Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Sometime between the last time I checked and this weekend I became old. Prior to this weekend I was a spry, mostly-virile, marathon-running, occasionally-carded 36 year-old. Suddenly, this weekend, the entire world decided that I was astonishingly old. You're all in on this for all I know.

This morning I ran in a 12K relay race. Each member of a 4-person team ran a 5K leg. All things considered it's a pretty silly way to spend Sunday morning, but I am compelled. Anyway, I met up with my relay teammates on Saturday afternoon to discuss our race strategy. I'm not quite sure exactly what strategy one needs in a race of that length, other than Finish-Your-Leg-As-Fast-As-You-Can, but that's what we were there to discuss. Afterwards, two of the teammates confessed that they were having a dinner party that evening and would be consuming adult beverages. Our captain heard this and lamented, "Great, our team has two drunks and...", and at this point he looked squarely at me, "and an old guy.".

That's me. I'm the old guy. Honest to god, I really have been carded several times over the last few months.

So, the next day we ran our race. We didn't win. Afterwards, I congratulated the race coordinator on a fine event and said my goodbyes. The coordinator urged me to stick around for the award ceremony because perhaps I had clinched one of the fastest times. I assured him that this was not the case. At that point he gave me one of those face-scrunched-up, are-you-sure expressions, and said, "Not even for your age group?".

This was getting weird. Conspiracy weird.

That afternoon I took the kidlet to the park. At one point we were playing with a group of other kids and we were exchanging our ages. One kid was 4, another 6, one 8, and the oldest was 13. I confessed that I was 36. The thirteen year-old's eyes bugged out of her head. "36????" she gasped, "That is OLD!! That is graduated-from-college old!". Indeed.

My daughter turned to me and said, "Daddy, you're the oldest person in the whole park." I looked around. She was right. Later, however, some wrinkly grandmotherly woman came in. She looked fairly decrepit and probably unseated me as Oldest Person In Park. She was, like, 37 or something.

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