You know that moment of recognition when you realize something has changed about you? It’s not possible that it changed right then and there, it’s just that the metamorphosis happened so slowly that you didn’t notice the gradual changes that are impercetible by themselves.
There are three such instances I can point to in recent years. The first was getting fat. Sure I made jokes about it for a long time. I’d laugh about gaining sympathy weight for my wife’s first pregnancy and then kept going past the birth of our second child. I knew my eating habits were horrendous and I wasn’t getting any exercise. But when I couldn’t fit into a pair of jeans anymore that truthfully I shouldn’t have been wearing for several months, I knew it happened.
Another time was when I turned into my dad. There were signs I should have picked up on there, too. Like when I softly rebuked an interviewee for not having an umbrella with him even though I probably didn’t own one at his age. Later the realization hit when I heard myself telling an employee, “Young lady, where’s your coat?”
Well, the latest revelation was last night and probably would hurt the most if I didn’t know on a subconcious level that it had happened long ago. This summer I noticed myself going outside with dress socks, shorts, and sandals. I have a harder time getting up off the floor after playing with my kids.
Last night, though, I knew I had become…old. I had given up. My life was over.
There I was, sitting on the couch voting for an unamed contestant that owns the NFL record for rushing yards on Dancing with the Stars. Hitting redial over and over and over – on two different phones no less – to get our 20 votes counted.
Sure, I could say that my wife was the one who cared about voting – which she truly was – and that I was only helping her out after she got tired 30 minutes into voting. But let’s face it, I had watched many of the episodes with her and frankly, I enjoyed it. Well not the female host or the insistence upon every celebrity to make that stupid phone hand signal after each performance. But on the whole enjoyed it.
I remember being back in LA listing to Kevin & Bean on my morning commute speaking with the producer of America’s Dancing with the Stars, thinking as they did that this was the worst idea ever for a show not named Cop Rock.
“Only old people would watch that show,” I thought. I may or may not have been right, but I am old and I watch that show. Sign me up for Denny’s chili cheese dog with bacon because I’ve given up (thanks Drew).
The point of all this…well I don’t have a point. But there must be a heck of a lot of us old folks out there and ABC’s marketers have done a fantastic job, because the lines were busy for at least an hour after the show was over. The show is a hit and really it’s a bunch of b-level (at best) celebrities and retired sports stars – not sure why they rank so low with the American public at large – ballroom dancing. And for the most part, not doing it well. My 17-month old daughter still runs like she’s drunk, but she could don ice skates and dance better than Jerry Springer.
By the way, if you’re a Washington County (PA) member and you’re attending its Annual Awards show and Business Expo tonight, stop by for a free online marketing consultation.