50

by Matt Ruff on September 8, 2015

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I’m a half century old today. I was going to add a joke about how I was a teenager only yesterday, but it’s not true. When I look at the above photo—that’s me at 15, in my bedroom in Queens with my old IBM Selectric typewriter—it feels like a long time ago. It sounds weird to say I’m 50 but I can’t say I didn’t earn it.

One way you know you’re getting older is you start noticing more and more what a different world the current generation is coming of age in. I feel like I have an advantage over my parents in that I expected this to happen. My dad, born in 1922, was amazed and a little dismayed by how much American society had transformed during his lifetime, and for my mother—born in Brazil, raised in Argentina, emigrated to the U.S. at age 23—life was one long culture shock. I grew up knowing the future would be different in ways I couldn’t predict, so I’ve found the changes more fascinating than anything else. And I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

fifty

Stefan Reimann September 8, 2015 at 11:10 am

Happy birthday!!!

Matt Ruff September 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

Thanks!

Thomas Steiner September 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Hello Matt,
I wish you all the best to your birthday and may you have still much Inspiration and fun to write such amazing and humorous storys to entertain us. Have an nice day and “may the force allways with you”

Your

Thomas

Matt Ruff September 8, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Thanks!

Elliott Gish September 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Happy birthday!

Matt Ruff September 8, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Thank you!

Alex September 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hi Matt,

my parents celebrate golden wedding anniversary today. If you feel old, imagine, how it could be married 50 years.
Congratulation from Germany

Alex

Matt Ruff September 8, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Thanks!

Silvia Kroeger September 8, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Happy Birthday Matt!!!
Greetings from Tony!

Matt Ruff September 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Hey, great to hear from you! My best to you both!

Frauke September 9, 2015 at 12:13 am

A late Happy Birthday to you!
Your description of your birthday-feeling hits the mark. Same thing with my birthday, although I will take just the 40 this year ;). Strange feeling to look at your old photos, thinking everytime “oh, THIS really was another life”.

Matt Ruff September 9, 2015 at 9:40 am

Thanks for the good wishes!

Another oddity of aging: realizing celebrities you were a fan of when they were young are now getting old too. Just saw that Pat Benatar is 62!

Hendrik Bobbe September 9, 2015 at 4:15 am

Happy Birthday!
Always interesting ideas for your new projects.
Keep on writing.
Hendrik Bobbe

Matt Ruff September 9, 2015 at 9:40 am

Thanks!

Chris Dunford September 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

Happy belated b-day, and thanks for all the good books.

Matt Ruff September 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

Thanks!

Ed Smith September 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Matt, happy birthday, a little late………sorry. I have been out of town cataloging a HUGE MAJOR Ernest Hemingway collection. You have the correct positive attitude, aaahhhh……..what is a b-day anyway……….??? Just another day……or is it? Either way, we hope you and yours had a great one!

Jose Juarez September 19, 2015 at 7:29 am

Happy Belated Birthday although I can’t help to not forget your birthday because you and my mother share a birthday and because Bad Monkeys came at a perfect time in my life. It made me want to to read all your other books. I remembered how much I laughed because when I came about Set This House in Order I remembered how many times I tossed that book around during my sentence at Borders bookstore.

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