My good friend Patrick and his roommate Eliane threw a birthday party recently in their swank three-bedroom apartment near Bastille. Handsome and I were more than happy to come help them celebrate with much champagne and wine.
While sitting on the balcony overlooking the avenue Ledru Rollin and exchanging pleasantries with the other guests about paid internships and first jobs out of college, it occurred to us that we were the oldest people there.
They were talking about their current experiences.
"Oh, but age is a state of mind," I later protested to Handsome, as Eliane came out to greet us.
She squatted down on her heels to be on eye level with us and asked if we needed our drinks refreshed. We waved away her concern, assuring her we were fine.
"Happy Birthday!" Handsome said.
"Yes, Happy Birthday, and may all your wishes come true," I chimed in. We each gave her two birthday kisses on the cheek.
"So," I ventured, "what year are we celebrating?"
Luckily it was dark out, so she couldn't see us blanch when she told us.
There was a pause, and Handsome choked back a cough.
"Oh, come on, I'm sure you're not far away," she chided.
Handsome and I exchanged worried glances.
"Um," I managed.
"No, really," she insisted, "how old are you guys?" She looked up expectantly at us.
I poked Handsome in the ribs so he would go first.
"Forty-one," he said a little sheepishly.
"WOW!" she replied, obviously surprised. We weren't sure that was necessarily good. "And how old are you?" she asked, turning to me.
"I'll be thirty-six in October," I said, as neutrally as I could.
"Wooow," she said, looking up at me admiringly, "I would love to look like you when I get to be your age!"
And with that, it was crystal clear : I am now officially an old fart.