“Somewhere around twenty-five, bizarre becomes immature.” ~Singles, Film (1992)
One of the interesting dynamics of living in this small college town is that I have developed a number of friendships with individuals in their early to mid-twenties. We find each other at work, at church or even in the same apartment complex. Oddly enough, I get along great with many of them and we laugh about topics that define the gap in our ages as they are typically rather superficial. Here are a few examples:
*I remember listening to music on records and eight-tracks before buying my first cassette tape (Skid Row’s self-titled album). They think CDs are antiquated.
*I know what the acronym “U.S.S.R.” represents and realize that Germany was not always one country. Pitifully, many of them do not grasp either one of these concepts.
*Jessica Simpson is NOT Daisy Duke.
*MTV (music television) used to actually play music videos. Go figure. If ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ what the heck killed videos on MTV?
*Walkie Talkies were the coolest. They grew up with their own cell phones.
*I had ‘Miami Vice.’ They had ‘NYPD Blue’ which briefly starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar. I remember him in junior high and high school in ‘Saved by the Bell.’ I’m so old.
* ‘Star Search’ was the hottest talent competition around while I was growing up. Now? ‘American Idol’ reigns supreme.
(This is fun!)
*Roller Skates vs. Roller Blades.
*Atari & Intellivision vs. Nintendo & Playstation.
*Blackboards vs. Whiteboards (No more dusting the erasers!).
*Sticky Notes vs. Email.*Johnny Carson vs. Jay Leno.
*VHS vs. DVD
The point is that these are usually the frivolous differences between our ages that allow for much amusement. However, there comes a time when the time warp of various life experiences rips open a gaping chasm. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Let me share with you a recent example.
“Obsession is a young man’s game.” ~The Prestige, Film (2006)
I have a friend that recently ended a relationship and is obsessed with discovering as much negative 'during the relationship' information about the significant other as humanly possible. I am sure they are playing the blame game on who was responsible for the breakup. Well, I’m thirty-three. Once you end a relationship … it’s ended. Walk away. At this point, nothing that happened during that time period is going to change things. My friend tried explaining to me the great lengths reached in order to expose the guilt of the other individual. The more my friend talked the wider the gaping chasm between us became. I just didn’t get it. Why bother? What good can you possibly gain from digging up dirt on someone you once claimed to love? I finally looked at my friend and simply stated, “This is the difference between 33 and 25.” I explained my position. I hoped to make my friend realize that it wasn’t doing anyone any good and that letting it go would make their life so much simpler. My friend’s answer, “But, I want to know!”
Chasm. Big gaping maturity chasm.
Maybe this is why God keeps putting these younger acquaintances in my life … as much as I dislike living in this town. Hopefully they can glean something from my life experiences as we continue to get to know one another.
“When you are older you will know that life is a long lesson in humility.” ~James M. Barrie, The Little Minister
“A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on Earth the more experience you are sure to get.” ~L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
“Sometimes what seems like surrender isn’t surrender at all. It’s about what is going on in our hearts. About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater.” ~The Horse Whisperer, Film (2002)
Originally written: November 6, 2007