From “Dude” to “Sir” in 60 seconds


I’m walking into the elevator at work and some groover with a skateboard, ice coffee and bright red Monster Beats headphones by Dr. Dre calls after me.  “Sir, sir, can you please hold the elevator?”  I make a lame attempt to keep the door open but it shuts between us as we make awkward eye contact.  As I contemplate this passive aggressive maneuver,  I can’t help to wonder when I went from being a “dude” to a “sir”?  Unlike any of the other signs of aging like greying hair or bowel inefficiencies, going from “dude” to “sir” doesn’t seem to happen gradually.  It literally happens over night. One day I was being asked by total strangers if I knew where one could score weed and the next day I was being asked where the handicapped entrance to the subway was located.  It’s not really fair because this type of change needs more transition time.  I have friends my age that still call me dude but that doesn’t count because someone out there is calling them “sir”.  At my desk I start to obsess and begin doing “daddy math” in my head.  When Thing 1 is twenty and Thing 2 is eighteen I will be…sh#@t!  I ask my assistant to order a vegetarian lunch from the Thai place around the corner and make an appointment for a colonoscopy with Dr. Manhind (great name for an ass doctor).   It’s time for me to start playing defense.  Then it dawns on me.  For this line of thinking to be set off so easily, I must be having a mid-life crisis.  This puts everything in perspective and somewhat explains the strange feelings I’ve been having lately.  For three straight nights I’ve had dreams about hitting baseballs in a batting cage at Chelsea Piers.  I’ve also been having this strange emotional reaction to the scent of patchouli or sandalwood, obviously a longing to return to those careful days of college when I dated girls that didn’t shave their armpits.  On Pinterest, I’ve been pinning images of topless vintage Ford Bronco’s with surfboards thrown in the back.  Obviously impractical for a man with two small children.  I leave work early and I head down to the east village to buy some black jeans that are one size too small.  The girl in the shop tells me they’ll stretch.  I’m thinking I’m going to be working out a lot now, so I feel pretty good about the purchase.  Another possible outcome is that in six months I will end up putting these jeans in the company cloths drive box and the kid who called me sir will pluck them out and be wearing them when he doesn’t hold the elevator door for me next time.  Only time will tell.

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