Welcome to LinuxMint and the Mint Forums.
I am, also, "very" middle-aged (62) and have been using Linux and Open Source for a few of years now.
I bought my first PC from Radio Shack in 1984.
and my first Website went on-line in Oct-'92, on what was then, the WorldWideWeb (pre-internet)
I don't mind trial and error and have a lot of patience when trying new things out. It only took me a couple of hours to work out how to extract a tarball from a virtual cdrom
and even then, I couldn't quite get it right from the command line - but I will sometime.
Yeah, tarbells are a pain in the . . . er, I know what you mean.
Took me awhile to figure them out myself.
Glad you chose LMDE x64 ... you'll enjoy it. "tinking with the OS ... it's what we do"