Today is the birthday of that cute Beatle*, Paul McCartney. Great Britain bestowed a knighthood on him, so technically he is Sir Paul McCartney, but I’m not British. Paul turns 70 years old today, and that makes me feel old, too.
*(The spell-check here dislikes the singular. If the group was called The Beatles, I thought it was proper to refer to an individual member as a Beatle. Is Mick Jagger not a Rolling Stone?)
A few days ago was also the 25th anniversary of the invention of the file format which gave us animated GIFs. Somehow that didn’t make me feel old, possibly because I can remember life before the Internet, but I grew up with The Beatles. At least the Fab Four gave us culture, while the GIF made this archive possible.
Plenty of things have happened in the span of my life so far. Not all of them make me feel old. I remember being awakened in the middle of the night by my parents who wanted me to watch the first live television broadcast from the moon. Historical events like that have no context in my mind, with the way my brain stores memories without a timeline. I never remember dates, and I always have to do the math to realize just how long ago a specific event occurred. Years are just abstract numbers to me, and I frequently forget how old I am.
But tell me that child star Hilary Duff is now a mother and I start to feel the passage of time. It’s the milestones in other people’s lives that remind me to look at my own calendar.
I could turn this into a nostalgia post, but you’ve surely seen those before, filled with tales of old inventions like the dial telephone and 8-track tapes. I could write about remakes and reboots of old TV shows that I was watching back when they were originals.
But enough dwelling on me and my age. Let’s just celebrate the birthday of a famous guy. Go find his face as an animated GIF to brighten your day.