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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I am.

So my birthday was on Sunday. I am 38. I am old.

No, no, I know 38 is a young whippersnapper age to a lot of people. However, regardless of what you say I feel old. No matter how many times you say I am young and look great, I feel old. 38 years seems like it went by quickly, the next 38 will go even faster I am sure.

I tend to relate more to my grandparents and parents than most people my own age. I know more about alzheimer's, shingles, sinuses, and hip replacement and cancer than someone my age should. My grandpa Sam was is and always will be the best friend I ever had.

So here is a brief list of why I should consider myself old:

I believe in good honest hard work for a days wage. Not just making a fast easy buck.

I prefer to knit or crochet on a Friday night instead of partying like so many of my peers. I have made many doilies, scarfs and blankets.

I like old music, and, no I don't mean the Rolling Stones. I am talking about Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Artie Shaw to name a few.

I love old movies. The Thin Man, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Gold Diggers of 1949.

I still believe a boy should come to the door and not honk the horn. He should spend no less than 1/2 an hour talking, or rather being interviewed by my husband on life, his future plans and the evenings plans.

I believe a good education is important and college a necessity. You can't just flit through and "hope for the best". Book learning is an awesome thing and books smell good to me.

I believe family is the most important thing you will ever have. They are not someone to just feed you for 18 years and then off you go. Without a good solid foundation your house will crumble, your family is that foundation.

I know what a Panzer is and what a P-26 peashooter is. I know why there are two dog tags.

I know too much about the depression and what a bread line is.

So have I established that I am old? Probably not. Why? Because I did not live during the times when many of the things above were around. I learned from listening to my parents and grandparents. I took in all the old stories, watched the movies with them, listened to those songs.

Here is the real reason I am old. I have the ability to listen and care and learn from others mistakes and experiences. This is an art that is dieing with my generation. Today people don't listen. People hear things without really taking the information in. There is no "processing" of the information. Quite literally it goes "in one ear and out the other". There is no desire to learn. They have the attention span of a gnat. Instant gratification is the preferred form of acquiring things, forget how and why, just gimme, gimme, gimme. There is no respect for elders and the wisdom they can impart. Now a days if you get old and become a burden (weather real or imagined) your family dumps you in a home and spends a half hour once a month visiting and not listening to you.

I like learning about what people have to say. I like getting my pay check and knowing I earned it and worked for it. I like seeing my grandparents and hearing what life dealt out for them and the stories of train rides and adventures in Long Beach. I like my mom's quirky looks and behavior and chit-chat. I like that my dad is a stubborn old man who only wants the best for me and will nag at me until he is satisfied I have heard him clearly. I like old things, people and places and I am proud when my child points out readily that I am a in the same class as them.

So I shout it with pride "I am old!". I am "The Bees Knees", "The Cats Pajamas", and how!

It is what it is and, to quote the great Sailor Popeye, "I yam what I yam.".

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