Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Aging With Grace

I was having a chat with the Blue Mamba the other day.  She beaming with motherly pride.  Her son recently moved back to the area and she is delighted with what a fine adult he has become.  He seems to be interested in everything and absorbs everything he can.

I had to admit that when I was his age I was very much the same.  I'd read several books a week.  I was at all the hot spots and events that were happening.  I knew all the up and comers and was very aware of everything in the news and in entertainment.  I could stay up for days at a time.  I could work two jobs and go to school full-time.  There was no reason to stop being constantly on the go.  I was fit and flexible and open to all ideas.  I loved conversation. I listened to radio constantly, I even left a radio on all night when I slept.  Music, music, music, I couldn't get enough.  I used to have all the latest technology.

Now I find that a half of a life later I'm no longer impressed by topical stuff.  I read one book a year if I am lucky.  I see people who are supposed to be famous and I have no idea who they are, nor do I care.  It seems people are famous for being famous with little tangible substance.  I don't care about philosophy or religion. I care less about politics.  I only listen to OPB radio and they never play music.  I don't like people much either.  I can stand most people for a time limited to under four-hours.  I don't really care to go anywhere, and if I never see a movie or a play again I'll be totally happy with that.

I'm even bored by the Internet.  I've let several of my sites and blogs fall by the way-side.  I am sick of Facebook and I'm visiting that less and less.  I don't check all that many blogs anymore either.  The golden age of blogging is long over.  I can hardly stand email anymore.  When I see something new in my inbox I think, "Oh shit, I'll have to deal with something now."

I no longer care much for new technology.  I couldn't stand my smart phone so I got rid of it and got an old fashioned stupid phone and it works great.  We still have a land line because most cell phones sound like shit. I have a cassette player in my car and I don't care to upgrade it, I just listen to OPB radio while driving.  We haven't upgraded to a flat screen TV yet, our old tube set is still doing fine.  We have three vehicles and all three were made in the 20th Century.  I refuse to send texts and I delete any that are sent to me.

I think Tattoos are stupid, as are piercings and any other type of mutilation.  When I see someone who shaves their head I think of them as a skinhead.

So yes, I am older and far less flexible and I don't care.  This is want happens when one ages.  The passions don't flow as deeply and all your desire for input is exchanged for a want of silence without complication.  It is less important to do things that make you feel great and more important that your knees and hips and back will allow you a pain-free day.  When I was young it was important to me that parts of my anatomy would stand up straight several times a day and now it is important that I stand up straight when ever I rise to my feet.

I remember when I was the age of Blue Mamba's son.  I have fond memories of those times, but time moves forward and to go back to who I once was would be out of nature and hard on the body.  There are reasons one slows down and calms down as one ages. I embrace my present age and I'm glad that I came to my senses as to what is really important and appropriate at this time in life.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

You Can Never Go Back

The photo above is of burgers that were purchased two years previous to the photo being taken.  Note there has been no decomposition or mold...

The older I get the more I realize that time is meant to go in one direction and one direction only.  Sure we are fond of things from our past that made us who we are today, but we can never really go back and it is best we don’t even try.  Sometimes I think it would be fun to revisit some of the places I’ve been or the things that I’ve done.  However when I do succumb to the temptation; more often than not I find disappointment in epic proportions.

I recall when I was in my 20s living back east, every Tuesday night me and a bunch of friends would go to Fuddruckers.  It was a noisy burger joint with indoor neon signs.  When you entered and got in line to order you stood next a large glass window where there were several beef carcasses on the hook and there was a butcher cutting and grinding meat.  This showed the product was fresh, though many Americans like to disguise or not recognize that their meat comes from animals. This was in your face.

Whenever I drive North on I-5 towards Portland I see a Fuddruckers just off the Lake Oswego exit.  I’ve been tempted to stop but never have until last week.  Fuddruckers promotions say they sell the world’s greatest hamburgers.  The building looked like other Fudd’s I’d been in before except the butcher shop no longer had beef on the hook.  Instead there was a tray of large raw burgers that were probably previously frozen, or even made of plastic for that matter.

Everything was familiar at the counter where one places their order except the prices have risen drastically since my last visit.  Once you get your order you go through a fixins bar that had tomatoes without flavor or texture of anything that was once living.  The lettuce was iceberg and everything else was about as interesting as a recycled cardboard.

I now must say that this was not the world’s greatest hamburger.  It wasn’t great at all and even the on-site baked burger buns couldn’t save the experience.  Furthermore the noise that I found charming in my 20s was now annoying.  I realize not that the acoustics in there are poor just to distract the senses so you don’t realize how bad the food really is.

The 30 years that are now behind me from my 20s makes me question if this place was ever any good.  Maybe in retrospect the only competition back then were places like McDonalds and Burger King that sold and still sells indigestible plastic that they call beef.  Compared to that the Fudd’s burger was good, but now it seems to fall in line with its former competitors.

Like time, I’m going to move forward and am no longer going to look back.  I want to shield myself from any more disappointment.  I have so many fond memories of my youth and I want them to remain as fond memories.  I don’t want to expose them as anything different with the spot light of reality.