Sign of Aging #17

6 Oct

Sunday, when I was out and about, I bumped into a coworker of mine.

Actually, I also bumped into a former coworker, one I hadn’t seen in about six years.

This former colleague was with his kids, and he said to them, “Come meet my friend, Martin.”

Not 30 minutes later, I saw the current coworker, who was also with her kids. She introduced me too, except she told the kids that my name was “Mr. Lieberman.”

Forget my bad back or my noisy-neighbor complaints. When people start calling you Mr. whatever, you know you’ve gone past the getting old phase.

Now you’re actually old.

When did this happen?

I don’t mean to imply that it did in that half hour between introductions.

Have I really grown up so much?

Was my former coworker still seeing me through the prism of my younger days when he last saw me, and my current coworker seeing a different person?

Does she really see me as a mature, wholly professional, grown up, ahem, adult?

Maybe it was my unshaven face that made me at least look aged. Maybe even rugged, dignified, and tough.

Maybe it was because I was outside an L.L. Bean store, and not the Gap, where I had seen my other friend.

It certainly wasn’t the fact that I had just gone to see a kid’s movie — alone, no less.

But yeah, in that moment, when she told her kids to say hello to “Mr. Lieberman,” I felt old.

Sigh. There’s no turning back now.

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