What I am writing now is a teaser- I expect to write more about it very soon. Today I will be a quiet participant in an exceptional day. My husband and I are attending two birthday parties today- one for a 50 year old and one for a 100 year old. I know, amazing, right?!
I am going to take my little black notebook and keep it in my lap at each restaurant. I want to hear what the birthday boy and girl have to say, and how the conversation around them goes. I feel like a researcher- I want to capture whatever happens, and I can’t anticipate what that will be.
I expect it may seem disappointing at first. The talk may well be prosaic (snow, icy curbs, logistics…) I expect to hear many polite platitudes (what a beautiful scarf…) I also know that we have a habit of diminishing old people, because we know them as diminished. Even the child of the centenarian does not know his mother as a vibrant young thing, full of passions and hopes. And in a long life many, many things happen, but they are so easily forgotten. I don’t expect to find out the wealth of Mrs. T.’s life, but I am listening for clues.
And don’t forget the 50 year old. We joke about this birthday, setting tables with funeral black paper plates, black balloons and streamers. But of course I do not see 50 as old and done, being quite a bit past that milestone myself. I will be listening to the talk of younger -thans and older-thans . I am curious how each views what may , after all, be but a half-way point!