It’s official. I can no longer tell students from teachers. It’s not just because I’m getting old. (I am but that’s not the point this time.) Everyone’s dressed alike.
Here comes the back-in-the-day part: When we Aging Aquarians were in our teens, we couldn’t wait to be adults, so we copied them. We dressed older as soon as we could. We didn’t hate it.
In the 60’s we whipped around with lightning speed and decided to stay forever young. The rallying cry out of protest movements here in Northern California became, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”
Today, fifty seems to be the outside age some acquaintances are comfortable with. Some have already been fifty for quite a while and staying fifty forever doesn’t seem like such a stretch. It might even be medically possible one day.
If wishes came true, there’d be a mountain of lovely, bumpy, green/black California Hass avocados waiting right outside the door, programmed like magic to mature and ripen in sequence. There would never be a whole bunch of avocados bought on sale reaching their peak all at once. When that happens, we have to switch menus quickly because avocados cost so much, losing one to over-ripeness can ruin a person’s mood.
The bad news is: Due to increased Southern California water costs, they are now costlier to grow. California produces 90% of the United States’ avocados. As of 2013, Mexico leads international exports, with other significant production in California, New Zealand, Peru, and South Africa.
The good news: There’s a rumor California may soon be able to grow avocados year round.
Of course I’ll be watching, not so much for the big-ness of it all, but for the small details. I’m watching shows about the roomful of women hand-making lace stitched with historical symbols, two men embroidering all that gold braid onto military uniforms.
Everything is fancy and shiny and one of a kind. The flowers, the cake, the coaches. Nothing’s too small to go unreported. A British T.V. host even read from a document stating military uniforms must be worn by clean-shaven soldiers. Will Harry receive special dispensation for his beard?
My favorite part will be the tiny groomsmen and bridesmaids carrying out their duties. I’m not sure what those duties are besides looking cute and scattering petals. The best part is waiting for one to go rogue. Maybe one will fall out of step, or one will lack focus and stop and stare at the pews, and depending on their ages, one might decide not to go down the aisle at all.
We’ve seen their names. We’ll soon see them all decked out in miniature wedding finery. I hope a couple of them get their feisty on and behave like regular children.
Bless the ordinary days. When I was younger I thought it would be big moments that define life. That didn’t turn out to be true. The one thing I can count on is routine. I love it.
By Anita Garner
Routine isn’t boring. It allows me to accomplish new things because no matter what happens when I venture into some other territory, I can return to stand (or sit) on the smooth and relatively splinter-free platform of the everyday and maybe even become bolder because of the foundation routine provides.
When I was younger I thought it would be big moments that defined life. That hasn’t turned out to be true. Often when drama’s ahead, I turn around and return as quickly as possible back to the smaller, the more familiar.
Habits are sometimes the only thing I can control for weeks at a time, and I count each choice I get to make a small victory. They give me freedom to feel most myself.
When I venture into new experiences, one of the best parts is knowing the familiar awaits. Sometimes the new thing works out, sometimes not. But there’s always the favorite chair, book, coffee, music, supper, TV show, and work I enjoy to return to.
Street Photographer Ari Seth Cohen shows us who’s cool. I’ve never been a fan of portraying seniors as “characters” and I particularly dislike any description of us that teeters on the edge of condescension. That’s not what Mr. Cohen does. In fact, he does the opposite.
His very successful books are called Advanced Style and Advanced Style, Older and Wiser. You can find them wherever you get your books. He started his project as a photo blog.
What if, say, a photographer with a fresh vision and true respect for his subjects shows us some stand-out individuals who appear to be getting older while doing what many of us aspire to do – being true to ourselves as we age.
I hope Mr. Cohen keeps taking his pictures. I respect these seniors and their commitment to artistic expression.