Yes, it’s true. A few weeks ago I hit the big 5-0 and it suddenly occurred to me that some things are total and utter foolishness. And these are things that only a little while ago I thought were totally “in,” fine, happening.
I have friends of all ages, races and nationalities. I am very blessed in that way. But my friends who are in their 20s and early 30s are suddenly very strange to me. The music. The constant tweeting and snap chatting. The lack of clothing.
Recently, I was hanging out with my girlfriend’s newly-turned 18-year old daughter. She left me at the barbecue grill while she went upstairs to the apartment to gather more supplies. During a break from the grill I actually began to listen to the music that was coming from her cell phone through the portable speaker and I was appalled and embarrassed. I also had the strange thought, “It’s Sunday.”
I looked over my shoulders to see if anyone else was near the pool or in the courtyard. I wondered if anyone was watching me listening to the filth that was coming from the cell phone! I scooted gently toward the cell phone and attempted to change the song, but had no clue how to get it to go. So, I lowered the volume to zero. Damn, was I that “old” that I could be shamed into lowering the volume on a song that seemed to personify the word vulgar? I had to laugh at myself.
When she returned, I found myself asking her if her mother let her listen to that kind of music. She laughed and said her mom had the same reaction as I had had.
I thought to myself, “Geez. I am turning into my mom.”
As much as we try to deny it, age brings with it a certain kind of reserve and greater intolerance for foolishness.
When did the things so familiar to me become so obsolete? Why doesn’t a 25-year-old American woman from Texas know who Spike Lee is? When did it become okay for everyone to have a cooking show, whether they have been trained or not?
I find myself almost always listening to music that is 20, 30 years old – the classics. It’s the majority of what is on my Ipod. I realized recently when I had friends over that I had hardly any recent music in my repertoire. Like my mom, oldies are my favorite and I play them over and over again.
And then there are the times I catch myself when I hear phrases come out of my mouth that used to make me cringe when my mom said them.
Do I look like a maid? What part of “no” didn’t you understand? God don’t like ugly.”
What happened? When did I reach back into my memory and decide to say these things?
I am fascinated by what I have learned over the past five decades and how much I have changed and grown. And I am eager to continue to learn and to grow. And, being my mother is not so bad. She is fierce and brilliant and funny and not so old.
Washington Irving, author, essayist, biographer and diplomat, once said, “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
Maybe that is the kind of mother or friend we all strive to be as we get older and the mad music hurts our ears and the familiar begins to fade.