Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gerascophobia


I just turned 29 years old.

And I’m pretty damn happy about that… though not overly zealous. I mean, to me, a birthday is just another day; or more precisely, another day I am alive and in awe of the universe, and a day I can ‘cry if I want to’ and contort my face in otherwise unacceptable positions while blowing out flaming wax sticks. It’s pretty special, yes, but no more special than any other magnificent day when I scrunch up my facial muscles and purse my lips in the privacy of my own bathroom.

That’s why I was surprised at how many birthday-wishers plummeted into well-intentioned, graceless verbal acrobatics around the apparently dismal and scary fact that I had almost spent 30 years alive and healthy:

“Happy Birthday, -c! Don’t worry, though: you have one more year before you’re Old!”

“Happy B-day! It’s amazing you’ve led such a full life! Soon you’ll be shaving your nipples and chin!”

Call me a liar. Call me a fake. But, I swear, I have never been afraid of growing old. I have never suffered from gerascophobia, as it is medically called. If anything, I think getting old is an evolutionary sign of strength and virility.

In my opinion, getting old is sexy. I think gray hair, wrinkles and experience are the hottest attributes anyone could have. I think an intelligently expressed opinion over a racing, over-heating heart is more vagina-moistening than any unexamined proclamation from a physically-fit, wrinkle-less youngster on a treadmill any day.

That’s right: I’ll take man-tits and nose hairs over ignorance or stupidity, hairy hands down.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Just because I’m not a sufferer of gerascophobia (fear of getting old) or rhytiphobia (fear of getting wrinkles), doesn’t mean I don’t have other irrational fears.

I’ll admit I am slightly ergophobic (fearful of work and responsibility), plutophobic (fearful of wealth), emetophobic (fearful of vomiting), and apiphobic (fearful of bees). (*Honestly, if I were a character in Orwell’s 1984 and were trapped in a cage with work responsibility, a bunch of bees, a stack of Hamiltons reading ‘In God we Trust’ and the threat of lunch regurgitation, I would not only admit that 2 and 2 were 5, but also that the Earth was flat and that George W. deserved to be elected supreme Dictator of Positive Progress for eternity.)

I’d say I got off pretty easy with my fears, really. To think, I could have been one of the unfortunate souls who has a paralyzing fear of ticking clocks (chronophobia), a debilitating and antidisestablishmentarianistic fear of long words (Sesquipedalophobia), or even worse a fear of opinions (Allodoxaphobia), a fear of erect penises (Medorthophobia) or -most horrific of all- of thinking (Phronemophobia).

Yup, I'd say I'm pretty lucky. Not only am I excited by the fact that I am growing older, but I do not have an irrational fear of chickens at dusk or of toothpaste tubes taking over the world.

And, those, I'm sorry to say are not claims everyone can make.



*Edit/Update 1: I sometimes feel angst about dinner conversations. Could I be
Deipnophobic?

7 comments:

Cap'n Rich said...

What's the word for a person that doesn't report their every move to their beloved Cap'n so that he won't worry himself sick over said person? Platypus comes to mind.

Grrrr...

-c I forgive you and would like to bring to your attention that I meet all of your criteria for being a sexy older man. I even have to blow dry my nose hair and plad my ear hair. Would you like a lock of either? $5 bucks a hair.

Gawd,I'm glad you are back! :)

Cap'n Rich said...

Oops!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Rabin said...

Happy Birthday -c!

30's is tons of fun!! Trust me on this!

dingobear said...

Superb post! And Happy Birthday, kid.

:-)

(Note: I can legitimately call you "kid" because in a couple of months, I turn an old and wise 29-and-a-half).

Re: phobias ... I think the only thing I fear is that my longtime blogging buddy may one day choose to no longer post ... Great Platypus forbid!

-c said...

cap'n rich- You stated that the asking price for your blow-dried nose hair is $5 a strand. How many strands do I get per lock, and is their a reduction for bulk purchases?

rabin- Yeah, I'm pretty excited about the 30's. I hear you get to start calling yourself an 'adult' while continuing to act in the same ol' immature ways. That's right up my alley!

dingobear- Thanks, grandpa! Listen- the only thing the Great Platypus asks in return for granting you existence in an amazing universe is that you have Faith in him. Your blogging buddy will always be around (though she may choose to change up her page soon and invent a new, absurd angle). On another note, I hope I get to see you before you head off to your life in Scandanavia. Inshallah! (I mean, Great Platypus willing!

frustrated writer said...

wow, i just found out i'm sexy. go figure.

happy birthday and may you revel in the few irrational fears you might have as you blow out candles for good luck.

you are fortunate though, i happy to like stacks of Hamiltons so if you ever are surrounded by them and need them removed, call me. As for bees...everyone should fear them.

-c said...

frustrated- I'm relieved to know there is a trusted foster care house for all the Hamilton's that might one day invade my home. Should they ever begin to breed exponentially, I will most certainly call you:)