De-Synchronized


What happens when waves from different directions meet each other?waves 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.

fine diningI 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.

late night restaurantWe 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.  people textingBut 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.

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11 Comments

  1. Peter, I have had similar thoughts about the younger generation. It’s funny to see that I have changed what is important in my life over the past ten years. I like the changes…they are comfortable, though I have learned to text out of necessity…both daughter and clients use it and if I want to stay in touch with them, I text.

    Once I spotted that my daughter is doing many of the things I did when I was young, some good and some not so good…it was easier for me to allow her to be herself and to know that she will grow and gain experience from her mistakes…just as I did.

    I have to admit that I just don’t track with a lot of television the young ones watch…comedy isn’t funny and so many of the virtual type shows just turn me off. I still like the clean old fashioned, lightweight fluff.

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    1. I wonder if the shift in what’s important to a person might be fairly universal. I doubt that what I’m going through is all that unique in human experience.
      I think it’s interesting to see what our children choose to mimic or reject… It’s not necessarily a statement on parenting because children are also impacted by society and for example, disciplining children has changed dramatically as a result of social changes.
      For much of my life I have tried to ride across generational lines — to be pals with older folks when I was younger and to younger folks as I aged. At this point I find it harder to do that just because of our lifestyle. WE DO get lots of contact with the young at times like this — when we’re in a public campground — but even there, you have to be careful about older males and young children. Some parents are so skittish that even a decent person befriending children is suspect. sad, that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true…fortunately, I’m a girl and don’t have that problem. Though most of my interest/interaction in children is done on an individual basis…something connects which evokes a response from me. Sometimes it’s personality, sometimes it’s evolutionary as they get older and sometimes it’s a desire on my part to keep that connection there…as in the case of my grandson. It’s an effort which is truly worthwhile.

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    2. I have never wanted to be ‘stuck’ in my own generation. Being conversant with older folks and younger ones has always been crucial to my frame of mind.

      I agree about the relaxing feeling one gets when they see their offspring turning out just fine! It’s so important that we give them time to develop their own personality and lifestyle.

      Reality shows are the last thing from reality. And contemporary humor is disgusting. (IMHO) We spend more time on the oldies channels and on food & hdtv, and such.

      >

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      1. This summer we are stuck with air tv so we have watched the Olympics, PBS (we get our choice of 6 channels — three digital channels from Minneapolis (TPT.ORG) and three digital Channels from Wisconsin (WPT.ORG). Those plus a couple programs that have been on air tv for a long time, like NCIS are about the limits for us. But who can go wrong with the BBC newshour? 🙂

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      2. I had NOT seen the news about a re-make of Are You Being Served. I’m hoping that if they do, that the remake isn’t as bad as that actress standing on the sidewalk makes it look. She looked like she had no idea what she was supposed to be doing there. That’s not a good sign.
        AYBS was not my favorite of the brit com’s but I actually like that more than Hyacinth. She just got on my nerves with all her airs. But all the others we like (that i can think of) We tend not to watch Eastenders only because the accent is too broad for Peggy. I have to do to much interpreting. But other than that we love ‘em.

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      3. We don’t get many down here so we are sort of stuck with AYBS and Hyacinth…and we’ll watch an episode about once every few months for the same reasons you mentioned. Actually, Rick’s favorite character on that one is Onslow, the bum who reads quantum physics for bedtime reading.
        Our favorite is Waiting for God but we had to get that from Netflix because it doesn’t show here in Florida…the non cultured town.

        Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I don’t think I’m much interested in the remake…I think it would be too dated but if it comes around here, we’l probably give it a shot.

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