I have a theory, which is mine, about getting older

Today is my birthday. Yeah, whoop-ti-doo, it’s a work day and I’m home alone and dinner is going to be rice and beans with no cake, so congratulations are not in order. Also, I’m 63, which led to my new insight.

I’m actually 3 vigorous, flighty, strong, bumbling 21 year olds trapped in one body. It explains why I’ve put on weight over the years, and they’re all kind of bummed out about being stuck in here, so they occasionally lash out, which is why my bones ache. It’s a satisfying theory which explains many phenomena.

So now I just need to figure out how to reconcile these three (who I’ve named Chad, Dexter, and Evil Dexter, by the way) to their existence as roommates in a co-op with really strict rules and no escape clause. Things might get better next year at this time when it’ll be three young men and a new one-year-old baby and we can start negotiating the sit-com rights, but until then I’ve got to keep these rambunctious wastrels occupied. Any suggestions?

If it helps, I spent my first 21st birthday in my dorm room, studying for a biochemistry final the next day. That’s what 21 year olds do, right?


  1. says


    63’s a bigger year than you think. It’s a thrice of a thrice of a sept. 337 so you’ll have plenty of good luck this year.
    Also I’m definitely talking out my ass. I don’t know or care to know anything about numerology.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    Happy birthday, PZ! I share the day with you, and as I got to have Spawn#1 come over and join the rest of us for the weekend I’m happy to send you half my loot of hugs and wishes (you get the virtual ones, which coming from transatlantic strangers I’m sure you’d prefer anyway :-) )

    (re the fly-or-not-to-fly thread, I guess the US rail infrastructure may have been mismanaged even more than ours has been, sadly (eh, capitalism). A train is probably the nicest way to do that kind of distance. Hope Mary gets home safely and without hassle)

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … Chad…

    Watch out – you’re gonna have extremist incels after (one-third of) you!

  4. Artor says

    A middle-aged electrician was arguing with his 40 y/old wife, and threatened to trade her in for 2 20 y/olds. She just laughed at him and pointed out that he wasn’t wired for 220.

  5. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I’d sing Altered Images’ “Happy Birthday,” but nobody wants to hear that.

  6. Ed Seedhouse says

    This explains why we septuagenarians grow frailer. Along with the three 21 year olds we are carrying a teenager around with us! He (in my case) keeps arguing with the others and doing stupid things, and it wears us out.

  7. rrutis1 says

    You all paint quite a picture. I was looking forward to being less of a bumbler as I grew older!


  8. charlesanthony says

    Happy birthday.

    I have been taking to calling it “leveling up”, not “getting older”.

    My usual birthday practice is to climb a mountain; doesn’t have to be a big one, just a local high point. (The best was Mt. Fuji, tho.)

    On my 38th, I spent the day exploring the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

  9. says

    Look at the bright side, your three 21 year olds only have to climb up a very short mountain to add up to one big one.

  10. nomdeplume says

    Happy Birthday young man, why, you are young enough to be my son, if I had sired you when I was ……12. In a couple of weeks I will be three quarters of a century. Not sure where the last quarter century went – had it here just a day or so ago…

  11. nomdeplume says

    And I assume that next year you will have four 16 year olds screaming to get out of your body?

  12. jack16 says

    Have you tried supplementing with D3?
    I’ve been doing this for years and suffer a lot less from colds. Many others say the same. Avoid bone density distraction by googling grc+vitimin D. For me D3 seems to supress the rhinoviresses and I hope will suppress corona.

  13. Sean Boyd says

    So, if you were studying for a biochem final on your 21st, and you’re three 21-year-olds now, shouldn’t you be studying for multiple biochem finals right now, instead of blogging?

  14. publicola says

    Put the Beatles’ “Birthday” on the stereo, crank up the volume, have a big bowl of your favorite ice cream, kick back and enjoy. It only comes once a year–make the most of it. HBD.

  15. says

    Oh, goodness, I missed this post when I scrolled through earlier. Happy birthday, PZ!

    If you managed to evict Evil Dexter, would you suddenly take the appearance of a 42-year-old? Enquiring — and rapidly aging — minds want to know!

  16. dianne says

    Happy birthday PZ! I have no memory at all of how I spent my 21st birthday and this is probably because it was unmemorable rather than because I indulged in the memory destroying chemicals that were suddenly legally available to me. I suggest binging on cake and biochemistry, as 21 year olds do.

  17. magistramarla says

    Happy birthday, PZ! You are six months younger than my husband and six months older than me.When I turned 21, our first daughter was already a year old, and judging from the calendar, I got pregnant with our second daughter on my birthday.
    Yay for me!