Saturday, February 26, 2011

Like Stinky Cheese

It is a well-known fact that many things become better with age. Fine wine develops a robust and satisfying tone. Certain varieties of cheese blossom into their highest point of flavor, though the ones in the back of my refrigerator don’t seem to be of any of those varieties so I should probably get around to throwing those out. Certain items of clothing become so much more comfortable the older they get that they have to be thrown out in the dead of night in an undisclosed dumpster halfway across town just to prevent their retrieval from the trash.

“Honey, how did my favorite shirt get in here?” the husband asks his wife unwittingly as he pulls his Max Headroom Coke shirt from the garbage and throws it right back on despite the large hole in the left armpit that isn’t just on the armpit anymore but spans across most of the chest and despite its immediate proximity to old coffee grounds for the period (however brief) of its attempted disposal. And don’t think he doesn’t notice the coffee grounds. On the contrary, he is pleased and feels the resulting stain will add even more character to the already impossibly awesome shirt.

Advanced age is so synonymous with character these days that people actually pay more for things that have been distressed. Retro toys that are made the old crappy way and possibly with lead-based paint are more expensive than newer toys made with modern methods. Jeans come with rips and holes already in them (though I prefer to make the holes in mine the old fashioned way, by playing tackle football in them too often or carrying an overstuffed wallet in my pocket for several decades). Furniture is made with preexisting cracks and divots in the surface. I have a very cool looking dining room table that my kids need to set a flat object on top of in order to do homework. We manage. All for style.

So, as I turn another year older today, I’m not concerned. The extra wrinkles next to my eyes when I laugh add character to my face. The few gray hairs I’m beginning to find should provide me with a distinguished look ala comic book genius Reed Richards. The sounds my joints make remind me of that cool wooden door on that one building on my college campus. The fact that I can’t remember which building it was makes me eccentric and interesting. All the experience and side effects of age really just give me added quality.

So here’s to another year. I’m not another year older. I’m another year more distressed. I’m more valuable now than I ever was.

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