Time to grow up?

Back in the day, my normal dress was blue jeans, concert shirt, denim jacket.
Today, my normal attire is blue jeans, a tour shirt, and my denim jacket. I listen to the same styles of music I did back when I was a kid. I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, or do drugs…..I buy albums and listen to Hard Rock & Heavy Metal.

I ran into an old friend today, one of the biggest Metalheads I remember. He was dressed in a suit & tie and was on his way to a business meeting. We talked for a few minutes and he noticed my Motley Crue shirt from the current tour. We got to talking about the old days, the old music, hanging out, etc…..

My friend: “So, what do you listen to now?”

Me: “Same as I always have. KISS, Crue, Maiden, Priest. Mostly, Hard Rock and Metal. I keep up with the new stuff, the new bands.”

My friend: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah! I still listen to the music, buy the new albums, go to the shows…..”

My friend interrupts: “I out grew that stuff a long time ago. It wasn’t that good anyway. I can’t believe I wasted all that money way back then.”

(Now this guy was the biggest Guns’n Roses fan back in the day. He was also majorly into Crue, Bulletboys, Maiden, Ozzy, and classic rock like Led Zep, Stones, Purple. He had longer hair than me and got into fights when someone challenged his loyalty to GNR.)

Me: “What’s wrong with listening to music you liked when we were kids?”

My old friend: “Nothing, I guess. Unless you want to be 16 forever. Don’t you think it’s time to grow up?”

Me: “Uhhh, I’m the same age as you (33). I have a family. A great job that pays very well. Music is my hobby, my only vice.”

(No reply)

Me: “So what do you listen to now?”

My old friend: “I like country, some Rock but mostly women like Sheryl Crow.”

(I’m not one to judge someone’s tastes. I believe you like what you like and no one should change it. But then this guy gets on my clothes…..)

My old annoying friend: “You wear what you wore when we were growing up!”

Me: “So?”

My old annoying friend: “Men your age aren’t supposed to wear that. What are you going thru some mid-life crisis?”

Me: “I gotta go.” (Shake his hand) “Good to see you.”

And with that final exchange, I walked away. It wasn’t the questions or comments, it wasn’t the “time to grow up” line, it was the condescending tone in his voice. I was being “talked down” to, as if I haven’t evolved past high school. I also got the looks of disapproval…..that face of disgust when someone finds something offensive. I just couldn’t carry on talking with someone who was close-minded.

I’m proud to be a Metalhead at 33. I still wear my colors and live for the music. I still don’t like being told what I should do or shouldn’t do. What I should like and shouldn’t like. My personal life is my own, not part of the spoon-fed masses.

Anyone else run into this scenario?

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6 comments on “Time to grow up?

  1. I will be 36 in a few weeks yet I still listen to mainly the same music I listened to when I was in high school. I still wear concert shirts, but not at work because I have to wear polo shirts there. I do wear my jean jacket with metal band buttons to work. I work and have a family, but I still love metal. The only real difference is now I have more money to spend on albums. My two best friends from high school still listen to the same stuff they listened to in high school. One still has long hair and the other one writes for metal magazines in addition to his full time job. Music is not about an image or being “in” or “out” of fashion, but it’s simply about enjoying the music for yourself.

  2. Well said.

    I’ve never denied my allegiance to Metal because I love it so much.

    My family, work, and lifestyle give me the opportunities to enjoy my hobby more, it’s what I do.

    I have never been able to understand people who deny their past…..even the bands do it!

  3. I agree with Mark and V&D. I am 33 and I still break out my old mix tapes from 1988. I haven’t had anyone come up to me and tell me that I should grow up. Basically I wear jeans and t-shirts all the time (currently wearing an AC/DC shirt). I do have to wear dockers and collared shirts to work, but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t crank Megadeth as I pull into the parking lot at work.

    Not to turn into a head-shrinker or anything, but something I noticed that your friend said: “I like country, some Rock but mostly women like Sheryl Crow.” That tells me that he’s not married and wants to be. He got very defensive as soon as you said that you had a good job and a family. He’s jealous and was trying to put you down to make himself feel better.

    I say………fuck him!

  4. OK, you young whippersnappers, stand aside. I’m 53 and still rock out to hard rock and metal, and I still wear jeans, t-shirts, and baggy shorts. Anyone who looks “down” on me, like your old friend, can kiss my ass. :)

  5. LOL!
    Aren’t you a bit young to get into those kinds of conversations?

    I’m ten years older and I like to blast guests out of the house with the Stiff Little Fingers (“Alternative Ulster”, a fabulously raunchy tune), or Priest’s Steeler. People don’t dare question my musical tastes though because I usually know more about music than they do. Besides, not far away from my old Punk stuff I have Bach, John Coltrane and Japanese solo flute recordings.

    I also proudly wear my hooded sweatshirt given to me by a local trash metal band whenever I want to. Besides, next to that one I have my three or four black suits I wear whenever I feel like wearing those.

    So, my take on things?
    Only narrow-minded insecure asshats drag you into conversations like that.
    In short: Idiots.

    The only thing I don’t wear anymore (I don’t even have it anymore, I think) is my leather vest with all those Priest, Scorpions, Rainbow, AC/DC and whatnot patches I painstakingly applied. That would be embarrassing. I’m a teacher and I can’t run around with virgins riding on big fat snakes on my jacket. ;)

    Time for “Swords & Tequila”.

    Cheers!

  6. It all comes down to being spoon-fed by society and not staying an individual. There is this theory that once we become a certain age that we must change, we must “grow up”. Last time I checked, I grew up AND I still enjoy my music, I still play video games, and watch cartoons (Spongebob).

    That’s why I ended that conversation right away. Here was a person that had to fit into a certain mold in order to fit in and feel good about himself. It’s sad when a person can’t express their individuality because they are afraid what people might think.

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