Recently I have found myself doing a lot of old people stuff.
I first noticed it when I was in Amsterdam. My friends there (who are all a few years older than me) were in a party mood. They went out every night until the sun came up. Not so much E and I. We'd go home at 2am at the latest. 5 hour sleep nights just don't play well with me. Don't get me wrong, I still like to go out, drink and be merry but I also like to be home and in my own bed not too long after midnight.
I couldn't even blame the jet lag - according to the jet lag I should have been able to stay up until the early morning hours with no problem.
On Queensnight - the party-night before Queensday - the day that everybody goes wild and orange - I even got a bit bothered by the crowds that had gotten to an uncomfortable level of drunkenness. Aggressiveness, mixed with touch of horny was buzzing in the air. I was wondering if there ever was a time when I liked that and I am pretty sure there was. Maybe I was just too waisted to notice back then.
I remember the first time I felt like I was no longer a spring chicken. It must have been 3 or 4 years ago. Two of my best friends and I went to Vondelpark with a bottle of wine in hand after dark. I spent every summer in Amsterdam, in my early 20s that way - wine in the park on a blanket. Cheap and romantic. When we tried to find a place to sit on the grass that day we found that wasn't a good idea. The grass was a bit wet and we didn't want to get grass stains on our nice pants. So we were looking for a bench to sit on. We found a bench but after about 5 minutes on the bench, mosquitos started attacking us.
Defeated, we decided to go to a bar instead.
But not only do I find myself not wanting to go out as much, I also have started talking like an old person. And I am realizing - I am not turning into my mom (as the world keeps on telling me I should) - I am turning into my grandma.
It is very odd. I had never been a fan of using sayings but now old Austrian proverbs pop up in my head like mushrooms in a forrest. My favorite one is "The only thing I HAVE TO DO is die!" as an answer to "But you HAVE TO!". Let me tell you one thing though - do not use this proverb on a 3.5 year old. It is apparently a very disturbing thing to say to a toddler.
Another favorite of my grandma, that I have to force back the urge to use: "A soccer player/indian (native American) doesn't know pain" in response to "Ouch!".
Another indicator that I am getting old is the reminiscing. Sometimes my husband and I reminisce back to times when there were no cell phones, no internet. One of my proudest teenager moments was when I aced an essay on evolution in my biology class. I wrote a five page essay on my old typewriter, I cut out pieces, I photocopied pictures of amoebas and monkeys and cut and pasted all of these manually into a, if I may say so, nicely written article on evolution of mankind which I then photocopied again to make it look like a magazine piece. I got the best grade in class and after that on every essay the kids in class (who had actual computers and color printers - but not the internet because people back then didn't have the internet yet) tried to outdo me with their presentations and their cutting and pasting. Today these things are not the same. I see it with my photography - I used to shoot film until only a few years ago and you can't do nearly as much editing with film. Nowadays you can be a mediocre photographer and still have acceptable photos if you know your editing (however I don't believe that you can cancel out bad photography all together by good editing).
I remember a conversation some friends recently had about the internet:
Friend 1: "What did people do when they had an argument about who is right back when they couldn't google it?"
Friend 2: "I don't know. I guess they went to the library and looked it up in a dictionary?"
Good old times.