My husband is very kind to remind me that we were once young and foolish…thoughtless, self-absorbed, prone to be irresponsible, easily distracted, not exactly known for keeping our word. Ha, indeed, my husband is most gracious to remind me of these things, because I genuinely do take great comfort in his tales of our misspent youth. They reassure me that the world has not gone quite as mad as it appears to have gone.
Also it is quite charming to be instructed to look upon the young people not with envy or despair, but with eyes that simply say, “Yep, but for the grace of God there go I.” Fortunately I lived to tell the tale of being young and grew out of such foolishness.
Hubby is always right of course, part of the problem is that I am older and wiser, that my eyes see the world far more clearly now than they used to. Just the same, I am afraid that does not tell the whole story. I changed yes, but the world seems to have changed too, so while I may have once been young and foolish, I never was as bloody young and foolish as those I see around me.
My kids do not believe me, not really, especially my youngest. She has no idea what I am even talking about, the world as it once was doesn’t even exist for her and she has known nothing else but The Way Things Are Today. We shall just call that TWTAT, a sad reflection on a culture that has truly gone to the dogs.
My kid thinks I am quaint, old-fashioned, from another time, with all these crazy ideas about behavior and social norms. Her perception of me often makes me feel a bit like a school marm or a fussy grandma or something.
I am losing the war, the culture war in my own home, I have been for many years. These crazy, crazy things I have fought so hard for, like the importance of picking up your garbage rather than tossing it out the car window… gone. The dignity of using a soft tone of voice….gone. The way we just don’t race our cars up and down the street…gone. The value of not using one particular four letter word as an adjective, noun, and verb…gone. Gone, all gone. I am left waving my white flag of surrender or as the young people see it, perhaps my little lace hankie from another time.
I am down for the count, let me tell you, but not quite beaten. Those tiny seeds have all been planted and they sit there under that cold and infertile ground just waiting to detonate.