I have a confession. If you paired me with a couple hours on Etsy and a limitless credit card, my house would go vintage hoarders faster than you could do something you do really fast (Yeah, an eye blink would count, but how cliche!) My most prized material object is a 1940's high boy dresser I snagged on Craiglist and I especially love vintage dresses (from back when curves where sexy and not something to work off at at the gym) I love vintage when it comes to fashion, home decor and music. I admit it. I love those oldies but goodies.
However, my affinity for old ends there. I can't get down with old. It's an oppressive master than demands we look into our past to figure out what's wrong with today. There's a propensity for those who can't keep up to glance ove rtheir shoulder, wishing that yesterday's accomplishments could count towards today's expectations and when that isn't the case....well, then it's time to pull out the story about how far YOU had to walk to school in what kind of horrible weather and how YOU didn't have those electronical doohickeys ruining your brain.
Get over it, Grandpa. Time is marching on, and you're letting it march over you.
I'll reiterate that I have a great deal of respect for antiquity. I believe with age, comes wisdom, and I totally get that. However, with youth comes enthusiasm and hope, and so often people forget that. They downplay the real perspective young people have to offer. This annoys me. While we demand respect for our battle scars, we fail to realize that those younger than us are in the process of earning theirs. They are gaining valuable experience that we could learn from, if only we'd humble ourselves.
There is nothing wrong with a child, teenager or young adult doing things differently than you did. They are living in a different time, in a different culture with different pressures. Their experience is just as real, and palpable as your own. Just because you are older, doesn't make you better.
I am raising teenagers right now and I am blessed to learn just as much from them, as they are from me. It's because I am open to their perspectives that they are open to mine. It's because I'm willing to listen to Dubstep to get a grip on what it is that my son is willing to sit through all three Back to the Future movies. He shares with me, I share with him. We're making a connection and we are finding common ground. I have never once made him feel like HIS music, HIS TV shows, or anything that defines HIS generation is lesser than my own.
It infuriates me to hear old people ranting about the styles kids wear today (unless it's a modesty issue....I can totally get on board with the rants about seeing too much skin these days), or the way they wear their hair, or the music they like to listen to....or that they talk through Facebook, or text instead of talk. Who cares? This is the technology they are growing up with. As you recall fondly watching a black and white TV, do not allow yourself to take some sort of moral high ground. It's annoying.
This past election, I noticed a strange theme of Ronald Reagan worship. I will admit I have no idea what about his presidency that was so great, and I am sure those who are more political than I am could educate me on this (and I'd be more than willing to be educated....I'm cool like that.) The thing that baffled me is how people will latch on to a person, a time period, or a style as the defining example of morality. News flash: Every day in the history of humanity has seen immorality, lying and cheating bastards so ravenous for power they'd kill their own kin (Dude, Cain and Abel? Hello), and every manner of sick, twisted perversion you can imagine.
I truly believe being "old" isn't about how many candles you're trying to burn your cake up with, or whether or not you get a discount on your 4 o'clock dinner. It's about keeping yourself fresh and open to the newness each day offers. It's about respecting what each new generation has to offer with their existence.
Instead of dragging youth kicking and screaming into a past that's....well....passed....why not open your mind to today, and all it has to offer? Rosie the Riveter was hot and all that, but dude...
She's kind of dead.