I turn fifty this Saturday.
I'm watching the first season of The West Wing, which I've never seen before.
This combination has kicked me in the gut.
I guess the message "Anybody can grow up to be president of the United States" must have lodged in my data banks, crosslisted under "Personal Potential" and "Later."
At fifty, words like "potential" and "later" have become "now."
And there is no doubt about whether or not I am now the president.
Then I got my AARP card. No matter what perky spin they put on it--
"Go SCUBA diving at 80!"--
this is the modern manifestation of the Grim Reaper's scythe whistling through the air.
I didn't expect to feel anything about this birthday.
Instead, I feel like a failure.