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Letter

from the

Editor

Dan Mathers shares some personal insight into this month’s theme

When do we stop being young? It’s relative, right? My grandma thinks I’m young, but my teenage brothers think I’m old and out of touch ...and cringey and embarrassing. I, for one, think I’m young. I still can’t grow a respectable mustache, and I have specialty face washes to combat the acne that’s plagued me for two decades. Just this weekend I was carded at the liquor store while buying a bottle each of Veuve Clicquot and Laphroaig. I joked with the cashier, “I guess expensive Champagne and Scotch are regular purchases for the under-21 crowd, huh?” She didn’t find me funny at all. But there are certain worrying symptoms: I now wake up with aches each morning from the simple act of sleeping; every time I stand from a comfortable chair, I do so with an audible grunt; my specialty running sneakers aren’t enough to avoid soreness in my ankles; worst of all, if it weren’t for the scientific miracle of Propecia, I’d have lost my hair years ago. Of course there’s more to aging than physical deterioration. The flip side to our bodies falling apart is the cultivation of wisdom, and my greatest insight has been an acceptance of the Socratic paradox: I know that I know nothing. With each year that passes I’m more willing to accept when I’m wrong and to default to those who know better. (While my girlfriend may disagree, that’s only because she didn’t know me when I was 16.) I can’t imagine the trouble I’d have avoided if the younger me was less certain all the time. I think the answer to my initial question is probably somehow rooted in responsibility. For instance, I think we can all agree that if Mommy and Daddy are still paying your cell phone bill, you are not a grownup; reliance on others implies immaturity. On the flip side, I’m solidly into my 30s and intend to remain childless. This choice makes it likely I’ll have more in common with someone significantly my junior (or senior) who also actively avoids reproduction than with someone exactly my age who has a pair of ankle biters at home. Does that lack of responsibility also imply immaturity? Our discussion on where to draw this imaginary line was rehashed several times while reviewing nominations for this issue. For my part, I feel like a few of the “young influencers” we chose might be toeing the line. Many, like all the student entrepreneurs, clearly make the cutoff, but a number of the people profiled for the feature on local business, art and politics are nearing their forties. When we couldn’t all agree on the point at which you are no longer young, our deliberation returned to where we began: we simply agreed that it was all relative. Since we had no definitive line, and because I have the final say on what gets published in these pages, it became all about my frame of reference. Basically, our metaphysical debate boiled down to a single, simple question: Does the candidate seem older than me? Well then, they’re not young. —dan@thewcpress.com

JULY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM

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Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Young & Influential Issue - July 2019  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Young & Influential Issue - July 2019  

Voice of the Borough