Four ways you know you’re getting old

Stage 1) The only people who ever call you young anymore are all old.


Stage 2) One day an old person says to you, “You know, you’re not young anymore.”


Stage 3) You’re teaching a summer class, all upperclassmen but for one student still in high school, whose email address has a number in it that indicates they were born back when you were in college. This is a first for you. And just as you recall with fleeting detail those days-gone-by when people still told you “you’re young,” you realize this will be the last time teaching someone born after you were in college is a first-time thing. The world is a relentless onslaught of people who had the nerve to be born after the 1980s.


Step 4) You’ve asked your students to examine a series of photos and draw facts/inferences. Some photos have people in them. You ask what the people have in common. To prompt discussion, you ask, “Are they young? Or old?” A student looks at you, smiles apologetically, and says, “Depends. What do you mean by ‘young?'”

Only the young find nuance in philosophizing on what counts as “young.”