No, this is not a whine about being old. Really.
The post by alternatefish referring to not yet having a job reminded me of how it felt, when I started working, to be the young kid in the office, lo! those many decades ago. I kept thinking of myself that way - as the youngest kid in the office - even as the years passed and intellectually I knew it was no longer true. That was my self-image.
Then, suddenly, at some point it struck me that I was one of the oldest people in whatever company I was then working for. Very soon, I was almost surely the oldest person in the company. I'm fairly sure that's the case at my current employer, Quark.
No profound insights in this post. (Aww! You've all come to expect them!) (Okay, so you haven't.) Obviously, this is a common experience. But it seems powerful and unique to me right now. What am I rambling on about? Cognitive dissonance, I guess. It hits one in various ways in connection with aging. That fellow in the mirror is just some fat, bald, old guy with sagging jowls instead of the kid who's supposed to be there. Who kidnapped that kid and substituted his grandfather, damn it? Again, this is obviously a common experience, but lately I've been thinking about how odd it feels, almost otherworldly or detached from reality.