For no really good reason other than the fact that I like the idea that I am able to influence public policy, I get many emails with surveys in them asking me important public policy questions like “do you own or rent the home you live in and how many toilets are there in your home.” You know, the important scientific-like stuff that shapes public policy.
Anyway, I noticed as I was filling out one of my recent surveys that many of the surveys begin with a “demographics” questions – what is your gender and your age. This got me to thinking about how we could add some character to the numerical age questions and this is what I came up with:
12 – 17 years old – these are the years that you know that you know everything. You know everything about everything and you know that your parents could never possibly understand your life and they have NEVER had to go through anything like what you are going through at this point in your life.
18 – 24 years – you’ve graduated from high school, screwed around at college for a bit and not accomplished much of anything other than moving from the bedroom you lived in as a child in the upstairs of your mom’s house to your her basement. Your knowledge base now includes which pizza places have which specials on any given night.
25 – 34 years old – you realize that the big move to your mom’s basement was really not that big a move. Especially seeing as the laundry facilities for your mom and younger siblings are in the basement on the opposite side of the wall as the head of your bed. Time to get a real job – you become a barista. Not the power career you were dreaming of.
35 – 44 years old – with perseverance you have become an assistant to the assistant manger of your coffee shop. Yeah. And the people who collect student loans – don’t kid yourself, they will find you, after all, it is an urban legend that the US Special Forces found Osama bin Laden – it was actually the people who collect student loans who found him. Yeah, those same people have now found you and they want their money back. The money you borrowed to screw around in college when you were 20-something.
45 – 54 years old – you have hit your best before date. You now realize that your parents knew all that shit that you thought you knew so much about and that they didn’t know anything about. You also wish that you had listened to them.
55 – 64 years old – the age when you have to be sure to clench your ass cheeks really tight when you cough. When you are out with your buddies you are often heard to say, “Did I ever tell you about the time when…” Your buddies all shout at you that you have told that same story countless times and that they do not want to hear it again. But you tell it anyway.
65 – 74 years old – getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why you walked into the room. When out with your cronies (your buddies have become your cronies now) you preface your favourite story with, “Did I tell you about the time that I…” and all your friends laugh uproariously at your story without realizing they have heard the story countless times before.
75 – and up – your mouth is running without the control of the brakes; when out in public you tell random people exactly what you think of them and their kids. You are often heard muttering things like, “Kids these days…”