Let’s discuss getting old and what that means.
It’s taken me a while to understand that life ain’t a Norman Rockwell painting. Sometimes it’s just sloppy performance art that you can’t understand and wish you hadn’t seen. But remember, that which has been seen cannot be unseen. No matter how hard you try, that image is burned into your mind and you can’t get rid of it. So what ends up happening is you do things to avoid fresh images or create good images. But then there’s the holiday factor.
The holidays are off and running, Happy belated Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah. And what that means is family gatherings, when either good or bad images appear. Before it seems as though I’m not being grateful or thankful for my family and friends, let me say first and foremost I am. I love them all deeply and would never trade them. But let’s face it, they’re family and, well, sometimes families just don’t see eye to eye. If we were to stick with the painter reference, sometimes family gatherings are more like a Salvador Dali painting, complete with melted clocks and images you can’t understand. The colors are brilliant but after a while you wonder why you’re looking at it. As opposed to our boy Norm Rockwell who would just paint another picture of a kid in oversized clothes and all was well in the world.
As we get older our patience doesn’t run as deep as when we were younger. Sure, you could make the argument that you could tolerate it better when you were younger, but that’s only because when you were younger you hadn’t had that image burned into your mind yet like Chinese water torture. Yes, you’re older and more mature and you rely more on over-the-counter medication to deal with the onslaught of a little something I like to call the human dynamic.
As I get older I find that I’m able to deal with the human dynamic better, but I also find that I can’t stand the human dynamic. After all, would it be unreasonable to suggest everyone should see life as I see life? It would certainly cut down on the amount of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories I take on a daily basis. But I know as sure as I’m thinking that someone else is doing something I simply don’t agree with: The very second I watch someone misuse the well-thought-out recycling and compost system at my favorite eatery and it annoys me. I’m old! Because, let’s face it, when I was young, I didn’t care. But now there’s a dynamic involved and, frankly, it’s annoying.
With the pressure of the holidays, things often go south in a hurry. Seriously, you can plan everything down to the last detail and the smallest thing can derail it. Sort of like playing an entire football season without losing one game then all of a sudden you’re in the Superbowl and one guy pulls down one catch and it’s all for naught (sorry, my attempt to poke fun at the Pats. And, for the record, that was the last catch David Tyree ever made). Dynamics are tough; they can lay waste to the best-laid plans, which is why we need more over-the-counter drugs and patience (and a few hotel vouchers couldn’t hurt either) as we get older.
So, as we head on into the holidays, looking forward to all the parties, presents and meals we’ll be having together, let’s keep in mind that every day you’ll be presented with a new dynamic, much like the lady that went to Walmart for a discounted TV on Black Friday and ended up with 40,000 volts screaming through her system. So slow it down, enjoy the holidays and don’t let too many dynamics get in the way. What the Hell is Up with that?