Everyone's worlds collide at some point...right? The young and the old. The Republican and the Democrat and the Independent? The boy and the girl. The church-goer and the goer-away-from-church-goer. The Type A and the whatever other type there is. You know how it goes. You consider yourself in "this group" while the person you've just collided with is in "that group." It works for a bit. Pleasantries and such. Hi, how are you's? You stare them up and down, check out their shoes and hair piece, and then go on your way ... no harm done. But occasionally the worlds stay closer together for some reason, even after the encounter.
I've got a a few of those younger "Hey, we should hang sometime" people in my life. And I'm very happy for it. I love the energy and drive they bring to my world. The youthful spirit, the smiles, the free-spiritedness. The only problem is that they don't always actually mean "Hey, we should hang sometime." And that frustrates a Type A/honest/forthright/weirdo like myself. What they do mean is that they don't know what else to say, so they say "let's hang." They haven't yet had enough experience in life to know what sort of conversation to have. They haven't had those long-term relationships yet. Mom and Dad may not have passed away yet. They haven't had to deal with taking care of a father while he's had Lou Gehrig's disease or a child that has cancer. They haven't had enough turn-downs in their life's relationships yet. Their pocketbooks are still tended to by Mommy or Daddy. Their world is still tainted by triple-shot induced Starbuck's with a pastry and the iPhone while the homeless folks outside on the sidewalk are more of an irritant than a cause. They still have pretty teeth and flat stomachs. They consider manscaping to be right up their with the next breath that they must have in order to live. Oh, and pretty underwear......they are an essential: (1) Fancy panties; (2) Breath.
Don't get me wrong. At all. I love Starbucks (sort of). And even this nearly-commando guy would like to have a drawer of sexy underdrawers to wear. And, hey, I'd even go for nice teeth and a nice set of semi-flat-2-pack abs. But it's a little further down on the priority list for me at this point in my life. You know how the gravity of life suddenly take your former #1 and #2 life essentials further down the scale as you age. And those things that apparently seemed to not even be on your radar screens when you were young and now near the top. Normal, I think. It is simply the way that life evolves.
Some of my favorite people in the world are those younger dudes that care about others, genuinely. Who actually have intentions of returning your phone calls and having an actual, in depth, honest, in-person conversation with you. The ones that are not simply out to reach 1,000 friends or more on Facebook. The ones that have been taught how to shake someone's hand, look them squarely in the eye, and ask how the other person is doing before offering up their own feelings or views on the day. The ones who enjoying being a positive influence on their relationships and world rather than dropping a bitter pill into every single conversation and situation that they encounter in their days. The ones who don't mind going a day with messed up hair and unbrushed-teeth breath if it may mean that someone else gets to go first.
But, still, the young enamour me. For all of the reasons I've clearly outlined. I like spending time with the youthfulness that a 20-year-old brings. And I try to see that my slanted view on my own midlife can actually be softened by my 25-year-old friends. But what I have a difficult time dealing with is the lack of commitment, the over promising, the fact that when you tell me you want to "hang sometime" I actually believe you. And I shouldn't chalk it up quite so easily to an "age issue." I mean, there are plenty of supposed adults that have yet to learn the value of honesty and how to actually have a relationship with someone. It goes way beyond age. Life is a bit twisted that way, isn't it? I'm still learning. Even at my advanced crotchety old age. Sigh.