Friendship is so weird, you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like “yup I like this one” and you just do stuff with them. ~Bill Murray
I woke up this morning thinking about old friends. No, not friends from long ago… OLD friends. Friends I have now that might be classified by others as old. Granted, old is a relative term. When I was 20, I thought 40 was pretty darn old… until I started getting closer to 40 myself, and then it didn’t look so old to me after all. I was pretty sure, however, that 50 would definitely be my milestone for feeling the impact of time on my viewpoint, but here I am, staring down the barrel of half a century of occupation of this planet and I’m wondering how time passed so quickly. Granted, my body isn’t nearly as thin, tone and smooth as my 20 year old version… and maybe those diet sodas and junk food did leave moth holes in my brain after all. Even so, I still look in the mirror and see the same person. Maybe I have a few more miles and life experiences to draw from, but I’m still the same old ‘me’.
And that’s what had me thinking about my ‘old’ friends today. I have quite a few people who are 20, 30 even 40 years older than me who meander in and out of my day-to-day experiences, and I watch as other folks seem to treat them like a different class of humans. Now, I don’t mean that in a bad way… as a matter of fact, many times the treatment is almost regal, with lots of formal talk, calling them by their proper names with a Mr. or Mrs. attached to the beginning. For some reason, we think that we have to talk with a higher pitch (and volume) to people older than us, and the conversations are so ridiculously mundane and “chatty”. I hope that my ‘old’ friends don’t think I am totally disrespectful when a young ‘wipper-snapper’ like myself calls them by their first name, asks them what they have been up to this week, what they plan to cook for dinner or jocularly comment on their activities or intentions. I talk to my ‘old’ friends like friends, because that is what they are.
Age really has no real place in friendship. Granted, my friends with more years have more experiences to share.. but that doesn’t make them less interested in what I bring to the table with less years from which to draw. The laughter shared between us comes from the enjoyment of each other; the serious talks come because we both agree to participate.
So I hope that when the time comes for me to finally OFFICIALLY be ‘old’, I will have friends who’s age number is smaller than mine that can still see the true ME inside the older shell. We really don’t change that much – we all still want, and love, and care, and feel… and we hurt sometimes and we laugh sometimes… and sometimes we skip the salad for a piece of pie and don’t even worry about what it is doing to our arteries… and we still love to hear our favorite song come on the radio and have been known to crank it up a bit! Age has no control over what makes us tick – we’ve just been tickin’ a bit longer… that’s all.