Not all of us admit it, however.
Some are embarrassed.
But others, like me, think it’s hilarious.
And, it’s not just for the old.
No sirree bob.
I’ve heard similar stories from the 20-something generation, or whatever the proper term is for what that particular generation is now called.
I will digress for just a moment or two.
Additionally interestingly, during my research on what the current 20-something generation is called, I found out some other interesting phenomena about them.
The article I found started off by saying that many people currently in their 20s are taking a “perplexingly long time” to grow up these days. According to media reports, these young folks, to generalize, are “stuck in a phase of arrested development.” They are moving back in with their parents more often and getting jobs and getting married much later in life than previous generations — “failing to enter true adulthood,” according to a New York Times magazine article — and that it is becoming a “cause for concern.”
The title of this article is, “What is it about 20-Somethings?” Growing up, according to this article, includes finishing school, leaving home, financial independence, getting married and having kids.
One point made in this article is that this slowing of maturity is due a great deal to outside forces like the skyrocketing costs of rent, cars, gasoline, food and other expenses, as well as the obvious lack of jobs.
But another pointed criticism of the 20-something generation, according to this article, is their unwillingness to accept low-end or dead-end jobs to tide them over.
The article labels this new time of uncertainty as “identity exploration time,” sounding, to me, not too different from the popular 1960s “finding myself” phase.
In fact, the article blames the insecurities of the world at large as the primary reason for an entire generation’s unmotivated dalliances into adulthood.
That finally brings me back to my friend again, and the initial inspiration for this column.
She recently related this story to me. Well, “related” is hardly the word. Gesticulated, wide-eyed, red-faced, high-pitched — all more closely describe how my friend of, let’s just say, not from the 20-something generation, told me a little story of the human condition.
She described to me how she woke up one morning recently, a little groggy, stumbling around, starting to make coffee, washing up, when after a while, she realized her dogs kept a-barkin’ — she had already put them out into the yard after she got up, but they wouldn’t budge from the spot right underneath her bathroom window, even though they had the entire yard in which to roam.
She just couldn’t quiet them down.
So, she finally went back into the bathroom because she realized she heard this tiny, little “hissing” noise, as she described it. It was hard to define, harder still to locate — until it dawned on her that her gas water heater was right below her little bathroom window — and right on the other side of where the dogs kept vigil with their incessant barking.
She started to panic. She ran around the house, checking various areas, turning off any flames or lights, thinking that’s what she was supposed to do until it finally dawned on her to call the fire department. Or was it 911?
You see, she didn’t know where to turn off the gas in case it really was a gas leak.
I don’t rightly for sure remember right now any longer, but, I believe she admitted, she said she was in a bit of a panic, looking all around the gas water heater — frantically — where she finally decided the source of the “hissing” was coming from.
And yes, she did make the call and the fire department did arrive at her door quickly. But she still hadn’t found the gas leak anywhere. Her first thought was to get her dogs from the yard into the house so the firemen could get into the backyard to turn off the gas, when one of the firemen, now inside her house, stopped her.
“Everything is fine, ma’am,” he told my friend. “No need to worry. I found the source of the noise.”
And, in his hand was a small, metallic device, about the size of a palm — and it was hissing softly. So softly, it was really hard to accurately identify the sound.
But my friend knew in that instant exactly what was going on. She had put an external alarm by the bathroom window to warn her of any possible intruders — and had forgotten all about it. Forgotten it so long, the batteries started dying, making this pitiful little warning noise in the process!
My friend was mortified.
But, as for me, I think this and similar stories, mine most definitely included, are funny. Ha-ha funny. Not sad or weird funny. They’re great examples of the fallible human condition.
For example, not too long ago, I was desperately searching for my glasses until I realized I was actually still wearing them. But, in my defense, the usual scenario is more like a friend of mine’s who was searching for her own pair of glasses, and finally found them resting on a stack of towels. But that’s not a big problem any longer. The last time I saw my friend, she was sporting sunglasses — the prescription kind — because she still hasn’t been able to find her regular glasses for about a week.
The future’s looking bright. Now she looks like a movie star all the time.
That’s what I call a win-win.
Ah, the marvelous, silly, bemusing, in-a-quandary human condition. You just can’t beat it, now can you?
So, add to it being hard of hearing, having all sorts of aches and pains, having hair turn gray and seeing 401(k)s dwindle ... all and all, it still may not be such a bad tradeoff — wouldn’t you say? — between what the 20-something generation is dealing with compared to many, but certainly compared to just this one, aspect of what the baby boomer generation is dealing with — forgetfulness.
At least, the baby boomer “issues” compared to the present-day serious, life-altering issues of the 20-somethings I mention previously hopefully will make a “delightful” backdrop to the vagaries of life.
Conclusion: In other words, if I had my druthers, I’ll take the loosey-goosey forgetfulness of getting older over the serious issues of the 20-something generation any day — even if they are much younger.