It was a quiet Friday Night at our house. Only Tucker and Carol came over – neighbors bearing a bowl of delicious peanuts. We offered “jumbo shrimp” (The ultimate oxymoron. Why aren’t they called prawns anymore?) and beverages, and the four of us munched our way through a rare opportunity for a companionable visit. Our topics ranged from family news to the world situation and we speculated that most of our “regulars” were at the Town Hall Meeting in Long Beach.
I had actually learned through email and Facebook messaging that several friends were ‘abandoning’ us for the chance to attend a Democratic Town Hall with Jaime Herrera-Buetler – which sounded like another oxymoron to me. I’m mildly interested in knowing if Rep. H-B appeared in person or if this was a video version of her telephone town hall the night beforehand. We had received a phone call asking us to participate in that one, but we had declined.
I think we are burned out on the political scene for a while. From the grass roots level right up through the world (and maybe interplanetary) situation, we are feeling out-of-synch and out-of-sorts. And before the do-gooders and activists and rabble-rousers remind us of all manner of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ and ‘don’t give ups’ let me say, “Been there. Done that. And probably before you were born.”
It’s not that I’m against staying informed. Far from it. But in this day and age I think I can manage much of the information-gatheriing from the comfort of my rocking chair. I’m feeling like all those signs and banners and meetings and marches are up to others now. I’d love to think that I’ve earned the right to be consulted for my wisdom but, of course, now that I’ve reached my octogenarian years, my ‘wisdom’ includes the knowledge that no one really gives a fig about it. I wonder if that’s always been so. Just lip service to reinforce the idea that experience and longevity have some value.
When in doubt, consult Google… “influential elders in American history” I wrote. Nothing substantive. Just information about care for the elderly (say what?) or about influential Americans like George Washington who died when he was 67 (and don’t tell me that was ‘elderly’ then; many of my own ancestors from that time period lived into their 80s). Nothing about revered little old ladies dispensing the answers to life’s problems…
So, probably this “wisdom of the elders” is just another hoax to keep us old ducks hoping and hopping. Why am I not surprised?