Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day 1 - Of Hobbits and aging

My husband is 37. I don't really see the significance of being 37, but age has been weighing heavily on his mind lately. Just the other day in the kitchen he stopped in the middle of making coffee and declared he felt old. I've tried to get to the root of why he's been feeling so aged for the past year (which is really when this oldness-kick began) I can get nothing more than, "its just how I feel", also known as the grown-up equivalent of "I dunno".

Watching the Lord of Rings again today I was reminded that for Hobbits 33 was a coming of age and becoming an adult, the end of their "tweens", similar to our turning 21. My guess is Tolkein picked 33 as the beginning of Hobbit adulthood because he made Hobbits long-lived (they live to be 90 to 120). Living to be 90 would've been unusual when Tolkein was writing, but is becoming more and more common today.

I read a while ago that 30 is the new 21 as aging goes, and I think there is some truth to that. We seem to have entered in to a period of prolonged adolesence, kids grow up quicker but they stay kids longer. When my grandparents were young people married in their late teens or early 20s and started having kids immediately. By 40 their kids were starting to get married and have families. Today I have a friend who at 37 still doesn't feel ready for marriage or kids, and another friend who has been married for 6 years and at 35 he and his wife aren't sure they're in the right place in their lives for kids. My brother is a brand-new father at 34 after major reservations that having a baby would severly limit his online gaming time. Yet another friend has been married for 3 years and her husband feels children would greatly impede their ability to hit the bars and fly to foreign countries (not that one action necessarily follows the other).

With all of us living longer and acting like children for an increasingly extended period of time it seems we're becoming more like Hobbits, adolesents until our early 30s. All of this would make 37 not only NOT old but just barely an adult, and seeing as my husband is downstairs at this very moment playing an FPS with the rest of his online "clan" I'd say 'barely an adult' sums it up perfectly. Did I mention he also has large hairy feet?