What follows is entirely self-serving schlock, not to be read by those with sensitivity or an overall world view. You have been warned.

I think I started to realize that I was getting older (I use not the word “old”, so as not to offend those more aged than I), when kids (and I don’t mean “kids” in the sense that I still feel like a kid and stubbornly try never to refer to myself as an adult. I mean “kids” in the actual meaning of the word: little, little people with a scant few years of life under their belts [should they be moved to even wear one]) really started to seriously ignore me. Early in life, any random group of children playing Freeze Tag was always a welcome sight, whether they be your crew, or complete strangers. As you get older, though, less and less of these groups yell to you to join them if they are one short. Eventually, your only refuge is basketball, where almost no matter what your age, you can still join a game (with the understanding that you will never again play in a game comprised of more than 64% of actual kids).

At any rate, I’ve now reached that age, sadly, where I am completely ignored by actual kids. Those playing hide-n-go-seek run blithely around me as if I were a tree, or more correctly, an uninteresting pile of flesh. Where the older of us, when having a conversation with a companion, will lower our voices or cease our conversation all together when a stranger happens near, kids go right on talking around me, allowing me to eavesdrop on lamentations about girls, soliloquies about video games, or veritable sonnets composed entirely on the shortcomings of homework. This occurs simply for the reason that: I. do. not. exist.

What, then, is my point? Am I asking you to feel sympathy for me as I transition into the age of misplaced hair, excess waist, and slowed reflexes? In short, yes. My birthday is within spitting distance, and, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I intend to let you feel sorry for me. I suggest you assuage your painful pity for me by buying me gifts. I shall give you an easy to follow link here, and also direct you to the same wishlist link on the right for future reference.

Good luck brave scouts.

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