I didn’t know I was old. In fact, I thought I was quite young. That was until I went to my Shakespeare class this week. Apparently, I’m pretty old.
Why have I decided this, you ask?
First of all, it’s because of this one guy who happens to be a little older than the rest of the students. He’s still a couple of years younger than me, but older than most of the other students. On Tuesday, he said that he was pushing middle age. What???? He’s pushing middle age?? How old is middle age? I mean, when I think of middle age, I think of, you know, the middle. If the average life expectancy is about 67.2 years (world average), and in Japan the average life expectancy is around 82.6 years, and in the US the average life expectancy is 78.2 * then at best, middle age for this guy is about 39.1, which according to my information, he is over 10 years away from. My grandmother just celebrated her 90th birthday, so middle age for her would have been around 45, and she’s still going strong, so I fully expect that number to increase. According to a report by Fox News in 2005, the US average life expectancy had increased that year because “deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke were continuing to drop.” (However, US life expectancy averages are likely to decrease again due to deaths from obesity.) At any rate, there is no figure that supports the idea that this young man is “pushing middle age.” Incidentally, this guy thinks he is the oldest person in the class by a fairly large gap. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that I have him beat by 2 years.
Second of all, when asked by my professor on Thursday if 30 was old, one young man enthusiastically responded with “Yes, 30 is old.” Wow, thanks. Considering that I will be celebrating my 30th birthday in just over 2 months, I’ll be sure to apply for my social security benefits just as soon as possible.
*Information from the World Population Prospects The 2006 Revision, United Nations Highlighted Report (If you follow the link on the asterisk beside the 78.2 figure, it will take you to the 114 page report. This information begins on page 97 of the PDF.)