re supposed to work up to and then…BAM…you’re an achiever.
People are less freaked out by early accomplishment than they are by delayed accomplishment, I think. It does raise people’s expectations, though, to a different level when a person achieves anything “young”…almost like everyone is thinking, “Wow!!Look at what they did! I can hardly wait to see what they’ll accomplish when they MATURE….”
On the other end of the scale, though, I think that people expect some sort of cutoff point in a person’s ability to achieve…like if it “hasn’t happened yet, it’s not gonna happen.”
“You had your shot…you didn’t take it….now step aside and let Rover come over”.
I don’t want anyone telling me that I should feel or act a certain way just because I’m getting a little older.
I don’t want some picture on a chart to show me what normal is.
When I’m gone, I hope it’s like a comet passing by, the people looking at each other and saying, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!!! DID YOU SEE THAT?!!”
It’ll probably be like, “What? Something happened?”
I guess, though…if I start wearing clothing that’s way off the mark to Wal-Mart, someone should give me a heads up and put a stop to it.
That’s the least they could do…stop me while they still can….