Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Granny Land

     Life is terminal.  I have probably lived over half of mine, a startling reality that never fully materialized until I started spending every day with the 18-24 year old college crowd. The daily infusion of youth, energy and optimism is wearing me out...I can hardly keep up with the pace of Generation Y.  Being the only student  that needs reading glasses, invests more money in Botox than I-Tunes, and thinks gray hair can pass for blonde streaks puts me in a class all my own. I missed the drop/add date, and now I'm stuck taking Middle Age America 101 all by myself, while the rest of the class is taking University 101.
      Suddenly, I am keenly aware that every single student thinks I reside in Granny Land.  To them, anyone over the age of 25 is a fossil, a dinosaur, practically a mummy.  They have never lived without cell phones, laptops, Skype, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube.  We don't come from the same planet, much less talk the same language.  I use complete sentences, with punctuation. I like vowels and consonants that form real words.  I use those real words to talk to real live people. They talk to faceless internet personas and speak in text: OMG, AFAIUI, NIGI,U R KDDN. LOL. It takes longer to decode that mess than if they just spelled it all out or, heaven forbid, actually said it.  Evolution will soon see the disapperance of vocal cords, but people will have thumbs the size of watermelons from video games, tweeting, and texting.
     I'm really not that old. At least not in my mind. It's not as if Baskin-Robbins only had two flavors when I was a child. I have always thought I was pretty progressive, up to date, current, cool.  Of course, that is a dead give-away. Anyone who actually thinks they are as hip (do they even use that word anymore?) as the younger set is already stepping into Granny Land.  These kids don't want you in their time zone, much less speaking their language or living on their planet. If you weren't born after 1990, you might as well quit trying.
     They are confused when I walk into class with Sissey. I must be either a teaching assistant or a spy. They can't figure out which, so they treat me politely but with deference.  They tend to ask me questions if the professor is busy, as if anyone over the age of 25 should know the answer to any subject.  If I don't know the answer, I make something up, and say it boldly, and with authority. I'm not about to let them in on a universal secret....that grownups don't really know everything. They'll figure that one out in their own time.
          So I let them watch me with confused stares as I sit in class with my nineteen year old daughter. I'm at the age where it doesn't matter. I can barely see them without my tri-focals, and  if they whisper behind my back, I'm not going to be able to hear them, I don't speak their language, and I really don't care. I'm here because my daughter needs me; it has nothing to do with them, for them, about them, or because of them.  That's another little lesson they just might learn one day down the's really not all about them.
     By the time they learn that lesson, though, they'll probably be my age, living in Granny Land,  trying to understand the current language spoken by the next generation whatever, trying to manage a schedule too busy to cram onto a daily planner, trying to remember if they took their blood pressure pills and high cholesterol medicine, trying to remember if they gave the dogs their heart pills and flea medicine,  just trying to try to manage life. By the time you get done with all that trying, you're too tired to care if someone is talking to you, much less about you, and besides, it just doesn't even matter anymore.
     And I'm saying that boldly, and with authority.

No comments:

Post a Comment