So, here I am. 43. Today. By the time most of you read this, I'm guessing it will be official.
As I'm given to understand it, I came to be right about 16 minutes before noon - completely ruining my mom's lunchtime. Come to think of it, her breakfast was probably shot, too. If it's any consolation, dinner time for me on Kyle's birthday was pretty much obliterated, as well, Ma.
Either way, as I see it, I'm pretty well into middle age, God willing.
And yet, I'm pretty sure I'm just a grumpy old troll at this point.
For instance, I was going for a long run the other day when I noticed I was approaching a poorly parked car on Laird Avenue. As I got closer and closer, I saw two teenagers sharing saliva in the front seat of a Volkswagen Beetle.
It was blue. I was red.
"Really, really?" I thought but didn't say. Why were they there at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday? Shouldn't they be studying for an Algebra II test or working on a term paper or something? Or, at like, soccer or piano practice or something, anything, else?
Blech! - that one I did utter aloud.
And just as I pushed the idea that I was becoming my father (who detests teenage PDA) way, way down into my subconscious, it popped back up and slapped me on the back of the head like Gibbs hits DiNozzo on "NCIS."
"Honest to Pete, are you kidding me?" I said a few afternoons later while running past another pubescent couple exhibiting great affection for one another.
It was a little odd, you know, because, despite the warm temperature that day, his hands must have been cold. Luckily, she allowed him to keep both of them nice and warm in the back pockets of her blue jeans.
The thought that I might regurgitate my salad crossed my mind - and my esophagus a little bit, methinks.
"What's the matter with me? When did I become this old curmudgeon?" I asked my pal Nancy Hastings of Liberty.
"Don't ask me, I'm still trying to wash out the image of my 13-year-old son sucking face with his 'girlfriend' when we took them to the movies the other day," she said, flushing her retinas with saline solution and a little bit of memory eraser, I think.
OK, so maybe it's a Mom thing, not an age thing. After all, Nancy's four years my junior.
And just when I started to think that maybe I wasn't a big old grouch, it happened.
"Kyle Donald! Eminem is a horrible role model; you shouldn't listen to his music. It's offensive!" I heard myself spout before I could even appreciate the irony in my words.
This from the girl who tortured her parents by blaring AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Poison and Def Leppard songs at the highest decibel level ever; who advocated for their right to freedom of speech. The gal who aced her college term paper on why censorship in rock music was the beginning of the end of the very fabric of our democracy in her undergrad Honors English course. The woman who became Y-103's "Hair Band Mom."
I couldn't have summed it up any better than my pre-teen son.
"Geez, Grandma. Lighten up a little!"
Happy birthday to little old me.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.