Time slips up on one. The holidays come. The months pass. Then before long there is yet another threshold birthday.
Those of us who reach a certain age, watch as the young take our place on the stage of life. We read the body language. Hear the scoff to what we say or think we can still do. Yet we know we can and we do not feel any older then the ones who have seized the stage we once danced.
Party invitations no longer come to the cool parties. Visitors no longer respond to overtures to go to a club to hear a musician. After all we are not cool. We do not wear the three inch heels because we are wiser to those and know there is no reason to be that uncomfortable. So we retreat to the words of a book to loose ourself to the lives and capers that an author presents on the page.
If one is really in tune as I have always been my entire life, given the gift of being able to really read people, they sense more deeply then others the awkwardness that seeps from one trying to find their way away from the chat.
It is not that life is not enjoyable or that there is no fun, it is though the forced awareness that we have become the paper on the walls and not welcome among the chairs, the sofas, the lively world that exists in the room. We are reversed to what we are told as children back in the day, we are to be seen but not heard. Our money is welcome, however we are not.
We dress ourselves to go to an event far better then the other younger and sometimes even our peer group. We attempt in doing so to offer respect to those hosting the event or the person/artist of the event because we know this is the right thing to do. Yet that doesn’t work either. We have to face that if it was not an event we paid for entrance to attend, we would not be included.
It is an awkward place to be in life because most who reach the older years really would like to hear not just chit chat, we would like to know what makes a person. What those avoiding us are really thinking about life. What their dreams are and what they are bringing to society today. We really are not out of touch even though the attempt to push us in the corner is always hanging around.
I know this is not true across the world or probably even in a large city like New York or San Francisco. It is however the way in small towns when a trendy group of wannabes blow into town and become big fish in a small pond. It is like the ones in high school who are popular and the others who are left out. It is a strange yet interesting movement to watch. It is also probably a very short lived movement. Wannabes are just that wannabes and the time comes when they too age, or they are just no longer cool and they too become the paper on the wall.
Yet that doesn’t ease the awkward moments that come when a wise older woman wants to hear a bit of music, see some outstanding art or enjoy the fruits of a talented chef. Sometimes I know this does not just apply to those who have had one or two threshold birthdays, it happens to those perceived as not being cool enough and that is sad.
I wish there was a way for all of us to smoothly blend and everyone pulled from the wall to be part of the party. Pull those awkward moments into smiles, handshakes and lively, interesting conversation. Yet it is life. Life particularly in the small towns, the crevices tucked away in larger places and for sure in the realm of the United States, is just rather superficial and will always be that way, I suppose. It is wise to just recognize it and move with grace to enjoy what is important to us even though we notice, feel and know there are those who will always feel uncomfortable with someone not quite like them on their stage in life. Yet the stage is large and they too will perhaps watch as the audience begins to wain and wish they had been more open to everyone because some really wonderful moments were probably missed. Ahhh the life of the wannabe so afraid to step away from the stage and embrace those awkward moments that bring depth and beauty to one’s life. That would just not be cool.
And so it is the awkward moments as we step away from those, heading home to our books we sense a bit of peace knowing it is not us, it is sadly them. The characters in the books are so much more friendly and endearing and that in itself is rewarding for those awkward moments. And thankfully so, there will always books just as there will always be wannabes.
Life is a big stage, though and we must step down from the wall and dance. Yes indeed we must dance.