Song of the Week: “What’s My Age Again?” (blink-182)

Because I’ll have been 23 years old for half a year come Wednesday, have some old-school blink-182.

Of note before I get into the song itself, the band (sans DeLonge) released a new album in 2016, California, which contains the track “She’s Out of Her Mind.” Here’s the video for the song. Look familiar? Now, lyrically, “She’s Out of Her Mind” is very different from “What’s My Age Again?” and yet the video is as close to shot-for-shot identical as it could be — but gender-swapped. There’s not really a reason for it, except to use sex appeal and a heavy dose of nostalgia to sell singles. But there is a bit of similarity, musically. Especially the riff at the start of “She’s Out of Her Mind,” which sounds suspiciously similar to “What’s My Age Again?” except sped up. But that’s not the song I’m showcasing this week, so I suppose I’ve digressed enough.

There’s probably not a whole lot to be said about “What’s My Age Again?” at this point, given that it’s almost eighteen years old — which means that, ironically, I’m actually five years older than a song about immature people at my age.

It’s hard to feel chastised when you’re older than the thing that’s chastising you.

Now that’s not to say that I’m some rash, streaking manchild of a 23 year old, but if you don’t take the examples in the song literally you can see a metaphor for getting older and needing to, pardon the phrase, get your shit together. There’s a time and place for immaturity, and while I don’t think growing up means you have to lose the things that you enjoy or the things that make youth fun, I think that context is important. When you’re living in the so-called “real world,” you have to figure out how to balance responsibility with pleasure, maturity with immaturity. “Act your age” doesn’t mean you have to abandon fun because you’re older; it means you have to be mindful of the responsibilities and expectations that come with growing up.

Of course, there’s always the more likely option that the song isn’t really about any of this and I’m just reading way too much into things.

Nobody likes you when you’re 23 and overanalyze classic pop-punk songs.

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