Having dinner with catsonmars
last night, I am reminded that we often have to add a dimension to discussions we have about people, places or things - that, of time
, plain and simple.
Biologically? Oh sure. I'm old enough, he's young enough - he was born right around the time I graduated college. I've met his Mom - she's less than 10 years older than me.
We were talking about the Olympics in Los Angeles (Did you know we're up for bid for the 2012 games? I didn't.) in 1984 - he has baby pictures, I have total gripes. (I had been laid off the week before they began and couldn't attend a single event due to poverty...and couldn't even LOOK for another job until they were over. Suck, is what that's called, and I remember it well.)
And then we effortlessly shift to interpersonal trash-talking, and I get to brag about my catch in spouses - in comparison to someone of my same age group having less luck (and I've had both kinds, so I have plenty of sympathy).Somehow, the age difference disappeared.
Yeah, it exists - to explain how I ended up having more Life experiences. Just that, and that alone. It's so nice to be able to talk without it sounding like some kind of contest, to be honest.
And that's all. He knows a shitload more than I do about a lot of things (the music he brings over just one of them), and that's not any issue at all either. (I'm grateful, you want to know the truth.) It's nice - to find there is more than one way (besides the conventional 'beat you over the head with it' method) to approach the whole 'being significantly older' thang. It's the equivalent of a shrug. *whew*
My age is the one thing I can do nothing about. I can work harder, I can study and learn new things, I can practice and improve skills I already have. I can put more money in the piggy bank. What I can't change is how many things are stored between my ears (and I have a reasonably good memory, which doesn't help here), and a ready eagerness to share them. I can't tell you how much time and effort I've been spared by someone telling me something I didn't have first-hand experience with...that's how that I operate. I do as I've been taught, and as I was given. It's called cheating in some circles, in others it's called money from home. In others? It's turned into bitter competition as it was perceived as boasting. More often than I care to mention, and equally bewildering in the bargain.
What a relief. I got to point out a whole band of Red Hats
during Art Night last week - (not the kind that immediately jump to mind, pity) - the kind that are fashioned after the old saying "when I grow old, I'm going to wear purple...with a red hat that doesn't go." You see these guys coming, run the other way. They are nuts.
They're also having a blast - and it was a moment when there were people who were older than all three of us that night that we could, as a group, go whooo about.
It's tricksy, this mid-forties thing. You think everything is done before you're thirty, you're not paying attention. Trust me on this one. I can definitely do better in how I present that information (being too forthcoming with it has been a huge problem in the past...I'm hip), and if I sound like it's all just as easy as falling off a log and no big whoop - because I've done it
- I haven't done a good job of giving that information out, pure and simple.
I still have some growing up to do. I'll get better at it - but thank the Maker for people who act as touchstones and practice grounds. Quite by accident.