• You know you're getting old when...

    Last night I was woken up by loud female screaching and giggling at 3am. I'd only just dropped off being a night owl and don't sleep well at the best of times, so this was exceedingly annoying.

    How people survive with noisy neighbours I will never know, and I have a HUGE amount of sympathy for them.

    Truth is, I live in a sleepy backwater, which is blissfully quiet, and young people generally can't afford the area - hence no students and general peace. Unfortunately young people can no longer afford to buy their own flats or even the rent required, and so are continuing to live with their parents. And these particular parents are evidently away allowing their 2 sons to run riot and invite their giggling girlfriends for sleepovers, no doubt plying themselves with booze first and deciding that screaming in the garden at 3am is somehow a good idea. Result, a week of partying and waking up half the street. I know they woke up my lodger who has to get up at 7am to go work. Grr.

    Now when exactly did I turn into this grumpy old bird? After all I'm no stranger to noise and lack of sleep - everytime we do some touring I have to share accommodation with the band and invariably people roll in drunk at all hours and someone always snores and as a light sleeper I don't get much rest. But it's always temporary. It's work. It's with the knowledge that I can catch up when I get back to my peaceful lair. Which is currently far from peaceful.

    In fact it's now hard to imagine that I behaved like that as a teenager, but of course I did. And generally mixed with alcohol which I think is at the root of most antisocial behaviour. Yes you've guessed it - I don't drink much anymore and haven't for a long time. Makes me feel ill and brings out the worst in me, so no point in doing something I no longer enjoy. Unfortunately most people I know (of all ages) still do and still demonstrate some of these antisocial traits we're all familiar with. But not to the extent of teenagers.

    I now have a serious disconnect to my teenage years. I know I was a complete nightmare. And I mean COMPLETE. But it's like looking at a past life, or a parallel existence, with little empathy for my behaviour and an overwhelming gratitude that I came out of it in one piece. No wonder then that I generally find teeagers extremely irritating, from the inane conversations ('ooh, I think he fancies me..) to the inexperience of knowing their limits and the extraordinary inconsideration towards others which I'm told is hormonal. That doesn't make it any more palatable.

    Yup - I've become the grumpy git next door! Perhaps I'll eventually morph into the old lady who whacks people across the shins with my walking stick....


    • 1. Sep 16 2014 4:31PM by Ian Foxon

      Getting old's a bitch isn't it? The slow realisation you have started to hate that which you once were, coupled with the guilt and shame of the hypocracy that entails. And God, I know what you mean when you hear them talk, were we truly so dumb? I guess it's a yes. However, to be honest. If I didn't need the sleep, suffer with the aches and have a genuine need to apply myself occasionally to some form of work, I for one would likely still be out there imbibing dangerous chemicals, failing miserably to impress girls and keeping you awake at night ;)

    • 2. Sep 16 2014 5:03PM by Rick Palin

      I would like to say oh what lovely little fellas they must be. However, due to my advancing years i would be more likely to lean out of the window with a catapult and some spare buckshot. Might be a little draconian but boy does it work. Besides think yourself lucky I live next door to an indian couple of which the wife always has to shout at her husband in the back garden at 6am EVERY DAY! Now apart from the fact she sounds like a harpie crossed with a rapidly deflating tyre ( to picture this more vividly imagine Freddie Krugers claws going down a chalkboard) I am horribly insulted by my local councils denial of my request for voluntary euthanasia ( a new service i am introducing, very competitive rates, if a tad messy). I digress, i have turned that frown upside down though i just picture how much energy it is saving me, I never have to make sure to charge my phone to ensure the alarm goes off on time!

    • 3. Sep 16 2014 6:47PM by Mark

      For all that getting old is a bit of a pain, it's preferable to the alternative.

      And I am sure that teenagers have abysmal hearing, otherwise why would they need to be so loud? This is backed up by my experience with my own kids - they never hear when you speak to them.

    • 4. Sep 18 2014 11:54AM by ande

      I knew I was getting old when I finally managed to come to terms with it, one of maturing's less publicized effects. Thankfully some very interesting people are drawing similar conclusions...

    • 5. Apr 3 2016 7:56PM by Rob Evenden

      I have only just read this. I can't handle most teenagers either as their general idiocy makes me want to throttle them.

      I suppose I was one at some stage, but I think I just went straight from quiet kid to an adult who doesn't tolerate anti-social plebs, especially their woeful taste in "music".

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