What is middle age? If the average lifespan is 85 or so, middle age would be somewhere around 42 or 43. But some say age is just a number. Let us run with that. If we cannot define middle age by counting the number of years, we are left to look at behaviors. That’s fine. Measuring middle-age by the way people behave is actually kind of funny.
Do you remember comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck if…” gag? If so, that’s the first sign you’re in middle age. But based on that gag, we have some other signs to look for.
You might be in middle age if:
You Remember 8-Track Tapes
Before there were cassette tapes, CDs, and portable MP3 players, there were 8-track tapes. These were magnetic tapes housed in humongous plastic cases. They were the hottest music technology of the day despite holding only eight songs. If you remember 8-track tapes fondly, the evidence for you being middle-aged is pretty strong.
You Can Name All of the Brady Kids
The creators of The Brady Bunch have tried valiantly to resurrect the popular 1970s TV series. They have failed each and every time. No worries, though. If you are middle-aged, you have fond memories of sitting down with your family every week to watch new episodes. You probably even remember all the kids names. But do you remember Alice’s boyfriend, the butcher?
Your First Computer Was a Tandy or Commodore
Way back when personal computers first came out, the two most popular brands were Tandy and Commodore. Tandy was a Radio Shack (do you remember that store?) brand while Commodore was independent. Both brands died out when Microsoft introduced Windows.
You Used to Think DSL Was Great
Speaking of computers, you might be middle-aged if you once thought that DSL internet was great. Way back before broadband, DSL was supposed to be a vast improvement over dial-up. Improvement? Yes. Vast? Hardly. Even with DSL, it took several minutes for a decent image to load.
It is hard to imagine that some people living in rural America still use DSL today. Thankfully, companies like Blazing Hog are bringing wireless 4G LTE internet to customers without access to broadband. No doubt that Blazing Hog is making some middle-aged Americans very happy.
You Remember the Donny and Marie Show
My, how TV has changed over the last several decades. Back in the 70s, we were watching things like Emergency, Welcome Back Kotter, and Kojak. And then there was the Donny and Marie Show. It was billed as the consummate family-friendly variety show. It kept families glued to their TV sets every Friday night for an hour. Do you remember it? If so, you are probably middle aged.
You Have Happy Memories of the Mall
Finally, you may be middle aged if you have happy memories of the mall. Back when you were a teenager, malls were just coming into their own. You and your friends used to hang out in the food court on the weekends, scoping out members of the opposite sex and pretending to have the answers to all of life’s questions. Malls are dying these days, but your memories are alive and well.
Middle age happens to the best of us. This writer is already there. I don’t mind though because being middle-aged is a lot easier than being a twenty-something with very few answers and the school of hard knocks waiting for me to come through the door. I have earned middle-age. I am happy to be there.