What happens when waves from different directions meet each other? I’m sure there are scientific terms for the collision that results but suffice it to say that when retirees meet 20-somethings there can be just as much of a collision of style as when waves collide.
It’s Tuesday and we are meeting our Grand-Kid and the fiancé for dinner. Doing this from time to time gives us a chance to stay in contact, to get to know them better as a couple, to share in their lives. So it’s a win-win situation when we are living only 70+ miles away.
What is a little more difficult is the joining of very disparate schedules and very disparate tastes. Which is just fine — we’re old enough to go with the flow. Get it…. Flow…. Wave… ???? Right now I feel about as de-synchronized as I ever have. Fitting into other people’s lives when you’ve been off in the woods for a while can be a challenge. A good one, but a challenge nonetheless.
I remember when we were their age I was enamored of fine dining. In our 20’s and 30’s there were a lot of things we could not afford to do, but we visited a lot of fine dining restaurants. Food is important to me and I was inclined to try all the varieties I could find. As I got older I came to appreciate something quite different. I found I liked the complicated and posh dishes less and appreciated the simpler one where the ingredients sang and the craftsmanship was more about honest food than technique. Today I’m much quicker to go to a Ma & Pa resto that’s been around for 50 years than I am to a trendy place with a name-brand chef. The young ones — not so much. They are still in their experiencing everything phase and that’s fine. So they get the choice of restaurants — and in a city the size of Minneapolis I’m sometimes surprised at the breadth (or lack of breadth) of their choices.
We used to dine later in the evening, though we were rarely the sort to sit down for dinner at 9 or 10 p.m. unless we were in Europe where it’s easier to find restos that are just hitting their stride at 9 p.m.. Here in the U.S. too many places are closed by 9 o’clock! And we eat earlier ever since started being troubled by GERD. A late, large meal doesn’t sit well any more. But then we aren’t working till 5 or 6 p.m. either. So we don’t have the need to eat late. Which means when we hook up with the younger generation we’re off our own schedule by quite a lot. Of course, just because we are eating later doesn’t mean we have to eat the same things — and I’m finding that paying attention to my own body and eating what works best at any given hour is a lot safer than eating something that sounds really delicious but is the wrong thing for the time of day. I have to reign in my desire to experiment and try new things!!!!!!
Perhaps the strangest part about meeting up with the younger generation, to me, is the use of texts to make plans. I could call them and in 45 seconds you could say hello, decide without confusion where you’re going, what time to meet and any details. But if you’re doing it by text it seems no one wants to type more characters than they have to, so details are left out and you end up spending 4 times as long typing, and who knows how long waiting for texts when you could have been done sooner, and with less ambiguity with a phone call. I know it’s the new way of doing things but I still like faster-is-better. I don’t understand why people think words are better than conversation.
The world is changing, and we’re doing our best to keep up. One of the really good things about staying in contact across generations is that you have to stay flexible and be willing to move out of your own comfort zone. By definition it’s not comfortable. 😀😀 But the rewards are infinite!
So, tonight I’ll be driving around Minneapolis in the dark — we don’t drive a lot after dark anymore — we don’t need to. But we’ll do it tonight and enjoy it. I’ll probably take an extra pill for my GERD — prevention is better than a cure. But we’ll laugh and smile and share stories and learn more about their new lives together. We’ll get to hear all about the new job the Grand-One will be starting and the $6,000.00 raise she got for switching jobs to a company that was located conveniently to where they live — just as the last one had been before that company moved their offices to St Paul from Minneapolis. So, she’s found a way to stay ‘green’ while working in the city, and as long as the people and the position are what she hopes she’s made a step up at the same time. Always good to hear that the young ones are doing well. And what can be better than seeing your grand-one smiling and telling us stories about all their adventures and wedding plans.
t’s a very different life than I would choose at this point in life, but it’s not all that different from her grandparents (us) who lived in Chicago and worked in Loop until I found something better suited for Peg and I. Life has it’s cycles and it’s good never to forget that just because you have moved on to another phase that other people in your life — and in the world for that matter — are still at some other stage. Wisdom begins with understanding; and it’s hard to understand others of you don’t have contact with them. If for no other reason in the world — staying here at the campground as volunteers all summer will be worth it for the several chances we’ve had and will have to catch up with the young folks and stay part of their lives. The most important thing in the world is people.
Have a great day. I’ll be here to chat in the morning.