My friends are getting old

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Someone has played a mean trick on me. He or she has signed me up for a 40th birthday party mailing list. I never asked to be on this list. And yet, the invitations keep pouring in.

Age forty is a special time, I suppose. When hair changes color or density. When bodies contort in ways that resemble Sesame Street numbers or letters or characters. It’s the time when one’s children have an epiphany:

“I thought my Dad was a professional athlete, a traveling musician, a stunt man. He is actually a salesman, a manager, a report generator.”

Friends and family gather ‘round during this transition to mourn the loss of coolness. They recount stories of collegiate feats and youthful pursuits. They tell tales of times before gravity fully descended, when metabolisms ran day and night, when “cholesterol” came up in health class, not in Golf Channel commercials.

For the record, I’m nowhere near forty. I have just always been mature for my age. So, my friends have always been several years, if not decades, older than I.

This makes the mailing list practical joke all the more problematic. While some are barreling toward middle age, I am just now gliding into my prime.

While others are falling asleep in movies and developing a taste for olives, I am dominating my son’s pee-wee football practice. Never has a meaner man held a blocking dummy (until he felt something snap in his right knee last week).

While the forty-year-olds are getting their ear hairs and eyebrows trimmed, I’m appearing in advertisements for Gent Hair Salon. (At least I will be soon; I’m certain my offer got sucked into an e-mail spam folder.)

Their primary care doctors are asking them to eat four-fifths of the serving sizes they used to eat. Mine will soon ask me to speak at his annual health clinic.

Growing old gracefully is a great challenge of our time. I have friends foregoing red meat, then all meat, then dairy, then gluten. I’m not exactly clear what gluten is, but I am confident I am already avoiding it. How else would I be invited to speak at that soon-to-be-scheduled health clinic?

Denial is another great challenge of our time. Men attempt to stiff arm Father Time and Rogaine their strength. Women think outside the Botox for natural ways to resist wrinkles.

It’s easy to forget the surest ways to attractiveness at forty, fifty and beyond: joy in one’s heart and character in one’s bones. There’s simply no powder, cream, foam or silicone shortcut to these things.

And I’m really not sure which comes first: the joy and the character or the good decisions that lead to them. Regardless, they inspire an attractiveness that affects, and yet surpasses, physical appearance.

Thankfully, I have many years left to cultivate them before I summit the hill. In the meantime, I guess I’ll continue to attend the 40th birthday parties. My friends need a reminder of what they used to be.


Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star. Follow him at http://www.kwt.info.

3 Responses to “My friends are getting old”


  1. 1 Brandi Egli October 21, 2013 at 22:37

    Wow! Two things young man. You will soon be getting an invitation to my 40th birthday party. In case you forgot, it is December 20th and I want a present. Secondly, when all our families went to see Planes for YOUR 30 something birthday, I just want to remind you that it was YOU and ONLY YOU amongst 5 families that fell asleep during the movie. I, on the other hand, wrangled my 4 daughters (which includes a set of twins) and had a couple of Thompson twins crawling on me that I was feeding M&Ms to. Snooooooorrrrrreeee. After all that, you are still one of my favorites.

    • 2 Kevin Thompson October 22, 2013 at 23:50

      Brandi, Brandi, Brandi,

      We both know that I was merely dissatisfied with the creative efforts of the movie and had to imagine something better in my own bright mind.

      Kevin Thompson 210-527-7940

  2. 3 Susan Allen October 22, 2013 at 10:27

    You make me smile.

    Susan (Susie) Allen

    Texas Heritage Bank

    1208 S. Main

    Boerne, Texas 78006

    830-815-1043 (metro)

    830-249-3955

    830-249-3988 (fax)

    Offices in Cross Plains, Boerne and Leon Springs to serve you!!!


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