Monday, January 12, 2009
A Case Study of Getting Old
For Christmas, I got an MP3 player. I have been slowly filling it up with the music that I love to listen to - old school Hip Hop/Rap; Classic R&B; a select number of the new Hip Hop/Rap songs where the artist is NOT always talking about their 26's, 27's, 28's or whatever the biggest size wheel is today; some Dance and Electronic; some true Classics - Frank Sinatra, Little Stevie Wonder; and some Salsa/Caliente. I think that my musical tastes raise eyebrows sometimes (because I am a Black man). I attribute it to the fact that I was lucky to be exposed to a lot of things growing up. In fact, a friend of mine reminded me of the fact that I am "The Exception" to a lot of stereotypical behavior of some of my fellow "bruthas". Hence, I changed my moniker on my blogs to reflect that.
This past Saturday, a slow day at work, some co-workers and I were listening to the tunes on my MP3 player. There are a few people close to my age in my department. They listened and could recognize a lot of the tunes. We were reminiscing on what we were doing and places we were listening to those songs. And then it happened. I also have a good number of younger people under my supervision. I am not that old - a mere 38 years of age. But as we were going through some of those songs, I was reminded by BT, a female in my department, of how old I actually was. Then I remembered that I had seen my parents do this same ritual - reminisce with friends with music. OMG.
When we were initially picking on her saying, "you don't know nothing about this song" or "you don't know anything about that music", she literally did not know some of the songs. Of course, there were some songs I (and others) deemed timeless, but she had no clue on some of them. Then she put the nail in the coffin when she said that she was BORN in 1988. 1988? Did she say 1988? You may ask, what is the significance of that year to me? Well that was the year I graduated from high school in Columbus, GA. Hardaway High School - Go Hawks!
My goodness! Where has the time gone? My 20 year class reunion was last year (which I missed due to work). I guess it really didn't hit me! Man, I am old! I am now part of the "establishment". LOL! I am the same age as my father was when I graduated from high school. Unbelievable! I have always been a FIRM believer of the old adage that "you are as young as you feel" but thinking that this girl was still "cooking" in her mother for another 2 months after I got my diploma really had my mind scrambling.
This revelation has also made me reflect on my parents as well. Mom was a perfectly vibrant woman who was always on the go and now has a neuromuscular disease that doesn't allow her the freedom she used to experience. My father, who used to run through the swamps of Georgia with a pack and face paint being an Army Ranger, study karate, and used to be a weightlifter, is now diabetic and has some coronary issues. These were two people I never thought of as old even when I was a kid. Now I am going to have to think of what is ahead for both of them. Dad has remarried so that probably won't even be an issue as far as care. Mom has not remarried however. She will probably need looking after in a decade or so ahead (if I am lucky).
Where did the time go and why is the time we have left seem to be going by so fast? Your thoughts?