Perfect title for a blog post.
For a long time I wanted to use that word for a headline, and considered what the content might be. Pelted by Nicaraguan monkeys with fruit from a palm tree? Returning from a night out at the movies and a Big Boy restaurant in high school? Or..
Better to go with the obvious. The world tends to see us in the era we came from. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and sometimes it just is.
A barrage of senior photographs on Facebook honoring this year’s graduates who won’t get to finish their studies on campus has prompted memories of the way things were. Of hair, of clothing, of thinner faces and whiter teeth. Many of us have crossed the bridge of seeing the difference in ourselves then vs. now. I commented to a friend that he looked the same almost 50 years later. “I wish,” he replied, but it was true to me.
When does something go out of fashion? Not only clothing, but music, architecture, furniture, art, TV genres? I remember one time the press hyped President Reagan for setting a new style when he wore a dapper suit. Surely well-dressed men would follow. Then he simply told them, “It’s an old suit.”
Take being cooped up at home, like most of us have been in the last month. Is it dated to put together a puzzle, talk more to family, write letters, send packages, invent new games, and read what you put on the shelf two years ago for lack of time? Notice I did not mention cleaning out closets. If you did that, you’re on your own. Cleaners and avoiders each stand the test of time.
What’s never out of style is noticing sunrises and sunsets and marveling at spidery leaves of a crocus among its lavender blooms. Spotting red cardinals, blue bluejays, and hearing woodpeckers hammering on trees in the distance. Looking at photos of wedding cakes and videos of baby giggles. And rediscovering the echo of a train moving through a crossing nearby.
Objects on The Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, and forgive me, Pawn Stars, date us when we recognize them as from “our time.” Are they antiques? I had a bike like that!
The black-and-whiteness of time discrimination dissolves a bit more, and turning off media reports helps, too. When we get to get together again in person, may we keep in mind that the inside of all of us is more important than the outside. And it is a privilege to have lived in whatever time from which we came.