I used to always be the youngest person. I'm a little unclear about this, but it feels true.
And really. I mean that I used to travel in circles slightly older, barely older, a few years at most, most of the time. I'm not speaking of being 25 when some of your friends are 24, and the rest are 27. More when I was in my 30s and 40s. My wife is three years older, and so on. It was minor but sometimes I could make a joke or something.
So those days are gone. I still hang around people who are older, lots in their late 60s and 70s, but also a fair number of people in their early 50s and late 40s, even a couple in their 30s. This is the way life is, and people. No surprises.
This is just human sorting, not worth spending much time on. We select our companions based on a lot of things, but common grounds are the most...trying not to say common, kind of have to.
And often we just hang out with whom we're with, randomly assigned by the universe to occupy the same space and time for a bit. Sometimes in the next cubicle.
I don't have any questions about socialization, then. It seems pretty understandable, as does ending up here on the other side of a whole bunch of calendar pages and finding out that actual adults are younger than I am.
This will never stop me from speculating about it, though.
There's a writer I admire, and so I'll leave his identity out of this. Just because I want to nitpick a little, and he doesn't deserve it.
He wrote recently about Woody Allen, and the uptick in anti-Allenism in the midst of #MeToo. He knows something about the subject, secondhand but with trusted sources, and has said more than once that he doesn't believe Woody Allen abused anyone. He doesn't have much skin in the game, caring for Woody Allen's creative output about as much as I do, which is not very much. He just was musing about the details and the facts, and decided that if he had to make a call, he'd make an innocent one. He backs this up, and so on. I'm really not very interested, but he makes a point. It's about how I feel. Not all creeps are criminals.
Woody Allen is definitely creepy, though, and it surprises me that when I was 20, watching his film about a 40-year-old having a romantic affair with a teenager, it just seemed like ordinary romance. Offbeat, funny, but what's the deal?
So. I don't really get that, but it seems to be the way we saw things, some of us who were young at a certain time. Maybe we looked at it from the younger perspective, thinking that maturity levels varied widely and that maybe an older person is a better fit for an advanced younger person. I really don't know what we were thinking.
By the time Mr. Allen married his teenager, this relativity had firmed up for me. Definitely creepy.
As for his movies, he just strikes me as a marginally talented filmmaker who occasionally gets lucky. That can happen when you make a movie every year. It's why I take so many pictures of the same thing.
But this writer I follow has a personal issue now, and it annoys me a little. After giving a fairly routine, dispassionate, and perfectly rational opinion on this whole situation, he gives a robust defense about age gaps in relationships. He tells us why, too.
He's a man in his mid-60s, and currently he's dating a 20-something woman. It seems that he feels the need to explain.
Having read most of what he's written for general consumption (i.e., social media, blogs and Twitter, etc.), I was aware that for many years, he'd been in a romantic relationship with a woman who was, in fact, older than him. A year or so ago, she passed away after a long struggle with cancer. He was obviously a huge support, and there have been multiple stories, some funny and some not so much, about dealing with end-of-life issues and other hospice-related subjects. There was some insight. There was some sadness, but appropriate expression of it, at least when writing to a bunch of strangers. I felt some pain for his loss.
So now he's somehow hooked up with a woman 40 years younger. He knows lots of people, and seems to be friends with a ton of women. He's in show business and has some degree of power in certain situations (he's a writer; pretty limited power), and he's written about women he's known and some of their stories vis-a-vis #MeToo. He's the last person I'd suspect of being a creep. Love is love is love. He can date anyone who wants to date him, no eyebrows from me.
I wish he'd feel less compelled to defend this relationship, then. I get why he does it, particularly when he's writing about Woody Allen, but we understand. It's maybe unusual, but it can happen and we can see how. It's not like he's going to marry this woman any time soon. He's just been seeing her recently, and he wanted us to understand that he wasn't a creep. It's OK.
I don't relate at all, though. I can't imagine such a thing, and maybe that's because I'm a parent of young adults, or maybe it's just me. If I were single, though, I think I'd be looking at someone who at least remembered watching The Partridge Family.
These things are fascinating to me, and important. I've been intrigued by generational theory for a long time, Strauss & Howe and so on. I don't really pay attention to the talk of cyclical social evolution, but I like thinking about when people grew up and what that means. I like sharing cultural touchstones with other people my age, and sharing stories of my experiences with people who are older or younger, and hearing about theirs, and the differences. This is all good fun, and food for thought.
I battle the negative side, too, the idea that somehow we (or they) were better off, had better childhoods, became better people. This is crazy and still people do it. Listen to the high-minded crap coming out of decent people right now, desperately trying to find an answer to the massacres carried out every week on our school campuses. "We never took our guns to school," they say with straight faces. "We settled our differences on the playground," and so on, mountains and mountains of defensive bullshit.
Just the other night, I heard a guy my age drag out the "participation awards" crap again. As if the patches I got in Indian Guides and for playing freshman football, proudly worn on jackets, were for excellent achievement. They were for participating, making an effort. Are people always this dumb about young people?
Now we have another mystery for these types of people. How are these Parkland teenagers so articulate and passionate? Could they be actors, or coached?
Or maybe someone just killed a lot of their friends, and that's why they're passionate. And maybe they're good on camera because one has been shoved in their faces since birth, and now they sit on their monitors or in their phones and they have their own YouTube channels, and hmm, I think I'd be pretty articulate too and aaaaack. People are crazy.
As for changing the world? Margaret Mead's famous quote can be adjusted, just once. How can young people make the world a better place? Because that's the only way it's ever happened. Just you wait.
Personal Stuff: We've had a peaceful fall and winter up here, very mild, not much in the way of storms. Not a single leak from my leaky roof. One brief power outage. A nice snowfall on Christmas Eve. Not much of anything at all, really.
This week we're pretty cold, though, and it snowed a little Wednesday night, maybe an inch total here by Thursday. Temperatures barely squeak into the 30s, and many layers are worn by me. More snow today, maybe, although not much.
My sickness has mostly resolved, too, never reaching flu status, and I'm feeling energetic, if still snotty and coughing. No more lethargy, and the lethargy was disheartening. Talk about feeling your age. I was sleepwalking through a lot, I think, and then just sleeping. Better now.
And I feel a little manic, although just in a wide-awake way. My brain feels faster, and it's not just the recuperation. Something lifted, something heavy, and it'll take a while to figure all that out. In the meantime, I just bundle up, try to figure out what's next, watch the kids with interest, and know that a little snow never hurt anybody.