4 Ways Getting Older Makes You Behave Like an Asshole

The worst day of your life is the day you realize you're old. Well, unless you get hit by a train some day, then that day will be worse. But let's say your life is pretty much devoid of terror, mayhem, and gross bodily harm; then the worst day of your life is that day when you're not the young, awesome badass you used to be, and now you're cynical and grunt when you stand up.

It's not even your fault that these things happen to you -- it's time and decrepitude. You want to stay awesome forever, but your sore back wants those kids on their skateboards out the window to shut up for a minute so you can hear what the hell Wolf Blitzer is telling you. And it's not just that. Old, cruddy behavior seeps in all kinds of ways.

#4. You Avoid the Phone and the Door

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Remember when you were a kid and the phone ringing was like a tiny version of Christmas? Every ring promised surprises. Was it the president of Earth calling to tell you that you won a unicorn? Was it your best friend calling to tell you that the president of Earth just called to tell them they won a unicorn? Was it friggin' grandma? Only one way to find out!

The allure of the phone died sometime around age 20 when people who wanted money from you started calling. And sure, now you have caller I.D., so you can see who's calling and enjoy only the calls you want, but that doesn't change the fact you have to look and sneer at each and every number you don't want to be bothered with. You grew into a screener. When you were a kid, the gas company could be calling to tell you that you've been inhaling toxic ass fumes for years, and you'd still think it was awesome. Now you have to debate whether talking to your own mother is worth the hassle of the 60-plus-minute marathon you know it's going to turn into.

A knock at the door was equally awesome when you were a kid. Had a friend come to visit? A distant relative with presents? Holy shit, did you have mail? You'd run to that door to find out. Now if someone comes over that you didn't invite, you're peering out the crack in the curtain, because fuck you Jehovah's Witnesses, fuck you guy who wants me to switch gas companies, fuck you kid selling overpriced chocolate for his school, and fuck you home invasion. I'm not falling for it.

There's a direct correlation between worldly responsibilities and one's willingness to engage in spur-of-the-moment interactions with other humans. No responsibility as a kid means everyone is awesome and would only call or visit to share that awesomeness. A world of responsibilities means it's bill collectors and repo men and exes and salespeople and ax-murderers 90 percent of the time, and the other 10 percent are just assholes. It's not worth it.

#3. You Want to Horde Valuables

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Age turns many of us into miserly old Smaugs atop our crapulent throne of golden goodies, even if the only golden goodies you can afford are goldenrod-colored throw pillows. Not everyone is like this; some people go insane in the exact opposite direction and toss money away like that shit is on fire. But you'll find a lot of people, as they age, just want to accumulate wealth. Work hard, get a promotion, get paid more so you can work harder, longer hours, get paid more and work harder, longer hours. You'll die dressed in business casual of a heart attack in your late 50s, but dammit, you'll be able to afford the best coffin money can buy.

This age-old old-age problem has hampered humanity for years, even those of us who eschew hampers for sacks. What's the point of having money if you don't spend it? For many it's the rainy-day theory -- you need to save that shit for a rainy day, because apparently if it rains enough we're all going to buy jet skis. For the most part, those rainy days never come, and old people end up leaving small fortunes to their relatives if they like their families or to cats if they don't. Do you know how many cats in the world right now have more money than you do? Too damn many. No cat should have butlers. What the fuck kind of butling does a cat need, anyway? They eat floor ham.

Basically, as you proceed through working life, you start living to work. You work because you need to save, you save because you need security, and one day you notice you're 20 years older, you have a savings account, and you barely did anything fun with your life. Don't let that be you.

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Felix Clay

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