50 Degrees of Separation

by Gabriella on July 28, 2010 · 13 comments

Do I look like a people person to you?

Do I look like a people person to you?

I wasn’t going to publish this. It’s not my normal tone. I wrote it, in fact, because I just wanted to write the feelings down. In less than a month, I’ll be 50… never thought I’d hear myself say those words out loud, let alone write them down.

I’m not going to be the cheerleading squad of the fifty-plus generation. I’m not familiar with them. I don’t know them. Not to say I don’t see them, but none of the people I know or hang out with are in that age group. Okay, maybe I know a few but, I’m not around them and they are the cool 50 something crowd…You know who you are Cirouzzz, Martucia, which brings me to my other point. I do have another point you know.

I’m sure moving away from San Francisco has made me lose some of my sanity. I’m probably no longer in touch with the “real” world. I guess moving to a retirement community in the Red Neck Riviera five years ago hasn’t helped my mood today.

I’m not happy that the AARP has contacted me as if I were a long lost friend. Go. The fuck. Away. I didn’t ask for any group hugs and I’m not going to embrace the AARP community at large. Besides, how the hell do you know my age and why do you have my address?

I can’t be 50 yet. When I think of 50 I think of old people; walkers with worn tennis balls for wheels; white hair; lots of doctor’s visits. That’s not how I see myself, damn it. Yesterday I was going to nude beaches in the Bay Area, smoking and drinking while roasting my buns in the sun. What the hell happened? I blinked and here I am – a month away from 50.

Part of me wants to embrace the notion that now I am wise. I must be, by now; I’ve lived a life I should be proud of living. Shit. The last thing I want to do is be wise; I don’t want that responsibility…

I don’t like waking up and discovering I have facial hair, that’s just not cool. I realize hormones play a big part, but fuck it; I’m not taking medicine in order to stay young. I want to age gracefully, not use tweezers glued to my hip pocket like a damn cowboy.

Sometimes I wonder am I really missing that much? I want to still fit in my college jeans and stay out all night like I used to. I bet if I tried now, that two things would happen. One, I would look like a complete fool squeezed into torn jeans with camel toes. Two, the patrons of the club would think I was lost or – worse yet – looking for my kids.

Now, I don’t look old and I’ve never worn tight jeans, but damn it, that’s how people see me. They have the audacity to say, “Yes, Ma’am.” Who the hell is that? I’m waiting for the day to snap at one of these 30 something’s and say, “Don’t worry, sweet cheeks, you’ll be here soon enough, don’t blink.”

I do embrace some things about turning fifty. For instance, I can pick up a line of bullshit from a mile away. It’s not the obvious swagger, glasses, smooth talk, great sales or slick clothes. Now it’s the way they write, how they engage online in social networks and blogs, or how the show off at conferences. I’ve seen some that are so self-centered I almost want to throw up when I see their names. Yes, that’s harsh but hey, I’m turning fifty and I’m turning into my mother.

I’m even confused at the music I hear. I mean, I love a good rap song and an action-packed movie, but the shit I’ve been witnessing is beyond creativity. It’s negativity, hate, abuse, despondency, a complete disregard for women and humanity as a whole. That’s what we call entertainment, people. I won’t even mention the horrors I see every time I turn on the news.

I’m turning into my mother’s generation. I’m turning into the crowd that says, “What are you kids listening to?” “What are you reading?” You’ll see; if you’re 30 something and reading this, remember that you saw it here first.

I remember, and have lived, the leaps and bounds of technology. I’ve been entrenched in it! Nowadays, though, I hear shit like, “Do you want to wake up early? There’s an app for that.” “Do you want to meet new people? There’s an app for that.” “You want to get laid? There’s an app for that (it’s called Craigslist).”

Am I walking down memory lane if I say things were easier back then? You didn’t have to worry about the boogiemen online. The people using technology seemed cool with no bullshit. People online were there to exchange information, not sell you, spam you or give off an attitude that you were so lucky they talked to you.

Good Old Days

Good Old Days

It sounds like an episode of “The Good ‘Ole Days”, but that wasn’t so long ago, really. I remember when I discovered The WELL. It was safe; we discussed business, health, music, politics, hobbies, software and so much more.

I’m completely blown away at such abandon towards social networks. Granted, I embrace the technology, but the world is giving their identity away to it! For instance, I’m not stupid enough to put up my nude pictures for the world to see. I don’t talk about things I don’t want the world to know about, and then bitch because the world found out. I guess that’s just something age has taught me.

I’ve tried to be reasonable with people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held my tongue. I don’t see anything impressive anymore. Am I being a salty old woman? My generation joined causes and grass root movements because we wanted to make a change and felt the causes were right. It seems people join causes now because it’s the in thing, the cool thing, to do. Anymore, I don’t want to help the world; I tried to change it in my youth… believe you me; it’s gotten worse, not better.

I don’t care whether you like me. I say what I want to say, because I can pretty much bet I’ve been there and I’ve don’t that. You can’t show me or tell me anything that hasn’t been done or said already. I don’t worry about hanging out with the cool crowd, because I am the cool crowd. I’ve never been much of a follower – and guess what? Now that I’m turning fifty, I’m even less of one.

I don't care

I don't care

This is a reality check, people, so listen up. I don’t want to be fifty in your “thirty-something” world. I’m not impressed by all your cool apps. I don’t care if millions of people follow you. You’re in a sad state if you don’t see how fast the world is passing by you.

I’m not saying stop or even slow down, enjoy your family or enjoy your life. How you live is up to you. What I am saying, however, is your fifty degrees of separation isn’t that far away from being where I stand today. Your Foursquare reality is nothing more than another reason to allow your self-inflated ego. Do I care if you’re the mayor of a coffee shop, that you started a group or started a meet-up to see who can out drink the other?

No. The bottom line is I’m scared; I’m terrified of slowing down – that life will be robbed from me. All of a sudden, I don’t have that much time to do and see all the things I want to do and see in life. I’m too busy trying to get it all down to care about whom out drank who at the last meet-up.

Am I going to write a bucket list? Not a chance. The life I’ve had, places I’ve seen and things I’ve experience have probably been on several hundred peoples’ bucket lists. I’ve been to more places in the world than not – countries most people can’t even spell. I’ve had a wonderful whirlwind life I wouldn’t trade for anything and talked to people you’ve only dreamed of meeting. To the 30 something’s and younger, take your cool, hip life and don’t step on mine. You see, now I can say shit like that; people just blow it off because I’m old. Yes, I’m old enough to know that you’re a fucking idiot.

I’m old enough to know and realize that:

  • Relationships don’t happen overnight
  • You have to work for everything you own or buy in life
  • No matter how many times you get people to listen to you, they still only hear what they want to hear
  • Perception is 99% of one’s reality
  • There’s nothing better than being with the person you love, respect and have fun with
  • Millions of dollars won’t make you happy
  • You can’t find happiness in bottles, pills or sex

I’m old enough to say anything I want with no fear of repercussion. That’s my favorite. See, I don’t like perfect; perfect is boring. It’s not human. I make mistakes because I’m human. I don’t harbor hate because it takes too much time. I forgive because I believe the apology, not because it’s “the thing to do”.

Is this a bucket list of sorts? Hell, no. I’d break into tears, if for no other reason than because everyone has already done it. They even made a movie about it that I never did go and see. Not a movie that would end up on my own list even, if I were ever to write one. Doubtful…


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