Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wisdom from the 80s

             Gray hair, crows feet, dentures, walkers…don’t have those YET.  But, age unmistakably caught up with me the other day when I jigged to a series of eighties songs.  My three-decade-old brain couldn’t remember all the lyrics to Milli Vanilli’s ”Blame it on the Rain” that I used to lip-synch by heart and the old bod gave out at  Human League’s “Human.”  Alas, I had to admit my hips have seen better days and I am glad the public and disco lights will never see them live in action again.    (You should see them hitching kids though—they’re pretty adept at it)
Maybe it’s a good thing I can’t make it for my twenty-year homecoming.  I’ll just remember how OLD I really am.  Then I’ll have to console myself that age isn’t a bad thing.  It comes with wisdom, I’ll tell myself.  (I mean, come on! What else would you call an acquired taste for non-neon accessories anything but wisdom, right?)
So just how wise am I? The test is the answer to the question: What would you tell yourself twenty years ago?
Hah! There’s a lot I could do with a question like that. I could say: “Girlfriend, no one is going to care about algorithms, your chemistry grades or the capital of East Germany. Don’t sweat your exams.”  Or, “I wouldn’t waste your money on a cassette tape collection or a Walkman if I were you. I’d invest in Apple stocks instead.”  And, “Keep the Levi’s skinny jeans—they’ll be vintage and back in magazine covers one day. Except for those acid wash.”   Oh yeah, “Read up on Tolkien.  Hobbits and wizards will be cooler than jedis and yoda.” Oy, “pray for Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.” P.S. “In the name of the environment, ditch the aerosol hairspray. Ditto with plastic bags.”  But, “Dig a pond, buy some water bottles and patent the name mineral water.
            Pop culture nonsense aside, what I would really say to younger me is the same thing I’ll teach my kids: “Honeychild, listen to your parents!”
            By the grace of God, mine are paragons of faith, hope and love.  They didn’t know everything but they sure knew a lot more than I did at 16.  Every stick-in-the mud law they laid down (even those curfews) was always in my best interests because now I know: what my rebellious teenage expertise mistook as old-fashioned folly was no other than pure wisdom--light of the Holy Spirit, breath of God passed down through the ages.
I hope I won’t have to wait another thirty years for my children to realize that, too cause nobody wants to listen to a senile, toothless old woman, rocking out her hip replacements on a rocking chair, especially when she forgets what she is about to say or sing.
By the way…has anybody seen my glasses?

Photo courtesy of


1 comment:

Nancy Toledo said...

And I can hear mommy now: "I told you so." =D