Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grey Ideals

I was thinking about that generation gap thing I got into with the last post. Which may have digressed into a sc(h?)piel about how I hate bars and teeny boppers, which is 1. not even true and 2. a little bit woods-missed. Anyway it doesn't matter, it's all in the archives, but here's the latest theory minus Venn diagrams:

There is no generation gap.

You're free to burst my bubble, but wouldn't you say getting along with a person is absolutely regardless of age? And that if you don't hit it off being thirty apart, then it isn't the thirty apart which is reason, but that you probably wouldn't ever have even if the years weren't so widely spaced?

And so I was randomly shortlisting people -- old people -- that I get along with, and bloody hell, they're quite a few! Which is a good thing, and it made me more happy than sad. Sad only because given the natural order, they'll die before I do, but it's a small price to pay for being chummy with the hags and getting a head start with some non preachy wisdom in the twenties. Huge advantage, I'd say!

The problem I thought I was perpetuating in my own little way -- simultaneously also being a complete stuck up bitch -- was of not taking younger people seriously. Maybe it was revenge. If the old ones don't' take me seriously, then the younger-than-me ones deserve no better!

Keeping that condescension in check is work in progress. I mean, for the sea of nit witty teeny boppers that occupy bar spaces, there are a handful that are more than ok. Even so, and it may just be my way of thinking, and only because of the buddhas I've been lucky enough to come across, but the coolest people I know are not twenty somethings.

My grandmother is obsessed with the Rubik's cube. She must complete it someday. I think that's pretty cool. When there's a cricket match on, she will stay glued to these bloody sports channels and shriek like a child when somebody hits a home run, and then everybody in the house will run to her room to see what caused the excitement, and stay to watch the replay of what just happened.

All this while my placid grandfather dreams about what car to buy next, and which friend to go visit. They're social birds. And over the years, in all the many evening walks and road trips we've gone on, he's told us stories of his WW 2 pilot days, his Egyptian belly dancer escapades ( Yea I know =), and how chiffons back in the day were for three bucks. I love a good love story so personally, anecdotes of how my grand mom was the spunkiest thing in his class in the 40s who'd chase away boys on cycles are my favourite. They're cool people. They're in their eighties, and need more constant looking after, but hanging with them is just so far from being an obligation. There's a lot to learn, and other than getting impatient with my grandpop who just can't seem to understand T9 texting, I don't see no generation gap.

My nani's been on my case for a week to take her shopping. She needs a bag, I need a bag. We figured we'd club it together. But I know if I don't do it one of these weekends, sooner or later I'll be kicking myself in regret.

And it isn't just a family thing. Yes, so of all my cousins, I get on best with my 45 year old sister who's completely rabid about animal welfare. She calls me up from time to time for a what up update. And often enough I go stay over at her place, do the family thing -- talk shop with my golfer brother-in-law, put their cheeky 4 year old to bed (who I don't let call me masi-shaasi, so N it is), and then the cousin and I sit outside in the lawn at night, and have chilled beer. She actually puts ice in hers, while I fill her up on everything happening in my life. We gossip, I vent some angst, give her the dirt on so and so guy, and she has sharp, sensible things to say. It's refreshing. Nothing like an experienced sounding board who knows what she's talking about. And then she'll give me a glittery Chambor eye pencil because she doesn't know anyone young who might want to wear it on an evening out. It's a win-win situation.

And I have at least one friend who sees eye to eye with me on hag-coolness. Having left school a while back, this chap still meets his principal socially, and takes into consideration her more worldly mature advice before any important call needs to be made. And even if that is more guide and master relationship than back slap, a rapport is a rapport. He and I have talked about us in our fifties; him, a wine-sipping academic with an acerbic tongue -- the Phd definitely under his belt by then, (and a wardrobe full of well selected wrinkle frees), I, my dear, shall wear pearls, have fruit for lunch, and visit my brood in boarding school twice a year. Maybe I could resume horse riding, who knows. Plenty of living examples floating around one way or the other.

Like at the dinner party at home my parents threw a week ago -- the week after which my brother also had a little do. Both were fun, but I enjoyed conversing with of my parent's friends way more than my brother's gang. This one friend of my father's is a particular favourite because even at 58, he's so bloody youthful; the maddest of the lot and definitely the most generous with his compliments! All in a very non-sleazy way of course.

And like I said, there is a select lot in their sixties who've completely mastered rock star behaviour. Subject to class and background, yes, but I see it in my older friends who lack that annoying uncertainty of just having started out in life. Likewise in some senior colleagues. That for all the withdrawals about hitting a certain year-mark, if everyday you are living your life pushed to an acceptable extent of experiment and frolic, doesn't it only get better? Isn't growing into your own pretty damn priceless, and trading in reckless youth and taut skin for a more confident and evolved persona the only route you'd want to take?

I'm just saying...


Mayonnaise Toss said...

I couldn’t agree more with you. Heck I don’t even like using the word “old” with some of the ‘older’ people I know. They are rockstars in their own standing! I am friends with two of my mom’s coolest friend – one of whom is a fiercely independent IAS woman who is so sane and worldly wise, and the other is a psychologist who urges me to go and get what and who I want, she is a 52 year old single woman who embodies the word ‘passion’. Where would I get such cool friends in their 20’s? And yes, the marks and spencer goodies, the body shop range and the lunches and high teas I get to indulge in are an added plus. Who is complaining? :)

And anyway Nimpipi, you were never our typical 20something anyway – you would never face the problem of the ‘generation gap’ – you can metamorphose from a mad giddy teenage to a ‘been-there-done-that’ adult depending on who you are with.
Thankfully, you’re you with me! Heh! *cheesy grin*

bluespriite said...

It's a fantastic thought.. the whole post. Makes me want to meet your grandparents.

mistercrowley said...

Nuts, Mayo swiped my lines, bah. But, yeah....over the last 5/6 years I find that I get along a lot better with older people. Come to think of it, with the exception of some blogger pals and friends from lawschool, all my friends in Delhi are years older to me.

mistercrowley said...

Also, what a surprise...my granpappy was WW2 pilot-type himself :)

Ask your gramps this: Hurri or Spit? Which rocks more?

chandni said...

we agree.

Have always gotten along better with older people!

Han said...

Excellent post! I get along well enough with my dad's friends, but there's nothing quite like people from my age (and social) group.

El said...

Dude, I'm glad you wrote this post and realised your previous one sounded like the things you said it did.

So, yep it's hardly a younger, older person thing, some young people are cool(waved hand) and some aren't - it's hard to generalise that way. I mean if you are going to party and frequent discs/clubs etc, ofcourse there's going to me rich young uns there! They're just part of the scenery you know?

And I hear you on the family thing, it's very strong with us, though I wonder if the families we create will be as close...

and your brood and you can gallop about in the sunset, thats the life innit?

1983 said...

I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks!