Thursday, February 16, 2006

Older or Wiser or Sad?

A good friend just told me he's dating someone who's a decade his senior...
The Monkey announced that on his next birthday, when he got done being 3.5, he would be 6.
The majority of my friends are younger than me by anywhere from 2 to 10 years.

This theme of age has been everywhere lately. Normally I'm not particularly bothered by it, really. I have no idea how old 35 is "supposed" to look (and, was, I confess, a little shocked when someone remarked to me that he was amazed that I didn't have wrinkles...I'm like, "should 35 have wrinkles?" I just don't know...).

And truthfully? Most of the time I have no idea how 35 is "supposed" to behave either...I waffle between feeling like UberMom, a giddy teenager, a carefree 20something, and a wide-eyed 6 year old. It's like some kind of decade-whiplash tossing me around...

But today I read a story that made me feel older...or maybe wiser...or maybe just sad. I'll spare the graphic depiction, but the high points were a lot of alcohol, forcible extrication from two restaurants, lobbing razor-sharp insults until the victims wept, calculated (nearly predatorial, by the author's description) hook-ups, drunk driving, and some pretty serious destruction of property.

The weird part was that I could see how, in some other era, I might have read this as just a really good party story: the dramatic near miss...taking the better-than-thou's down a few notches...scoring the hookup...drunken runnings with the gang. A wacky story. The sort of story it takes everyone to reconstruct over that big plate of Denny's through the hangover the next morning...and everybody laughs at the misadventures.

And yet I felt mostly horrified as I was reading it today....sad for the people on the other end of the verbal onslaught...sad for the one who'll be accountable for the destruction of property...sad for the carcassed aftermath of this Bacchanalian night.

It is sadness, too, by the way....I'm actually not sitting in judgment of any of it.
I'm no one to declare 'right' or 'wrong' in the situation. I've certainly had my share of less-than-proud adventures in the past and those "we did what?" moments when my own 'gang' was younger.

...which brings me back to the topic at hand: Age.

Is it because I'm older? Is that why I read this thing and sat there in gaping astonishment? Or is it that experiencing more of life has deepened that empathetic groove in me? Or is it that these days, I can identify more with the victims than the perpetrators? Where I once ran with the hyenas....I'm now the gazelle?

When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I generally quip something about never wanting to grow up. I might have to rethink that answer. Maybe I've grown up more than I thought...

10 comments:

BASSO said...

...I really should not comment, but that never stopped me before. Well said, all of it...and, enough said by me, except (can't resist can I) that I am into my SECOND 35 years and have still not figured all this out. You let me know if you do...promise?

I Blog, You Blog said...

Why should you not comment? You should comment if you feel like you want to comment...

Actually, it's encouraging to know that the next 35 years will most likely be as confusing as the first...at least there's a comfort zone there. :)

miss shirley said...

Sorry to say this but - shit! I am seriously in the middle of a post about not growing up - just haven't published it yet. We should really have our DNA tested.

I Blog, You Blog said...

Holy parallel universes, Batman!

Maybe we'll slowly becom indistinguishable from one another...that'll really flip TOWWAS out. :)

miss shirley said...

Yeah, our kids might get a little confused too. Are you my mother?

I Blog, You Blog said...

Ahh...but it won't matter, really...because we'll both mother them so fabulously and so similarly, they'll scarcely know we're two people! That's the beauty of us CCWAHLPs...

Right. I have four more dates with Capt. Tightpants and that naughty, naughty Jayne...I think I'm going to lump them all into one fabulous evening -- and have some adult carbonated beverages while I'm doing it... Woohoo! :)

miss shirley said...

Right, exactly. CCWAHLP forever!

Ooh, I am through the whole series but I think I'll go rewatch a few favored eps. I am babysitting towwas's DVD set while she sports a bikini (yes, you read that right)in Brazil so I should take advantage while I can.

A marathon of Jayne and CTP, niiiiccce.

towwas said...

Yes, and I~ve caught myself thinking I should get a new bikini here ~cause mine isn~t skimpy enough.

towwas said...

And you people freak me out. No one should be that similar.

towwas said...

Fun fact: blogspot knows I~m in Brazil so, for example, the big line above this box says "Faça um comentário."