How to Know You're Old

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Maryn

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Our daughter is going through a box of her dad's books in her academic field. There are a few miscellaneous hardcovers that went in, clearly just to fill the box.

One of these extras is "The Sword in the Stone," checked out of the Evanston, Illinois library by my father in 1943. (He used to laugh that he'd been a repentant thief and when he realized he'd never returned it, he'd sent them a check for more than its value.)

I shared with our daughter how at one time I'd calculated how much he owed in overdue book fines every New Year's Day and it had kept me busy for a good long while--because calculators hadn't been invented yet.

She literally could not conceive of a time when I had to multiply the daily fine by 365 by the number of years.

I'm so old.
 

King Neptune

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Just because you didn't have a calculator doesn't mean that you are or were old; it simply means that you didn't have a calculator handy, but there have been electric or mechanical calculators for a couple of thousand years, and I doubt that you were around before they were invented.
"Blaise Pascal, noted mathematician, thinker, and scientist, built the first mechanical adding machine in 1642 based on a design described by Hero of Alexandria (2AD) to add up the distance a carriage travelled. The basic principle of his calculator is still used today in water meters and modern-day odometers."
http://lecture.eingang.org/pascaline.html
 
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Chris P

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The only time you're old is when you stop aging. You are always younger now than you are going to be later.

Or when a 12 year old looks at a desk phone and asks "How can you see what they wrote?" That counts.
 

Alcasgra

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Our daughter is going through a box of her dad's books in her academic field. There are a few miscellaneous hardcovers that went in, clearly just to fill the box.

One of these extras is "The Sword in the Stone," checked out of the Evanston, Illinois library by my father in 1943. (He used to laugh that he'd been a repentant thief and when he realized he'd never returned it, he'd sent them a check for more than its value.)

I shared with our daughter how at one time I'd calculated how much he owed in overdue book fines every New Year's Day and it had kept me busy for a good long while--because calculators hadn't been invented yet.

She literally could not conceive of a time when I had to multiply the daily fine by 365 by the number of years.

I'm so old.

Maryn, we can be old together. LOL!
 

jjdebenedictis

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I first time I felt old was when Alanis Morrisette became (for a while) the biggest pop star in North America, because she was the first super-famous, non-teen-star celebrity I'd lived through who was younger than me.

The next time was when a friend of mine who is my age related the following: She'd gone back to school and was at a movie night with some classmates. They were watching The Waterboy. When Henry Winkler's character appeared, my friend blurted out, "The Fonz!"...and nobody in the room knew what she was talking about.

The third time I felt old was when someone mentioned how they'd had to spend several minutes explaining to their four-year-old why the "Save" icon in Word was shaped like that. (It's gone entirely now, but it used to be shaped like a diskette, and, well...)
 
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Dennis E. Taylor

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The third time I felt old was when someone mentioned how they'd had to spend several minutes explaining to their four-year-old why the "Save" icon in Word was shaped like that. (It's gone entirely now, but it used to be shaped like a diskette, and, well...)

That particular icon is still used in a lot of places. I very recently told my daughter to click the icon that looks like a floppy disk (can't remember what we were doing--another sign?) and she said, "looks like a what?"
 

JulianneQJohnson

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I'm 51, and yesterday I got a pinched nerve in my shoulder because I reached for something wrong. I've also hurt my self by sleeping wrong. Nothing like hurting yourself by sleeping to make you feel old, lol!
 

Alcasgra

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I'm 51, and yesterday I got a pinched nerve in my shoulder because I reached for something wrong. I've also hurt my self by sleeping wrong. Nothing like hurting yourself by sleeping to make you feel old, lol!

I know that feeling so well. LOL!
 

Albedo

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You're old the first time you want to build a time machine so you can go back in time and slap your younger self.
 

Lavern08

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...When you make those grunting noises every time you get out of the car.

Don't look at me that way - You Old Poots know exactly what I'm talking about. :greenie
 

Lillian_Blaire

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...When you make those grunting noises every time you get out of the car.

Don't look at me that way - You Old Poots know exactly what I'm talking about. :greenie
I make that grunting noise getting in and out of bed, going up and down stairs, trying to tie my shoes...
 

Ari Meermans

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Kids.

Being old isn't about what's hurting; it's about what's not working anymore.
 

Lillian_Blaire

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Like my eye sight and hearing? My metabolism? Yeah...I'm going through some of that right now.
 

Ari Meermans

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heh. Weel, let's see: my eyesight always was bad, so that's no indicator. My hearing is still good as far as I can tell over the tinnitus. My metabolism was of the butt-dragging kind until about 2 years ago when it went into overdrive all by its own self—I figure I'ma be one of those frail little old ladies who stands about as much chance as a twig in a windstorm. (Bright side of that is I always did want to be able to fly.)
 

jjdebenedictis

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(And get your thyroid checked? Something similar happened to a friend when her levels went out of whack.)
 

MAS

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About 20 years ago, somebody's young neighbor, a lovely young lady who was 16 or 17 years old at the time, was part-time in our office for her first summer job. On her first day, she started going through the drawers in the old desk that had been assigned to her, and she held up a piece of white correcting film and said to the room at large, "What's this?" Since i was at large in the room, I told her. "That is correcting film. It lets you correct a typing error without having to roll the paper up and erase it," I said.

She still looked puzzled, so I explained further. "You backspace over the incorrectly typed letter," I said. "Then you put the film over that letter and type it again, and the film covers up the wrong letter. Then you backspace one more time, and type the correct letter."

Still looking uncomprehending, she said, "Why wouldn't you just hit the 'correct' key?"

Why not indeed. I didn't even begin to tell her about those round erasers that would spin like wheels and had a brush on the end. And I'm sure she'd never heard of carbon paper. I have felt old ever since.
 

King Neptune

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When I discover that someone doesn't know about something that is seldom used now because of more recent products, it doesn't make me feel old; it makes me wonder at the ignorance of the other person. But I am acquainted the existences and uses of things that were used before I was around.
 

MAS

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Hi king. Yes, I get that. But it makes me feel the gulf of time. Sometimes i feel like my own grandmother. OTOH, Grandma was a very cool lady, so I'm not complaining, I'm just saying'. Change is good and it's often fun, but sometimes when I notice the cumulative effect it makes me realize how much time has gone by.
 

CindyGirl

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I am 52 and have a 14 year old. Sometimes I want to 'mother' the mothers of my daughter's friends. My high school classmates are grandmothers. I don't exactly relate to either group of women. It's a little lonely sometimes.
 

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