Friday, June 20, 2008
A new decade
This year I am starting a new decade. In my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be announcing that fact to the world. I guess that it can happen to all of us, and there are some things that are hard to hide, let alone accept.
Two years ago I attended my 50th high school reunion. What happened to all the people I grew up with? Some are bald, some fat, some very well repaired, recolored and remarried. It was amazing to see them all. We only had 150 in our class and two-thirds were able to attend. Except for some of the aforementioned changes, we really hadn’t changed that much. Most of us attended the same schools and had the same teachers as our parents. We lived in or near the family home and had lots of cousins nearby. You couldn’t walk any place without seeing people who knew you and your parents before you.
Now all of us are changing the digit at the beginning of our age. We have a class web site, and that is the topic currently being discussed. I personally can remember when 40 seemed quite over the hill. Forty! Park it, get out of the way, you’re just about done! Fifty and above was beyond my imagination. These people were old. I’m not old. Behind these near-sighted eyes is a 26-year-old, just getting married, or a 30-year-old having her first child. I must say that at that time I was the oldest person in the maternity ward, but I wasn’t old. Today I would have been one of the youngest.
My classmates and I remember girls becoming telephone operators, or even Lily Tomlin pretending to be a telephone operator. What’s that? You mean you actually spoke to someone who was polite and asked, “number please?” No dialing it yourself. The gas station attendant used to pump your gas, check your oil and even your tire pressure, wash your windows, and say, “anything else?”, and “thank you.” I worked at Woolworth during the school year, my mother had worked there too, and even met my father there. “What’s Woolworth?” people ask.
I started one decade, standing out-side Mass. Avenue Station in Boston, watching Sputnik go by. The next decade was children, Carlisle and moon landings. After that it all blurs together and here we are. My classmates are semi-retired, most are grandparents, and very few live in or near the family home. We still cling to that thread, the web site, and reassure each other that life goes on, and you get out of life what you put into it.
We are not old, we are just a little more mature, well preserved and have a better insight into what is really important. Maybe by the time July 19 comes around, I’ll be able to adjust to that big seven in my age. Life around us has certainly changed, but we are basically still the same.∆
© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito