Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting Long in the Tooth

Three unrelated events that emphasize my rapid aging and/or increasing irrelevance.

I sent my very first text message a few weeks ago. The (boring) context: Jeff was supposed to be joining his siblings and me at the movies. He wound up missing the beginning of the movie and decided to see a slightly later showing. He texted me about his location, indicating that he had tried to call me on my cell phone first. I replied:


Yes, all one word, because I didn't know how to insert spaces, and typos aplenty because I didn't know how to go back and correct the mistakes.

My sisters-in-law, who are in their early twenties and are facile texters, thought this was hysterically funny. "Hey, at least you don't LOOK old," one of them added soothingly.


Allie's bike pedal fell off. I struggled to put it back on, but couldn't make any headway. It's not like I needed any tools -- it simply had to be screwed back in. Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn ... nothing. I set it aside and told Allie I'd try again later. (My first impulse would be to stomp around and mutter indelicate words under my breath, but I was trying to model appropriate behavior. Hence the calmly stepping back and revisiting the problem later. You know what? Stomping around is much more satisfying.)

Five minutes later, Allie announces, "Mommy, look!"

She had put the pedal back on herself.


Jeff and I went to see REM last night. (Aside: GREAT concert. They played a ton of my favorite songs, including "Begin the Begin." Surprise guest vocalist on that song: Eddie Vedder. Oh yes. Really. How cool is that?)

The concert venue was an outdoor amphitheater. We had seats under the stars. The weather was calm and cool, the setting rustic, the crowd festive.

Perfect, right? Not when you're a cranky old lady like me.

I could barely see the stage because of Mr Mullet Head in front of me, the audience was rude (do you think Michael Stipe actually WANTS to hear you drunkenly bellow "WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL!" while he's talking about Hurricane Katrina?), the whiffs of illicit substances stung my eyes, and the crowd was too ... crowded.

And perhaps it's just me, but the spectacle of glowing cell phones held aloft during a quiet song lacks the glimmering pathos of lighters waving back and forth.

Could it be that my outdoor concert days are done?