Stuck in the middle

I usually don’t fill out any questionnaires that come to the house, because they rarely benefit me; however, the latest one to arrive in the mailbox provided me the opportunity to not be productive for ten minutes, so I grabbed it. It was basically a multiple choice occasion in which I could rat out my primary care physician, formerly known as my doctor. My doctor being awesome, the creators of the questionnaire – his corporate bosses – are in for a big disappointment.

Speaking of big disappointments, I faced one while blackening the appropriate oval to indicate my age bracket. I naturally look to the options closer to the beginning of the range (zygote) rather than the end (Matlock fan), so I was naturally puzzled by the lack of figures that accurately reflect the number of years I’ve spent on earth.

18-24. Not even close.

25-34. It’s been a while.

35-44. This is where I belong. But as I aimed the tip of my pen to the oval, my inner voice intoned, “This is where you wish you belonged, Pearson.” Pretty rude for my own inner voice, but he was accurate. 30s to 40s…yeah, that sounds about right. But it’s wrong.

Reluctantly, I lowered my eyes to the next bracket: 45-54. Jesus Christ, seriously? I am now grouped with people in their 50s? How is this possible? “It’s possible because you turn 49 in three months, Pearson.” Nice.

Of the seven brackets, three are in the past, while three lie in wait: 55-64, 65-74, and 75-older. Statistically speaking, I’m now in the center of life. And so the question, What does it mean to be middle aged? is finally answered.

“You really think you’ll make it to 98, Pearson? Good luck with that.”


About Admin

Dana Pearson is a writer living in Kennebunk, Maine.
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One Response to Stuck in the middle

  1. Richard Morse says:

    At age 56, here’s my coping mechanism for this problem:

    Lots and lots of classical music concerts. With that audience, I’m still a tot. Check out the relatively new Metropolitan Opera in HD at respectable movie theatres all up and down the East Coast: the audience arrives there, on death’s door, with their walkers. I’m practically a toddler.

    Look at it this way. You’ve deleted a good deal of the stupid stuff. You can identify a waste of time from a mile away. You are living better, more richly, more efficiently. You know where to find beauty, and how to avoid what’s rancid. The next ten years are going to be that much better than the last ten years.

    AND you, Dana Pearson, have crossed the Rubicon: you are a published author.