If I seem a little down, it's because I had a birthday recently. Who ever decided "Happy Birthday!" was a good thing to say to someone who just got a year older? Happy birthday is for kids. A birthday doesn't do anything for the person having it, except remind him or her that he's just one year closer to the end of it all. If you're 49, why should turning 50 be an occasion for joy or celebration?
I think of being old a lot. There are so many things that remind me of it. For instance:
I realize I'm out of it when I go to the movies and am shocked at the repeated use of the four letter f-word. Younger people in the audience seem to accept it as normal conversation.
You're over-the-hill if you wonder if your subscriptions to Boys Life, Colliers, Liberty and The Saturday Evening Post have run out.
You're no Spring chicken if you can remember when your father had an Essex, a Packard, a Hupmobile, a Pierce Arrow, a Nash or a Kaiser-Frazer.
You've got a few years if you slid downhill on wooden skis, a Flexible Flyer or rolled on skates that had four wheels.
Not caring whether your socks match is a sign of your age.
You're on the downhill side of life if you always need more light reading the newspaper, although sometimes the news is so bad you decide not to read it because you've seen it all before.
Happy Birthday? I don't think so!
By Andy Rooney