Saturday, January 15, 2011


Times have changed.  And that cannot be helped.

Just last night, I was sharing a table with an old friend.  Put people in their fifties together and they end up talking about the good old days.  We talked about how much better it was during "our" time --- when life was far much simpler.  We did not have all the wizardry of digital technology.  We did not even have hand phones or beepers.  

But we had a lot of fun.  I reminded my friend (who was with his wife and two kids) that during the 70's and 80's we were not necessarily better behaved than the kids nowadays.  Come to think of it, we were a crazier.  We were more dangerous.  We did not have web cams nor spent sleepless hours chatting on YM, manipulating Facebook or taking risks having eyeballs in the most public corners of malls.  But we had fun.

At the party, they suddenly played the song "Souvenirs" by Voyage.  Almost instinctively, the friends seated around the table laughed.  It was as if we all shared an instant flashback: there were threats that we would all stand up and do our version of line dancing if we heard Barry White's "Love Theme" played in the party.

The children of my friend looked amused as the oldies went on and on about the generation that came to pass and the memories the kids had to inherit. Or ... at this point ... endure, perhaps ... in terms of the stories told and retold.  I told my friend's son and daughter that times have changed ... and yet there are things that still remain the same. One day, I warned them, they will find out that they too have become their mothers and fathers.  

For that was what we were all going through right that very moment. I look at the friends seated around the dinner table ... and, indeed, we have become our mothers and fathers.  Almost everyone present has become a parent of a kid or two or three in college or freshly released into the nation's labor force.  And we were the kids who once populated the dance floors of discos (not clubs) dancing to the music of KC and the Sunshine Band or Evelyn Champagne King.

So even if the kids of today look at us with such weary resignation or --- at worst --- contempt, we all know that one day before they come to realize the passage of time, they will have a tsunami of memories every time they hear Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. They will, like all of us, turn into the parents they once ridiculed or find ways and means to outsmart and reason.

No one will ever be exempted from that. I guess that is what the cycle of life is all about.

In the meantime, we are back to Van McCoy as he renders "Do the Hustle."

No comments:

Post a Comment