To my fellow Gen Xers I need to sound an alarm- a gentle alarm but an alarm nonetheless. We are getting old, y’all. By “old” I mean what we all used to think of as “old” when we were wearing a single white glittery glove to school and doing “The Bird” with Morris Day and The Time. For most of us, when we heard that somebody was in their 40’s we had visions of a dull life, devoid of energy and excitement, prospects and possibilities. Now that we are here most of us are pleased to have found out that was not the case- not even close. Because we are the market makers now, the most coveted and influential images in the world are as likely to come from our GenX group, which ranges in age from 36 to 56, as they are from the traditional sex symbol age range of 15 to 35, now held by the Millennials. Our friend Tracy down here is 50. And our friend Selena follows below and she is 24. Sometimes pictures say it all and this is one of those times.
And a night hanging out in any major metropolitan area will back up that claim as you struggle to figure out if the woman looking at you from across the joint is 45 or 32. More often than you ever would have thought when we were youngsters, you can scarcely tell the difference anymore.
So based on these visuals, some of us have found that we are better now than we were when we were in our 20’s- in many if not all facets of life. But let’s not get carried away. While living a healthy lifestyle has clear advantages that will be the ultimate gift that keeps on giving, that’s probably not going to deliver us to eternal vitality. That is where medical science and medical technology steps in. Statistically speaking, Generation X is the most medically prescribed of every generation that is measured- excluding chronic disease and end-of life medications which of course goes to our predecessors, the Baby Boomers.
So while we take more drugs than any other group in the history of the world (probably legally and illegally but that cannot be proven with reliable statistics), that may not necessarily be working to our benefit. It is a close call, but when you consider the fact that we are no longer just taking drugs to treat cholesterol and high-blood pressure, but for other issues like anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and even “restless leg syndrome” (whatever the hell that is) our drug consumption hits an alarming rate of 74% of our population. And while becoming a slave to the pharmaceutical industry is undeniably uncool, what is cool is that we have already been conditioned to actively seek out remedies for what ails our bodies to heal and improve them.
So while we probably need to rethink all of the drugs we are taking that may or may not be doing us any good, we should most definitely double-down on the things that we are doing well- like exercising and doing yoga like God is going to run out of it. And in the meantime we really should actively explore how the market is reaching out to us with other remedies to the natural slow down we catch as we exchange our once luscious manes for the golden dome.
It just occurred to me recently how hard the mattress industry is working to get my business. Evidently, they know what channels I watch and when I watch them because it seems like I see 20 mattress commercials a day. They have done their research and they know damned well that at this stage of the game, I need to invest in something that is going to make me sleep with the same lust that drives me oftentimes right before I go to sleep. And how many different companies are going to spend millions of dollars to get me to use their water purification system? They spend that money because they know full well that a dude my age needs to hydrate aggressively if I am going to feel right and perform right in anything that I do. And its right there on my tv whenever I sit down in my den. Funny thing is, I’ve got a son who is twenty and when I hang out with him I never see these commercials when he is watching TV- just beer, burgers and bikinis. Figures.
So I get the message loud and clear and I hope you do too. If not, I’ll break it down and close it out. We are doing great as a culture in preserving our looks and we should feel really good about that. But we need to be careful about drugging ourselves for no good reason when all we probably need is some regular exercise, some better sleep and to get aggressive in hydrating our bodies. And guys, if your legs are restless and the rooster ain’t crowing like you want him to, you’ll probably do a lot better to invest in these three simple engagements before you start poisoning yourself just so you can do your thing. And 45 year olds are not supposed to do what 19 year olds do anyway. I mean, did you REALLY enjoy waking up with a brick hard d@#k every morning?
I’m just saying: if the pharmaceutical industry gets you by the balls- literally- then they’ve REALLY got you by the balls. And I don’t know about y’all, but I’m keeping my balls right where they are. When I want to use them, I am not interested in paying anybody a surcharge.