No Comments on Thursday

I sit in the student commons, listening to snippets of conversation as they float to my ears unfiltered, tuning each voice in and out like so many static-filled radio stations.  It’s gonna go 60 no matter what you do…  I’m hungry…  Julian!  Take these…  Somewhere a password…  The vocal jumble combines with musical noise coming from the overhead speakers, lyrics indecipherable, muted sound against the backtrack of the baristas’ continual steaming.

“How does anyone think like this?” wars with “Was I ever that young?” for contemplative space in my head, and I am struck by the wealth of contradiction and the poverty of critical thinking in this room.

And I realize…

I am – I have become – a snob.

A life experience snob.  An intellectual snob.  A snob of independence, one of the “older” set, a My-life-was-much-different-at-your-age (meaning, of course, that my challenges were greater, that I worked harder, that somehow being part of a past generation makes me better/different/MORE ~ more knowledgable, more realistic, more invested, more in tune with The Important Things, mo’ bettah) snob.

The aging intellectual.

At least I’ve got the aging part right.

And what the hell do I know?

Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

So maybe this snobbery is envy in disguise.  Because, as I look at these baby faces surrounding me, and the self-assured smugness on their countenances, I wonder what it must be like to be young, to be carefree, and to know everything.

I never was, and I never did.

0 thoughts on “Thursday

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      To a degree, I agree. But I also think of people like my dad, who get more “knowledgable” as time passes. He’s seen it all and done it all and knows everything about everything. And God forbid should you have a different opinion than him, because only his way of thinking is the right way of thinking. o_O

      My grandmother was a bit like that when she got into her 80s, but for the most part, I’ve noticed this I-know-everything phenomenon in aging males, and it seems to accompany varying degrees of memory loss.

      Otherwise, being a Fount of Knowledge is a privelege that is reserved for the young.

  1. wildoats1962

    Sometimes when you outlive people you get to find out things you didn’t know about them. One of those things might be the fragility of their ego. A couple of things I found out after my brother-in-law died were along those lines. These sound kinda dumb, but that’s the point. He listened to me tell my sister about newer cars having the dimmer switch on the turn signal {this wasn’t that long after they started doing that}. He had driven a rental and couldn’t find it. At one point my old 2-cycle snowthrower got quirky and wouldn’t run when it was below freezing. He asked me for it. I gave it to him. He said he’d fix it. He couldn’t but didn’t want me to know that. He was very mechanically inclined, and he wasn’t threatened by my science knowledge, but he didn’t want to think that I would know more than him about anything related to cars or motors. If a person has an area of expertise and someone they watched grow up ends up knowing more than them in their field it really grates them. A similar but different circumstance is when you watch someone not related grow up into a very attractive sexy person, and you feel guilty because you knew them when they were a kid and it doesn’t feel right to think of them sexually. I think I mentioned my friends daughter worked as a stripper for awhile, and I wanted to know where so that I wouldn’t accidentally go there when she was dancing. It would’ve been very weird and uncomfortable. When you know someone as a kid they’re always a kid.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Ego is exactly the right word. And I think for some people, the things they are good at – or are *supposed* to be good at – are so wrapped up in self-identity that there is an underlying fear of losing their identity if they are not 100% awesome at everything related to that thing they are supposed to be good at. I’ve listened to my dad argue with my husband about the most ridiculous things related to their respective professional licensings, because my dad is sure *he’s* right… Even though he’s retired, and doesn’t actually know the current regulations because – gasp! – they change. But I think his identity is (still) so wrapped up in What He Did For A Living, that he’s afraid to let go of his “knowledge” for fear that somehow it will render him obsolete.

      And I know exactly what you mean about “once a kid, always a kid”; I experience that with my nephews. They are in their 20s, and I cringe when I hear about their very ‘adult’ life activities because to me, they will always be the babies I took care of as a teenager. Not the same as your non-family-member example, for sure. But the very last description that comes to mind for *any* of the ‘kids’ I’ve known over the years – relatives or not – is ‘sexy’. *shudder*

      1. wildoats1962

        I saw an ad once that had one of those “Priceless” moments. I don’t remember all of the specifics, but it had a family getting ready for dinner. The mother calls the kids to come down from their rooms. The teen boy was watching a girl close to his age do a striptease {pretty much all tease with no strip this was on broadcast TV}, and you only saw the girl from the neck down. The teen girl was watching some guy get hard watching her {I don’t remember exactly how they implied that}. They enter the dining room from opposite sides and they can tell from the clothes that they were watching each other. Then they both do the Eww face.

  2. vixenincognola

    I have to say carefree hasn’t been in my vocabulary.
    I was the adult in my house long before I was ever “old enough” to be one.
    Funny looking back now, I do wish I had moments of “carefree” life.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I think part of the reason I enjoy working with young people is that I had very little opportunity to be young myself. The flip side of that coin is that, having grown up fast, I have very little tolerance for adults who can’t/don’t/won’t make their choices and face their consequences like grown-ups.



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