Stark reminders that you are getting old

What normally innocuous events caused you to pause for a moment and consider that “Yes, I really am getting old…”?

Here are a few examples of what I’m asking:
(FTR, I’m 37)

Event #1
Today I was talking to our summer intern, describing technical stuff she was going to do. As I reflected on our discussion, I suddenly realized that in her eyes, I’m from the generation of her father. I tried to imagine situations from my younger days when I, as a nineteen-year-old, spoke with folks in their late thirties, and I realized that I am now squarely on the other side of the hill, no longer a maturing young man, but a steadily aging fully grown adult.

Event #2
Last week, I noticed a slightly bent business card laying on the dining room table and I took a glance at it. It bore the symbol of the U.S. Navy and the name of a first-class petty officer whose office was listed as Detroit, MI. After a bit of head scratching, I realized that the card had been handed to me over twenty years ago by the fellow who told me what a great future I had in the Navy nuclear power field. Twenty years! Who knows where my wife stumbled across that card, but she dutifully put it where I would find it, not even imagining how old it was.

Event #3
Last year, I walked up to the counter a local pharmacy and lay my two-pound bag of M&Ms on the counter, right next to a sign taped to the counter that said “You must have been born before this date in 1985 to purchase tobacco products” What was so weird about that? That was the year I graduated high school, and it has always been, in my mind, the year I graduated high school and nothing more. It’s very strange to think that in the brief time since that fairly memorable and seemingly recent event, enough time has elapsed for a baby to have graduated from high school.

Of course, these kinds of events must happen all throughout one’s life. I recall as a young fellow of twenty or so wondering exactly when a guy actually ceases to be a “boy” or “young man” and becomes a “man” There have been a few milestones, both major and trivial, in the intervening years that have let me know clearly that I passed that fuzzy divider long ago.

I suppose one day something innocent will happen that will let me know that I’m a grey-haired old fogey.

How about you? What small details really brought your aging process to your attention? Don’t forget to let us know how old you are!

There’s a woman on the US Olympic Water Polo team who went to the same high school I did. She was born the same year I graduated.

I was looking at some pictures of me from late high school/college. My son (age 16) looks exactly like me–same posture, same straggly beard…

The first time I ever felt old was in 1980, when my then-11-year-old sister asked me if Paul McCartney was in a group before Wings.

The most recent time I felt old was when a 20-something guy here at the radio station showed that he had no idea how to operate a turntable, and he completely trashed the stylus on a $180 cartridge by shoving it across the record to get to the place he wanted to hear. He also asked me yesterday if cassette recordings had a 22,050 Hz sampling rate. (No, they have no sampling rate. They’re analog.)

I’m 45.

I graduated from high school in 1983. I am now back in college and many of the kids in my classes were not even born until 1985. When I realize I am old enough to be their mother, I feel old.

Had a temp in the office a few weeks ago who looked at me blankly when I said “And now press the carriage return”. Apparently, he’s never seen a manual typewriter.

Recently, I was teaching a folk dance class and realized the person I was leading was still in school. A quick mental calculation revealed I was old enough to be her mother. And made me how dorky I thought my mother was when I was that age. Ouch.

I’ve told this tale on Straight Dope before, but it really stands out as the the exemplary “Damn I got old” moment for me so I’ll tell it again.

Bunch of us were sitting around talking about harmless practical jokes we’d played on people, and at some point I chimed in and told about the time we stuffed Mr. Gibbons’ car with balloons filled with computer punchies and taped a birthday card to the window with a needle to pop balloons with (which of course he did and ended up with a car full of computer punchies, heh heh…)

Blank looks. Eventual the question: “What’s a computer punchy”?

I start off explaining as a peer talking to an inexplicably ignorant peer and within seconds felt kinda Methusalaesque: Oh, you know, the punchouts. From punch cards. The computer cards with the little holes, they aren’t born with those holes, you know, they get punched out by… uh, or rather did get punched out, back when punch card operators… Umm. Punch cards. Older computers… WAY older computers, used them, I haven’t seen them in years but you’ve probably seen them. Umm, in movies and stuff. Looks like a giant economy-sized card except with little narrow holes in them? No? Well, whatever. Ummm, confetti. Balloons filled with confetti, OK? Now excuse me, I think it’s time for my Geritol.

I approached the coffee cart at work one day and there is this nice looking young woman who is taking orders. As I got closer I realized that I remember her from when she was born as her parents are close friends of my brothers. She went from a small infant to a fully grown young woman and then it hit me…I’m 50.

I think I need :sob:: bifocals.

I am 42. My husband went through this same thing last year at age 48.

Old farts, we are.

And I still call those collections of songs put out by musical groups “albums.” By the time I get used to calling them “CDs” all music will be downloaded via Internet and I’ll probably be almost dead by the time I get used to whatever new terminology will come with that.

I just ordered my first pair of bifocals yesterday. Considering how hard it’s getting to read my D&D manuals, it’s high time.

My kids are learning how to drive. I get to teach them how to drive a manual transmission. After our Volvo dies, they may never have to use this skill again…

Simple answer, that everyone knows: Chads. Computer punchies are chads.

I felt like an adult the first time the Playboy playmate of the month was younger than me. Now they’re all younger than my kids, which makes me feel old.

Walking around town a couple of years ago, I noticed all the young guys were checking me out. I preened… until I realised they were just trying to work out if my daughter had inherited her famous posterior from me (no, she didn’t).

Whenever I casually drop “twenty years ago” into the conversation, and I’m not talking about my childhood. When I realise that I’ve been obsessed with the same person for 30 years. Every time I remind my daughter that 41 is too young for me to be a grandmother.

Forgot (or blocked it out of my mind) the very worst: looking in the mirror and realising I’m not tired - that’s what my face looks like now :eek:

On December 3rd of this year, I will be exactly the same age my mother was when she gave birth to me. In all fairness, I’m only 28, I’m not precisely over the hill yet, and I’m sure many of you will scoff at my youth and beauty snort.

But every now and then, I’ll walk into the bathroom half asleep, and see my mother in the mirror. That scares me to death.

We talking about a Nixon resignation party a friend is throwing when a team mate (who is 24!) said that she was coming even though she wasn’t born when any of that stuff happened. And then she commented that she thought she had a 70’s t-shirt somewhere she could wear… :smack:

I alos coach high school kids and I’ve realized that I’m older (at 37) than some of their parents. And the novice rower I think is cute? I was TWENTY-TWO when he was born. (don’t worry, I’m not cruising for jailbait, I just think he’s a cute kid)

Funny you should start this thread today. An old friend of mine brought me a recent photo of the (now 57-year old) girl we both had the hots for in high school. OMFG! :eek: :eek:

Just shoot me now…

I know you can’t see me, but I’m playing a tiny violin for you. I’m starting to look like how I remember my DAD :eek:
And romansperson? I got bifocals when I was eight. Just shoot me know, mmmkay?

Almost too many to mention:

The two biggies were bifocals, and realizing that all but one of the folks I worked with were the same age as my children.

Step aside! Try putting on an orthopedic stocking and not feel old. I’m more lame than my grandmother was at 20 years beyond my present age of 53. The warranty is expiring, and every available service contract ain’t so hot. I had a dream/nightmare a few weeks ago that I was back in high school. Waking up from fitful sleep, it took a few seconds to sort it out. I was actually thinking I forgot to do homework. We’ve all heard the jokes about being “over the hill,” welcome to my mountaintop!

Hair is still growing, just not in the places you would like it to grow.

I teach Sunday School to sixth graders. Last year, they were filling out forms - and I happened to glance at their birthday.
One of them was the same week I’d graduated from High School.

That, and finding wrinkle number 2 about a month ago. (Botox suddenly makes sense. Who really needs to smile, anyway?)