This was an interesting day.
After getting lost (or being misplaced, as I like to put it) for 15 minutes because I confused the names of two restaurants, I lunched with my office partner of 20 years who had just retired. We had a scintillating conversation about health issues and great books that we’ve read but whose titles we don't remember.
I wrestled with commitment. but did sign a three year extension lease for my office. While reviewing the time period, my office mate wasn’t sure she could commit as she wanted to start a family. I wasn’t sure I could commit because I was awaiting my first health crisis. Wow, we’re at opposite extremes of the work continuum. Generational dyslexia strikes again. Now, I realize that she is my son’s age.
The day wouldn’t have been complete without my husband and I choosing a funeral plot, the type of monument and care of the flowers in perpetuity. Any dollar amount for perpetuity seems like a great deal. And how does one celebrate such a day? I bought two tie-dye skirts for $17 apiece at the shop I frequent with all my 80 year old friends. Is tie-dye a “thing” again? I have learned if I avoid rhinestones and sequins I’m usually ok.
Imagine attending a large conference and knowing no one. Who do you choose to sit with at lunch? Most often, I tend to plop myself down at tables with people ages 30-40 not realizing anything is odd until they begin talking about dating websites or the preschools their children are attending. Then it occurs to me that perhaps these are not my “peeps.”
Where else might this phenomenon strike? At weddings, I am surprised that the parents are my age. What age would they be? I’m talking about retirement because everyone else is, but it makes no sense to me.
I have considered the reasons why my husband and I have fallen prey to this disability of constantly being surprised that we are not young.
- We are the youngest children in our family.
- We have spent our lives working with young people.
- As some have suggested (thank you, Sam Abelson), we are just immature.
When our son’s lovely girlfriend met us, she addressed us as “Mr.” and “Mrs.” I explained to a young friend that she treated us like grown-ups. “How rude!” my 28 year old friend replied, tongue-in-cheek. Our nearly 40-year-old nephew seems older than us and no doubt has planned better for his retirement. It doesn’t compute.
It isn’t so much that I mind aging except for the physical discomfort, the loss of memory, and the acknowledgment of mortality, and all those books that I will not have read. It’s just that my identity refuses to age.
So, when this term “generational dyslexia” enters the Oxford English Dictionary, I would like a little credit. I am curious about your experiences with generational dyslexia. Please share them.
I have no idea what a vision quest is, but I really love my bitmoji avatar. (Thank you, Christina).