Oz Has Spoken
I'd be hard pressed to come up with a bunch of age-related complaints. There are changes, but none of them are surprising and really? Hardly worth mentioning. These things happen. Hair gets less fun. Skin gets weird. Teeth are all over the place. Joints get cranky.
But if my younger self were to suddenly appear and ask me questions?
Well. First of all, that would be pretty terrifying. So let's not get too realistic here.
But naw. I wouldn't have much to share. I'm so much better physically in so many ways than I was 20 or 25 years ago, I can't drum up much in the way of bad news.
And there's some good news. When I take long walks outside, I'll sometimes see a dozen other walkers, maybe many more (depending on the weather). It seems as though I've developed a sort of superpower in being able to reconstruct time. I see the younger versions of older people a lot easier now, which I assume comes from just seeing a lot of people age along with me. I can imagine how they once looked, and were, and it's cool.
Secondly, I just get some pleasure out of knowledge via repetition. I've been reading books for over 50 years. Good ones, bad ones, dumb ones, but that's a lot of books. Eventually some of it sticks. I know more than I used to, in some cases a lot more. I'm not sure this counts as wisdom (pretty sure it doesn't, actually), but it occasionally comes in handy on the shuffleboard court.
The downside? Snap judgments, based on experience. Convenient, often. Wrong, maybe just as often. Inevitable, maybe, but I'm uneasy with the whole judging thing I've gotten into. I'm just not that confident.
A friend and I got into a message discussion late last night about this Aziz Ansari business. She pointed me toward a great article that both resonated with me and clarified some stuff. And a lot of that stuff was how much I really don't understand anything.
My friend (the same age) and I agreed that we were clueless when it came to modern dating protocol. Having an opportunity to peek in on these two people on that September night in New York, I get a glimpse of dating protocols that seem advanced for a first date. And of course I can't compare. Too many years have passed since I was dating, and really more than that.
So we can't possibly pass judgment. Even if I had a morality argument to make, that's really not something I can expect other people to abide by.
And I don't have an argument. The tendency to see any behavior that strays from our own as an aberration and probably excessive must be strong, but I can't go there when it comes to sexual activity. Statistically, too, young people are less sexually active than my generation. There's really nothing new, just adjustments in the culture, and none of this particularly bothers me. Again, I'm out of the game, and have been for a long time.
This story, as I said the other day, just remains interesting. It looks like it might provoke some nuance in this discussion, and I'm all for that, and perhaps Ansari will survive this, lessons learned. I find myself annoyed at this woman, in fact, for taking what is obviously an extreme step in this situation; she surely knew that in the current environment, her story about Ansari might possibly destroy his career. Even a hard look at this behavior doesn't seem to justify that.
Then again, she can say what she wants, and if she felt hurt and violated and got angry, who am I to say she should just shut up?
And so it goes.
I'm remarkably busy lately, although not in the they-pay-me-to-do-this way. Which is my preferred way, most of the time. Still, it's nice to be busy, if a little chaotic, and I seem better able to deal with it than maybe a few months ago.
Everything is really better, including output. Monday morning I sat down here, column deadline looming as always, and I had nothing. This is pretty common these days, and I usually just muddle, putting one word in front of another and hoping for movement only, not dance. But this time it was better. Not perfect, but maybe entertaining, and I'm going to take that as a good sign. A sign that maybe, just maybe, I'm not done yet. As long as I stay away from sex, which apparently I know nothing about, and maybe I never did, dunno.
But Wait, There's More! -- Column here.