It's Troy Polamalu's number. It's Darren Sproles' number, and he had a pretty good game last night. It was Richard Petty's number, and NASCAR fans still call him "The King." Channel 43 in Cleveland showed a lot of old TV shows on cable when I was little. And as of today, it's my age.
Birthdays don't mean much as you get older. You can get into R-rated movies at 17, you can vote at 18, you can drink at 21--but what does being 43 enable you to do? Not much.
People make a big deal out of turning 30. It seems to symbolize that a big part of your life is now over, that life is no fun anymore. I don't know why our culture is so geared toward youth. I remember a song by Blink 182 a few years ago which contained the line "Nobody loves you when you're 23." Twenty-three is over the hill. Incredible. What are we--a bunch of Neanderthals who don't live past 30?
I think the main reason that youth is jammed down our throats 24/7 by the media is because young people have a lot of money to blow on crap. People my age don't have the disposable income to blow on clothes, CDs and the latest electronic doo-dad. But once you've got adult responsibilities and Madison Avenue can't wheedle any more money out of you, well, then you suck.
It's the age-old question: would you do it all over if you could? I think there's a lot of psychodrama that comes with being a young adult that I would not want to relive, but I often think of all the opportunities I had that I didn't take advantage of.
So, in a way, 43 is fine. But then I start thinking about the future. I reached the point a few years ago where cemeteries started to creep me out. Then early last year, I had this really bad freakout at the prospect of not existing someday. I still hate the idea of death. It is so...out of your control. The idea of total powerlessness--who can stand that? Not many people, which is why religion is so popular, and why churches are filled with people over 60.
And it begs the question of why most of us are here. To work some meaningless job and have a little fun--what's the point? When you're gone, has your life impacted anything or anybody in any significant way?
And on that cheery note, I will let you go back to the viral video or reality show of your choice.