Being Older

Today I watched The Goonies with a 9 and a 10 year old because indoctrinating children into things 80s is what one does when one is babysitting all week; they find everything so novel and fascinating. But as I was watching, do you know what I realized?

I am apparently far older than I feel and far older than I think I should be feeling in this moment.

Don’t think there isn’t mirth in this statement. I’m laughing writing it. Everything about this movie kills me:

Shorts over sweats… so, so sexy.

Booty traps… *shakes head*

“He was being such a jerk, you know, tiltin’ the mirror so he could look down my shirt”… that’s, you know, a typical Tuesday in my world.

Boy tosses coin in the well wishing to get lucky with the girl he likes and the well tosses his wish back…

“Fuck you, kid!” (The Well)

Thinking about what it will be like for these kids when they are *somewhere over 30* looking back on the things from their youth reminded me of a video I watched recently that poked fun at millennials. The entire thing was about what they will tell their kids and grandkids about love and romance in their day:

The first time I laid eyes on her she was on the Tinder app. …So I swiped right and we matched instantly!

…I got the courage and I slid in her DMs. I sent her a picture of a couch, a refrigerator, and a stove. And I told her I was moving into her DMs.

…She sent me five laughing emojis and a heart and from that point on I knew that this was going to be special.

Swipe. Pictures. Emojis. And he knew it was going to be special. The whole time this man is narrating there are images flashing across the screen of the kind of poor decisions people typically post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter before transitioning into videos and pictures of dates as this man narrates his romance with this woman which consists entirely of Instagram moments and memes, without ever having an actual conversation. Every image of her has her completely engrossed in her phone while he takes snaps. That was it. No asking how the other is, no talking, not even charming flirtations. Just memes and moments.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for humor in conversations and relationships, and capturing moments isn’t in and of itself wrong. Emojis are humorous and can convey subtle nuances that are missed when writing. And I will concede that at times using a dating app may (and it pains me to say this) be helpful or even necessary for meeting someone. That being said…

I feel sorry for people who haven’t lived the excruciatingly horrifying yet perfectly delightful experience of watching someone from afar or being attracted to someone and actually having to find the, urm, will (courage, pluck, nerve, daring, balls) to call or walk up to them to say, “I’m really attracted to you. Do you wanna grab dinner or a drink sometime?” I pity the person who has never waited through those three or four seconds of absolute eternity for a response.

That terrifying wait is one of the most delightfully exciting and excruciating feelings one can feel. Does he, doesn’t he? Will she, won’t she?

I pity people who are unable to build or engage in relationships with other human beings. To be unable to build and find meaning in the everyday, to know when they’re weary or discouraged without being told, to be able to sit and talk, to be able to sit and not talk but just revel in each other’s presence.

Being able to be silent without seeking affirmation? That’s the good stuff!

I don’t understand the need for likes and followers and the constant seeking of instant affirmation that I’m attractive, the food does look good, we do look like we are having fun. I don’t have the need for constant approval. Do I enjoy when people like my posts? Sure. What I love more is when it inspires them or when something I write brings a passionate response. I’d much rather be told I have a pretty smile by someone I admire than be told I’ve got a hot body by a hundred others I don’t.

Siting in the waiting moments can be terrible, but they’re beautifully terrible moments that eventually get satiated when someone of value says something that speaks to your soul.

Then there’s the incessant posing and staging of perfect photos of perfect moments of perfect life. Except that what bits are perfect in life are never staged and are rarely captured. They’re magical and unexpected. They’re the things that live on in exquisite memory only. How lovely they are to see but they’re glowing and glorious to remember.

As I sat watching that old movie, I laughed at how much times have changed. But thinking about what is being missed out on by those younger than I am, I realized that being “old” means I’ve enjoyed some exquisite feelings and experiences that seem to me to be far superior to what they’re allowing themselves to experience.

One thought on “Being Older

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  1. Good parents and playing outside all day! It lets you see the beauty of life and love. I feel for the children who never walk to school or are outside til late playing hide n seek. Having siblings, I think is always a good start to learning rules,but not always necessary.
    I don’t think many of us actually see the age we are in those mirrors. I look in and see this super cute 18 year old. Ha ha. Well, ok, I ignore the wrinkles. I also ignore anything else that’s different. Ok! I down right lie to myself!
    I don’t see them on my friends. The first photo I saw of your mom recently, the first reaction was that she hasn’t changed at all. Then I had to laugh, because I know how old she is. Ha ha. Love is to know that number and not care.
    Enjoy your movie and popcorn. I think I’ll go read a book in bed. 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

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