If one gets old enough, there comes a time when it becomes necessary to conserve one’s energy just to get through the day. That condition has crept up upon me more slowly than most people and people often comment upon how youthful I appear, and generally, they are amazed at how old I am. Strangely, no one says I’m spry. When I am with people my own age and look around, I am shocked at how old and decrepit most 84-year-olds look. On top of that observation, the simple fact is that most people born in 1935 are now dead, so I don’t get to see how bad they look.
My point is that I have been dropping out of some of my social groups these last few months. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the people; It’s that the time spent with them burns out my energy and I don’t have much adaptive energy left to do the things with my remaining life that I feel need doing.
There is another strange and unexpected thing. I am enjoying talking to old people. Of course, I mean old people who haven’t “lost their marbles.” Who can talk of things that younger people can’t imagine, as they only read boring history books about stuff we know didn’t happen. Who do you know that can talk about their World War Two experiences? The youngest voters in the coming election weren’t even alive when the Trade Towers came down. Their relationship to the Vietnam War is about like mine to the Spanish American war. Let’s compute that … 1935 minus 1898 equals 37 years. A young voter born 2001 minus 37 years would be 1964, which is mid-Vietnam War. I remember attending Spanish American War memorial parades in Spokane, Washington, before WW II began. There aren’t any public honors going to our soldiers now for that war, and it wasn’t those boys’ decision to get drafted into that foolish political mess and kill a bunch of people they didn’t know, and get killed themselves.
Those are just public events that young adults have heard about, but when old people get together they don’t talk about those things much. What they do talk about requires a historical perspective from actually being involved in events. They had “skin in the game,” not just opinions about what should or shouldn’t have been done.
Of course, everyone nowadays has their “skin in the game” when it comes to current events and everyone can discuss those things, but with totally different background experiences. It’s more fun talking to people with similar experiences.
Anyway, I’m moving on. “So long, it’s been good to know you.“