As an older gentleman (*coughCOUGH*) I’m on that side of things where I can be sure that anything on TV, movies, clothing, and popular culture is not intended for me. In our youth-obsessed society, once you get past a certain age (somewhere in the low to mid 30’s, I think?), you start getting mail from the AARP, and notice the number of Life Alert and Depends commercials on TV in a totally non-ironic way.
This unfortunately also manifests in what I am and am not able to bring myself to do. For example: I feel self conscious about going into my local FLGS. Even though I’m no doubt older or at least am the same age as the proprietors, I get a vibe that I’m a stranger in a strange land. I have no idea why. I’ll go into Home Depot even though I don’t know which end of a hammer to hold, but I won’t go into a gaming store which sells products that I’ve been using all my life.
I consider this to be “a problem” because I firmly believe that we never outgrow the things that we like. In fact, I’ve thought about this enough that I have a monologue constructed for someone who might snidely suggest that I’m too old to be somewhere or buy something. I had to give a shortened version of this speech to my daughter’s friend last week when she admitted that once she got to a certain age, she would have to put away her interest in anime.
Does anyone really stop liking something that they’ve liked all their lives? Or do people put their interests away because “it’s what they’re supposed to do”? We’re in an age now where the things that used to be “for kids” are now “for everyone”: comic books are now blockbuster movies and must see TV, and video games are a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. Yet geeks and people who liked these things before they were cool are often considered to be childish. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.
I don’t see the point in not liking what we like for as long as we want to like it. If something makes us happy, then it’s what we should pursue. We have enough grief as adults, what with taxes and politics and the burden of having a level of understanding about the state of the world that we didn’t concern ourselves with as kids. We should take whatever enjoyment we can get, and not stamp an expiration date on it.