Climbing the hill — but nowhere near over it

Climbing the hill — but nowhere near over it

I am not old.
I know I’m not old — I look around everywhere I go and see people far older than I am — but there are things that are happening to me that make me feel old.
Maybe it’s just a part of growing up, but remember teasing your grandparents (in a friendly, joking way) when they complained that the TV screen was blurry or that the sound was maxed up and it sounded like a KISS concert even though it was just an electric scooter ad — and they still fell asleep?
Grandparents are great, because they are so lovable and do outrageous things all the time without even knowing it.
However, when you start having those same problems, all of a sudden it’s not so funny. Now let me state that I am not implying that I’m having the problems of a 60-year-old man. I’ve just noticed recently that perhaps current Mike needs to get back in touch with college Mike.
First off, I can no longer read 12-point font on my work computer. Every article that comes across my desk needs to be at least 16-point or bigger. So if you want your letter to the editor or e-mail to get noticed, blow it up.
I’ve started saying “oy” every time I sit down in my chair — I should be at least 30 years from saying “oy.”
Most recently over New Year’s, I noticed my alcohol tolerance has plummeted. Once able to go round for round with football players with a hundred pounds on me, I’ve developed the tolerance of a freshman opening up his first beer at a fraternity party.
And to put the icing on the cake, I caught myself just a couple weeks ago saying the line, “When I was your age.”
To be fair, I was talking to a 10-year-old who had a cell phone. I mean, I got a cell phone when I was 16; now, I see a 6-year-old texting his friend.
When I was 6-years-old, I had a phone. It called Bert, Ernie, Grover, Cookie Monster and Big Bird. Lucky for me I had the unlimited minutes plan.
Kids these days … oh man it’s happening again!
But I joke; I know I’m not really old. I mean in comparison to my Kadima kids and my young cousins perhaps — they think I’m old — but I’m still very young.
I still play basketball, football, lacrosse and a bunch of other sports without having to ice my knees afterward; I still get mistaken for a college student at the JCC and at first I didn’t like that. Now, I’m thinking it’s probably for the best.
And looks-wise I would have to say that I’m a lucky one. I have a friend who has been getting gray hair and a friend who is just a few short days away from being as bald as Larry David.
I’m 22 and nowhere near getting old. But once you get out of college and enter the real world you can’t help but notice the little things you might have overlooked when you were still in school.
So I’m going to go out there and be as young as I can for as long as I can. In the very distant future I will be that old man with no shame in the gym locker room or that guy speaking to himself on the bus, but for now I’m not. I’m young, healthy and ready to go.
Just when you call me next time — speak up.

(“On My Own,” which is published monthly, deals with issues facing a young Jewish adult as he lives on his own in a new city. Mike Zoller can be reached at

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